In this issue:

  • Minister McCully optimistic on 2017 NZ-GCC FTA.
  • KSA visa reduction cost great news for Kiwi businesses.
  • Invitation to meet Tony Martin, Dubai based NZTE Regional Director, 22 March.
  • NZMEBC agrees MoU with Egypt.

  • New membership year to begin.
  • Special Benefits from Emirates for NZMEBC Members.


Minister McCully optimistic on 2017 NZ-GCC FTA

The New Zealand Government is optimistic it will complete its stalled free trade deal with the Gulf States this year as part of efforts to deepen economic ties with the region, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully says.

Trade talks with the six-member Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) wrapped up in 2009 but the deal was never ratified by the parties involved. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

New Zealand’s foreign minister is in the Gulf this week meeting GCC political leaders to promote trade and bolster support to push through the deal.




KSA visa reduction cost great news for Kiwi businesses

The price of business visas for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been reduced from 3,000 riyal to 250 riyal for New Zealand citizens. This has been a matter of long lobbying by the NZ Embassy in Riyadh.

“This is a very positive development for New Zealand businesses wishing to explore export opportunities in Saudi Arabia, which combined with the establishment of the Saudi-New Zealand Joint Business Council and the impending NZ-GCC Free Trade Agreement, marks a turning-point for bilateral relations with the Kingdom” said Michael Webb, Vice-Chairman of the NZMEBC.

“The previously high cost of business visas has long been a barrier to New Zealand trade in the region and great credit must go to the NZ Embassy in Riyadh, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Saudi authorities for their work.”

For more information on the reduced price of business visas to Saudi, contact



Invitation to meet Tony Martin, Dubai based NZTE Regional Director, Wednesday 22 March, 3.00 PM

All members of the NZ-Middle East Business Council are invited to meet Tony Martin, Regional Director for NZTE based in Dubai, on Wednesday 22 March, at 3.00 PM. The event will take place at the NZTE offices, Level 6, 139 Quay St, Auckland.

From Dubai, Tony Martin oversees NZTE’s team and activity in India, the Middle East and Africa. Most recently he was NZTE’s Consul General and Trade Commissioner to Vietnam based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Prior to joining NZTE in 2013 Tony was Business Manager: Asia for Fonterra Brands, developing channels for consumer products in Greater China and Southeast Asian markets.

The Trade Commissioner is interested in meeting with members of the NZ Middle East Business Council doing business in Dubai or interested in developing business relationships in the region.

The event is free to NZMEBC members.

To register for the event, RSVP to



Doing business or interested in Saudi Arabia?

We are delighted to be finalising the establishment in Riyadh of the Saudi-New Zealand Joint Business Council, in conjunction with the Council of Saudi Chambers and the New Zealand Embassy.

This is a major initiative for New Zealand businesses doing business or considering entry into the Saudi Arabian market.

The Saudi- New Zealand Joint Business Council provides a unique opportunity for New Zealand businesses to access, on a “plug and play” type basis through the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), their extensive network of businesses throughout Saudi Arabia.

CSC membership comprises over 1 million businesses in Saudi Arabia covering more than half of the Kingdom’s economy. Membership of the Joint Business Council will enable members to access and utilise the extensive services and facilities of the CSC itself.

Membership of the Joint Business Council is open to all members of the NZMEBC who apply. There will be a one-off charge of $100 plus GST to process your JBC membership application, including with the CSC in Riyadh.

Expressions of interest are also invited to be appointed to the inaugural steering committee of the Joint Business Council, to be appointed by the NZMEBC.

Please contact by Friday 17 March 2017 if you wish to:

  1. Join the Joint Business Council
  2. Be considered for appointment to its Steering Committee

For further information, please contact Michelle either by email or on 021 940 884.



NZMEBC agrees MoU with Egypt

A delegaton from the New Zealand-Middle East Business Council met with the Egyptian Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Tarek El Wassimy, on Friday 24 February, and agreed terms for a Memorandum of Understanding between the NZMEBC and the Egyptian Businessmens Association.

The MoU establishes a separate chapter within the NZMEBC which signifies a formal relationship with the Egyptian Businessmens Association.

A delegation of NZ trade and foreign affairs officials have been in Egypt this week for trade talks and we are expecting an expansion of the trade relationship between the two countries as a result.

The Egyptian government has specifically asked for the NZMEBC to inform it about companies who are able to provide the following:

  • Education services
  • Meat, dairy and agricultural products
  • Livestock and fish cultivation
  • Seafood products
  • Tourism
  • Furniture
  • Textile and carpets

For more information on new opportunities with Egypt for NZMEBC members, contact



New membership year to begin

Members are reminded that invoices for the new membership year beginning 1 April 2017 have been sent out.

The NZMEBC Executive has decided that membership fees will remain the same as the previous few years.

Moreover, as we are currently taking the opportunity to update and review the content and structure of the NMZEBC website, we would like to include in 2017 a directory of all current members with their contact details.

We often receive requests from members to put them in touch with others operating in the region.

Members are invited to email to let us know if you are happy for your contact details to be included in our directory, and the email address and phone number of the appropriate contact for your organisation.



Special Benefits from Emirates for NZMEBC Members

Members are reminded that special flight concessions are available to members from Emirates, the Council’s major sponsor, for all NZMEBC members.

These rates may be accessed by contacting Annette Glass of Business World Travel, contact details for Annette are:

Phone: 09 529 3700