Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy of the UAE, and John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, on Monday met to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral economic and trade cooperation between their two countries.
Prime Minister Key hailed the New Zealand-UAE economic partnership and urged for strengthening and promoting it to live up to the economic and trade stature of the two countries.
He also emphasised the importance of the UAE as a vital gateway for international trade and re-exports to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
He also expressed admiration of the progress the UAE is making in all spheres, noting that the country is an oasis of peace and stability in a region being hit by economic and political crisis.
Al Mansouri noted that the economies of both countries are open, resilient and attractive for foreign investments. He urged for tapping opportunities in the two countries to encourage their reciprocal investments and joint projects.
The minister also noted that the UAE is building a sustainable knowledge-based economy using national human resources.
He stressed that the falling oil prices and the current global economic situation will not affect the UAE's economic growth, and that the UAE's economy remained resilient towards the global financial crisis which had affected a number of other economies.
Noting that the UAE's economic relations with New Zealand have been growing since 2004, minister Al Mansouri said trade between the two countries grew to unprecedented levels, amounting to more than Dh2.3 billion in 2013.
The two parties discussed the need for exchanging information on import licenses and standardising the requirements of importing halal mutton and beef. They also discussed ways to facilitate New Zealand food exports to the UAE and encourage the private sectors of the two countries to enhance cooperation.
Al Mansouri noted that the UAE, and Dubai in particular, have become an authority in Islamic economy, including halal industry The talks were attended by Mohammed Ahmed Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy; New Zealand minister of trade Timothy Groser; Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand Ambassador to the UAE, and Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand Consul General in the UAE.