The bilateral trade between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates witnessed a 29 per cent increase during the past one year, a top New Zealand official said.
“The UAE is our largest trading partner in the Middle East and 10th largest trading partner globally, and it is our ‘hub’ for doing business with the wider region,” Winston Peters, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, said in an exclusive interview at the New Zealand Embassy in Abu Dhabi during his official visit to the UAE.
The bilateral trade for the year ending October 2019 went up to NZ$4.08 billion ($2.62 billion) from NZ$3.16 billion ($2.03 billion) during the year ending October 2018, witnessing a 29 per cent increase, he said.
New Zealand’s trade with the UAE represented around 50 per cent of its total trade with all the Arabian Gulf countries, the official revealed.
Of the NZ$4.08 billion trade for the year ending October 2019, the balance of trade was in favour of the UAE with imports to New Zealand were to the tune of NZ$3.1 billion ($1.99 billion) and exports to the UAE were valued at NZ$930 million ($597.54 million), Peters explained.
About 90 per cent of the imports from the UAE were petroleum products worth NZ$2.85 billion ($1.83 billion) and the remainder included plastics worth NZ$36 million ($23.13 million).
“The UAE is an important partner to ensure our energy security,” the official affirmed.
Food and beverages, including dairy products, meat, vegetable and fruits, were the major exports from New Zealand to the UAE, of which around 50 per cent were re-exported from the UAE to other countries in the region, he said.
Peters met Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on Wednesday. During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and Peters exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual interest and the latest regional and international developments.