In this issue:

  • Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau to attend Christmas Drinks, 22/11.
  • New Ambassador to UAE.
  • Iran Webinar

  • Three reasons to take a fresh look at the Gulf region
  • Special Benefits for NZMEBC Members. 


Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau to attend Christmas Drinks, 22/11

ssociate Foreign Affairs Minister Fletcher Tabuteau will attend the Christmas Drinks function of the NZMEBC on Thursday 22 November at 5.30 pm. The event will be hosted by Council member Hesketh Henry at their offices on Level 14, PWC Centre, 188 Quay St, Auckland.

All financial members of the Council are invited to attend but registration for the event is essential.  Please email or call Michelle on 021-940884.

Mr Tabuteau visited the UAE earlier this month to meet with UAE Ministers and meet with representatives of New Zealand and Emirati businesses to reinforce the importance of our bilateral relationships as well as to further our trade and economic links.

Mr Tabuteau also visited the site of the Dubai 2020 Expo Pavilion, which Mr Tabuteau said will be a great opportunity to reinforce New Zealand’s commitment to showcase New Zealand’s culture, innovation and trade capabilities to the world.

“The UAE is now New Zealand’s largest export market in the Middle East and our 11th largest trading partner globally,” Mr Tabuteau said.

“Many New Zealand businesses have a presence in the UAE and New Zealand is an important partner for the UAE in renewable energy and food security.”


New Ambassador to UAE

Matthew Hawkins has been appointed the next Ambassador to the UAE, taking over from HE Jeremy Clarke-Watson, who has been in the role since mid 2014.

Mr Hawkins is currently Unit Manager of the Middle East and Africa Division of MFAT and has previous experience in New Zealand embassies in Addis Ababa, Washington DC and Tehran.  The New Zealand Embassy in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is also accredited to Qatar.

The NZMEBC wishes Mr Hawkins well in his new role, which he takes up in January.


Iran Webinar

The NZMEBC, NZTE and MFAT hosted a session on Iran sanctions for exporters/advisers in Auckland on 16 October. Attended by over 40 people (in person and via phone), presentations were given by MFAT, NZTE and Russell McVeagh Auckland.

Sadeq Hedayat (NZTE) provided context on the Iranian market, including recent challenges to doing business.  These challenges included recent changes in the international environment (re-imposition of US sanctions), the Iranian currency devaluation and the intertwined nature of the Government and the economy, and the flow on impacts from these challenges in the banking and shipping sectors (amongst other things). Key message:  businesses must be PLUGged in to succeed in Iran:

Partner well
Long term approach will serve you best;
Understand the risks and challenges
Grasp the real opportunities that the Iranian market can present.

Matthew Hawkins (MFAT) provided an update on the Iran nuclear deal. The US withdrawal would not affect UN sanctions in New Zealand, however US sanctions being re-imposed (in August and November) could have extra-territorial effect. Noting New Zealand’s disappointment at the recent US decision (as conveyed publicly by the Prime Minister) it was advised that all businesses looking at Iran should seek advice from lawyers and banks (and consider the implications for shipping and insurance). Key message: there are legitimate and legal ways to trade with Iran (for example the US guidelines state that “humanitarian exceptions” such as food and medicine remain in place) but the re-imposition of US sanctions will make trade difficult and at times impractical.

Sarah Salmond (Russell McVeagh)highlighted legal questions related to Iran. She spoke about who is affected by US sanctions (primarily non-US persons), the kinds of breaches and fines that could be expected, and the international response following the US decision to withdraw from the deal – including an EU blocking statute and the EU Special Purpose Vehicle. She also highlighted the implications of US secondary sanctions for New Zealand exporters, banks and logistics companies, and provided practical tips for those doing business in Iran. Key message: strong due diligence (e.g sanctions screening and a sanctions compliance programme) is critical for companies considering doing business with Iran.


Three reasons to take a fresh look at the Gulf region

The six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been going through a period of intense transformation, which is creating exciting opportunities for New Zealand businesses.

Ahead of the Gulf Opportunities Showcase in New Zealand, Kevin McKenna, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Trade Commissioner for the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, shares three reasons why it’s time to take a new look at the Gulf.



Special Benefits 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 Simon Urbahn of Business World Travel, contact details for Simon are:

Phone: 09 529 3700