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UAE, New Zealand start preliminary CEPA talks

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Gulf News | 1 September 2023

UAE, New Zealand start preliminary CEPA talks

by Nivetha Dayanand

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and New Zealand have initiated preliminary discussions aimed at fostering a deeper economic partnership, which may potentially lead to the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), as announced by the Ministry of Economy on Friday.

These discussions took place during a meeting held in Dubai between Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Damien O’Connor, New Zealand’s Minister of Trade and Export Growth.

The UAE and New Zealand already share a productive trade relationship, with non-oil trade reaching $805 million in 2022, up 7 per cent year-on-year. As of 2022, the UAE is New Zealand’s leading trading partner in the Arab World, accounting for 2.5 per cent of New Zealand’s total foreign trade.

During their meeting, Al Zeyoudi reiterated the shared commitment to strengthening collaboration across vital sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, and healthcare.

“New Zealand is a valued partner for the UAE in the Oceania region, and a nation that shares our firm belief in open, rules-based trade as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth,” said Al Zeyoudi. “As we seek to expand our network of trading partners, exploring a potential CEPA demonstrates our commitment to delivering new markets and new opportunities for our private sector.”

These discussions follow a recent visit to New Zealand by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, during which several bilateral agreements were signed.

Damien O’Connor added, “These exploratory discussions are an important first step toward a trade agreement with the UAE, one of our key export destinations in the region, and a valued bilateral partner for New Zealand.”

 source: Gulf News