Trade between Saudi Arabia and New Zealand has received a boost after ministers from both countries agreed to set up a newly dedicated organisation.
The New Zealand Middle East Business Council (NZMEBC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a Joint Business Council with the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSC).
Two-way trade between the countries already accounts for approximately $1.2 billion a year.
Chairman of the NZMEBC, Stewart Germann, commented: “We are delighted to have the support of the NZ Government in this important development in the relationship between New Zealand and Saudi Arabian business people.
“The Joint Business Council will promote economic, industrial and technological cooperation through joint ventures, transfer of technology, licensing and reciprocal arrangements between the Council members. It will provide a regular and recognized forum for discussion and promotion of these activities between companies and their representatives of the two countries.
“To our knowledge, there are at least 28 kiwi businesses operating within Saudi Arabia, all involved in supplying goods and services and contributing to our growing bilateral trade, Two-way goods trade between New Zealand and Saudi Arabia was valued at over a billion dollars in 2015.
“This is a great opportunity for all New Zealand businesses interested in or already operating in Saudi Arabia to take advantage of the warm relationship we have now established with the CSC and to work with us to generate significant commercial opportunities for New Zealand from this newly enhanced relationship.”
The MoU entails that the Saudi-New Zealand joint council will consist of business representatives concerned with investments on both sides who will meet regularly in Riyadh and Wellington to discuss and review developments and business opportunities. The joint council will additionally facilitate exchange of information and recommendations as to the latest economic developments in the world.