An official delegation from the UAE has wrapped up a visit to New Zealand where it signed agreements to expand bilateral co-operation and encourage private sector investment.
Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi led the UAE team at the joint ministerial committee’s second meeting.
A final statement said the two sides agreed to encourage trade exchange, adding the committee offered an opportunity to boost relations at the government level provided that the private sector of both countries would be free to take advantage of growing ties between the two countries.
Two-way trade between the UAE and New Zealand has shown steady growth over the past few years. Non-oil trade grew 30 per cent from $63 million (Dh231.3m) in 2002 to $240m in 2007, according to a statement from Sheikha Lubna.
New Zealand delegates focused on food, drinks, information technology, communications, construction, education and energy. They also discussed ways to strengthen ties through the New Zealand Technology Oasis in Dubai Internet City.
While in New Zealand, the UAE team held talks with government bodies and private companies on joint co-operation, sustainable development, sovereign government funds, securities co-operation as well as the possibility of setting up joint projects and companies between the two countries.
The dramatic growth witnessed by the UAE has left room for more co-operation between the two countries. UAE GDP grew by 16.5 per cent to Dh698 billion, mostly resulting from the growth of non-oil sectors. Oil, the ministry pointed out, now stands for less than a third of the GDP thanks to huge investment in infrastructure and open economy trends.
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