By Hudson Gavin Martin and Banks Legal*

The New Zealand Government recently accepted the invitation to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai – an exciting opportunity for the growth of New Zealand trade.

Expo 2020 Dubai, which runs from October 2020 to April 2021, gives New Zealand the opportunity to create a Pavilion for attendees to visit, which the Government has committed $53.3 million to for its design, construction, operation and promotion.

The Pavilion will reflect the principles of opportunity, sustainability and mobility, which sit under Expo 2020 Dubai’s overarching theme: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The Pavilion will advertise New Zealand as a hub for innovative trade opportunities.

New Zealand’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai offers promising prospects for New Zealand businesses – both through procuring New Zealand businesses to help with the design, creation and management of the Pavilion, and also through trade connections made with Pavilion visitors.

In late August, the New Zealand government invited suppliers to register their interest in the development of the New Zealand Pavilion. It issued a Registration of Interest (ROI) through the NZ Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) – The ROI is the first step in a multi-step procurement process designed to find the very best talent to create a visitor experience that showcases New Zealand in the most creative, tech-savvy and unique way. The ROI is seeking design teams which can supply the following services:

  • Architecture
  • Creative Direction
  • Visitor Experience and “journey” Design
  • Exhibition Design
  • Digital Experiences and Solutions

This presents an invaluable opportunity for New Zealand businesses to be involved in the development of the New Zealand Pavilion and could be a stepping stone for exporting their goods and services to Dubai and the Middle East. If the business is part of the development team, their goods and services could be exposed to, and appreciated by, the expected 25 million Pavilion visitors.

If your business in interested in registering, you should register an account on the GETS website and view more details here. The closing date is 1pm on 25 September 2017.

Although it’s not clear at this stage what a successful business’s involvement will look like in the development of the New Zealand Pavilion, here are a few issues to consider:

  • Provision of Goods and Services – What goods or services could you offer? Could these goods and services be offered as part of a joint venture with another New Zealand business? To what extent will you be able to provide your goods and services remotely from New Zealand or on the ground in Dubai? To what extent will you be sourcing materials from New Zealand or Dubai?
  • Resourcing – If you will be sending staff over to Dubai to work on the project, you will need to ensure each staff member has the appropriate visas to stay and work in Dubai. You will also need to factor in travel, accommodation and living costs.
  • Sub-contracting – Will you need to sub-contract the provision of some of your goods or services, and if so, will you (or can you) sub-contract the services to a New Zealand sub-contractor, or a UAE contractor?
  • Timeframes – Expo 2020 Dubai is just over three years away. What timeframes might you need to adhere to and are the provision of your goods or services dependent on the delivery of goods or services by other service providers to the New Zealand Pavilion?
  • Insurance and ACC – To what extent do your insurance policies cover your activities in the UAE? If you are providing travel, medical and/or health insurance to employees, does this extend to any work they do abroad? Will ACC cover your employees while working overseas? Generally, ACC will cover a New Zealand resident travelling or working overseas for trips of less than six months.
  • Intellectual Property – Who will own any intellectual property (e.g. copyright in designs, software etc.) that you create for the Pavilion?

New Zealand punches well above its weight in the international arena and this is reflected in the commitment the New Zealand Government has made to Expo 2020 Dubai. New Zealand will not just be present at Expo 2020 Dubai, they will be prominent. Without a doubt, the New Zealand Pavilion is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase New Zealand to the world.


* New Zealand lawyers from two boutique law firms, one in New Zealand and another in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced in June this year a formal collaboration to provide end-to-end support to New Zealand businesses wanting to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by Expo 2020 Dubai, and New Zealand’s investment in that event. Hudson Gavin Martin, a leading boutique corporate and commercial firm that specialises in technology, media and intellectual property, based in Auckland, and Banks Legal, a New Zealand owned boutique corporate and commercial firm based in the UAE, have agreed to collaborate to provide end-to-end support to those New Zealand businesses present in, or interested in entering, the UAE and wider MENA markets. Edwin Lim (Hudson Gavin Martin), and Nathan Banks and Andrew Morris (Banks Legal) all have extensive experience advising businesses on how to operate in the UAE and wider MENA markets.