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New Zealand Seeks Signature Of Gulf FTA

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

07 September 2015

New Zealand's Trade Minister, Tim Groser, is undertaking a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to seek the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the Gulf states.

Groser co-chaired the fifth meeting of the UAE-New Zealand Joint Economic Commission in Abu Dhabi on September 6-7, 2015.

Ahead of the event, he said: "New Zealand has a deepening trade and economic relationship with the UAE, which is now our largest trading partner in the Gulf. The Joint Economic Commission meeting provides a useful opportunity to take stock of this relationship and to look at further areas where we might expand these linkages."

"I will also be discussing how best to progress the GCC-New Zealand FTA, an issue on which the UAE has been a strong supporter, as well as how we can build further successful government-to-government partnerships in the UAE," he said.

Negotiations on the FTA between New Zealand and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a political and economic union comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, were successfully concluded on October 31, 2009. However, the agreement has not yet been signed by ministers from the relevant countries. Details about the agreement, including information on tariffs, will be made public upon signature.

New Zealand has previously said that a key reason for pursuing an FTA with the GCC is to bring about the removal of the GCC's five percent common external tariff for New Zealand goods as well as the tariffs imposed by individual GCC states.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | export duty | tariffs | Bahrain | Qatar | New Zealand | import duty | Gulf Cooperation Council | trade | Oman

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