DUBAI, 24th October, 2017 (WAM) -- Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of Dubai Economy, in partnership with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, DIEDC, conducted the first-ever Islamic Economy trade mission to New Zealand, comprising business leaders and government officials, who sought to strengthen the emirate’s position in the global trade for Sharia compliant products and services.
With a low population and a food-export-driven economy, New Zealand is viewed as a major market and potential partner in channeling trade through Dubai. The red meat industry is one of New Zealand’s major export earners bringing in more than AED15 billion annually. This accounts for 15 percent of New Zealand’s total export revenue, and 27 percent of New Zealand’s primary sector export revenue. In addition, New Zealand exports over AED3 billion worth of skins and hides from sheep and cattle, mainly to be used in the fashion industry.
New Zealand is also a major dairy exporter with the sector contributing more than AED20 billion, or 3.5 percent to the country’s total gross domestic product. As an island nation, the aquaculture industry plays an important role, and seafood trade contributes nearly AED4 billion to the economy.
The trade mission focused on broader areas of the Islamic Economy in New Zealand and the UAE Embassy hosted an exhibition of Emirati art works, the first of its kind in New Zealand.
Saleh Al Suwaidi , the UAE Ambassador in Wellington, said, "The UAE has a natural fit with New Zealand in terms of trade, particularly since the UAE has only one percent arable land and imports a large quantity of red meat and dairy from New Zealand. Connecting with New Zealand allows the UAE to strengthen its hub-to-hub strategy of linking producer and consumer countries via the emirates."
The mission hosted an important forum in association with the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. Todd McClay, the New Zealand Minister of Trade, addressed the forum and referred to the long and friendly relations between the states, as well as the growing Islamic consumer market. He emphasised the Halal sector as a potential area to enhance bilateral trade.
Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said, "Today, food and beverage accounts for a little over a third of the Halal market and the real growth areas are in lifestyles and technology. New Zealand is ideally placed to allow for synergy in these growing areas."
Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai Exports, said that the Halal trade is set to grow further and mark a significant shift in the immediate future away from being a niche market segment to become mainstream. "We are already seeing signs of this as non-Muslim consumers are purchasing Halal products and services due to its natural and wholesome nature. In the financial services sector we have seen that a large proportion of the customers of Islamic banks are actually non-Muslim and this trend will continue into other business areas."
| A Emirates News Agency release || October 25, 2017 2017 |||