Thursday, 23 May 2024 07:55

UAE FTA welcome news

Written by  Peter Burke
New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay and UAE Trade Minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. Photo Credit: Todd McClay/Twitter. New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay and UAE Trade Minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. Photo Credit: Todd McClay/Twitter.

The dairy and red meat sectors have welcomed news that New Zealand will begin formal negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The announcement by Trade Minister Todd McClay and his counterpart UAE Trade Minister Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi in Dubai follows and earlier meeting in March where the pair set up a consultation programme to see if such a deal should proceed.

The UAE is an important market for NZ's red meat sector, generated $47 million of export earnings in 2023. High-value chilled beef is the most valuable export sub-category to the UAE, worth $31 million in 2023, making the UAE our fourth largest chilled beef market behind the US, China, and Japan.

Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says a comprehensive FTA with UAE would open the door to reduce tariffs on other products that we export to the Middle East, including frozen beef and lamb, and wool.

Also happy with the news is Dairy Companies of NZ (DCANZ) executive director Kimberly Crewther. She says her sector looks forward to a high-quality FTA agreement that delivers certainty to our dairy exporters of duty-free access across all products.

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