Covid-19 vaccines rollout across the region, a three speed picture

As COVID-19 vaccines make their way into Aotearoa, New Zealand they are also being made available across the Middle East region. A three speed approach is emerging with some states ramping up world leading vaccination programmes, others are starting, with a number of states that have not started or secured vaccines for their vaccination programme.

The following graph shows progress to date and may assist with in-market and go to market decision making. We also encourage consulting for advice when considering changes to current market approaches relating to in-person engagement in the region.

Our World in Data graph on Covid-19 vaccinations administered in the region

Source: 23-Feb-2021

Emirates, an Early Adopter of the IATA Travel Pass

Emirates has become one of the first airlines in the world to trial the IATA Travel Pass – a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with any government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.

The travel pass enables travellers to create a digital passport to verify their pre-travel test or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination. They will also be able to share the test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel. The new app will also enable travellers to manage all travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout the travel experience

You can read on here for more information

Emirates, a gold sponsor of the NZMEBC

Kuwait, New Zealand Foreign Ministry Consultations

The first Kuwait New Zealand Foreign Ministry Consultations took place on 10 February. The Consultations had been scheduled to take place in Kuwait City in 2020 but were held virtually over Zoom due to Covid-19.

The consultations included useful discussions with a range of Kuwaiti public and private sector agencies interested in growing their relationships with New Zealand. The Consultations provided a timely opportunity to reiterate New Zealand’s interest in concluding the NZ Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (the GCC FTA), our sixth largest trading partner, and currently one of the fastest growing markets for New Zealand exports.

NZTE introduces the Expo Business Leveraging Programme

NZTE is running an Expo Business Leveraging Programme to support NZ exporters with fast-tracking their market entry or market expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and wider Middle East markets by taking advantage of the trade and export opportunities Expo 2020 offers. The programme is suitable for both exporters new to the Middle East and those already in market and will have both virtual and in-person streams.

The programme has three key components:

  1. Discover Middle East – an in-market validation programme to support new NZ exporters to the Middle East, focused on three priority sectors: FMCG (F&B, natural health and beauty), Agritech and Healthcare
  1. Accelerate Expo 2020 – for NZTE customers already active in the region, this programme will help customers to accelerate their existing market knowledge and networks. The events will be based around key trade events, for example : GITEX 2021, Gulfood Manufacturing 2021, Abu Dhabi Sustainability week 2022, Arab Heath 2022 (dates TBC)
  1. NZ Food & Beverage Programme – a range of activities for F&B exporters looking to establish market presence in the region including participation at Gulfood and ancillary networking events, Taste NZ F&B Month at the NZ pavilion and F&B retail promotions across UAE

In addition to this NZ exporters can book space at the NZ Pavilion hosting venues to further your business outcomes. Further information and a venue booking enquiry form can be found at –

Further information on the Expo Business Leveraging Programme will be available over the next few weeks, but if you would like to register an expression of interest, or talk further please contact Jo McEvoy, Expo Business Leveraging Programme Manager ( or talk to your NZTE Customer Manager.

New Zealand Story launches Middle East Short Stories

There are short stories on education, inclusion, innovation, sustainable fishing, food security, renewable energy, as well as two myth busters that set the record straight on common misconceptions. These short stories are subtitled in Arabic and can be picked up and used in everything from social media to events.

Leveraging perception research and in-market team insights, New Zealand Story has created a series of short stories focused on themes that will help to change Middle East perceptions of New Zealand.

You can view all of the short stories, alongside the existing Inside Stories Middle East film and Dubai perception research here:

Book Me Bob – Kiwi chatbot company seals business deals with the FernMark

The government-backed FernMark has unlocked major international contracts for Kiwi chatbot company, Book Me Bob. The tech start-up became a FernMark licensee after prospective customers in Asia and the Middle East requested proof of the company’s New Zealand credentials. Find out how the company’s growth rate has more than doubled since joining the FernMark Licence Programme.

Read on here:

Link to the New Zealand Fernmark License Programme