Foreign Minister Murray McCully travels to the Gulf region this weekend for meetings in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.
“Our relationships with this important region are growing at a great pace and my visit will be an opportunity to continue discussions about priority areas, including the NZ-GCC FTA, regional security issues and cooperation in areas such as renewable energy,” Mr McCully says.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, is New Zealand’s eighth largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade exceeding $3.2 billion NZ dollars.
“The relationship with the GCC has grown remarkably in a very short space of time, underpinned by forty two air services per week between the Gulf and New Zealand, an increase of 50% since 2013,” Mr McCully says.
"Our economies are highly complementary, and there is huge potential for greater cooperation. The NZ-GCC FTA will help deliver on that potential and I look forward to discussing this opportunity on my visit.”