top of page

NZMEBC August Newsletter

Kia Ora,

It has been an exciting year for the NZ-Middle East Business Council, and I am grateful for everyone’s help.

For those of you who may be less familiar with the NZMEBC, we are an independent group of professionals who are dedicated to helping each other and NZ businesses thrive in the Middle East. We remain a volunteer-run organization, and our independence gives us the opportunity to give clear feedback, thoughts, and advice. Many of us have worked with the businesses in the region for many years.

A little over a year ago, we reached out to members to learn what was most important to them. The feedback was clear:

  1. Networking

  2. Learning about opportunities in many countries of the region.

  3. Learning about opportunities and issues that affect a wide range of businesses.

We were grateful for the feedback, and we organized our events around the themes requested.

To learn more about opportunities in many countries of the region, we were thrilled to host some terrific speakers this past year.

​UAE Ambassador His Excellency Rashed Alqemzi

The UAE is the first market many NZ companies enter, and it remains the most important market for many. We were blessed to hear insights from His Excellency on the openness of the market, and the eagerness to build trade and relations between our two nations.

Israel Ambassador

His Excellency Ran Yaakoby

We were most fortunate to have His Excellency introduce the opportunities in Israel to our members. Israel is a hugely important country and market in the Middle East, and it has an incredibly advanced economy and high tech sector. As members look to expand their businesses, Israel would be a terrific place to explore.

Omani Ambassador

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Said Al Busaidi

His Excellency generously shared his time to share his perspectives on Oman. It is an incredibly advanced country and economy which is most welcoming to trade and investment. I was feeling quite nostalgic during His Excellency's talk; I visited Oman many times during my time in the region, and I can attest that it is a great place for business as well as enjoying oneself.

Geoffrey Miller

Discussing New Zealand and the Gulf - opportunities and challenges.

I was thrilled to have Geoffrey share his insights on the evolving relations between the UAE and Middle Eastern countries. Geoffrey is certainly a fascinating gent - he is a multi-lingual political analyst who is currently pursuing his PhD, focused on NZ-Middle East relations. His insights were relevant to any business operating in the region.

Andrew Perrier

Discussing his Saudi Arabian insights.

Andrew has a unique perspective as the Group Business Development Director Almusbah Trading Group In Market Specialist. He is a Kiwi who has lived and successfully operated in the region for many years, and he knows Saudi Arabia very very well. He shared his personal journey and what NZ companies need to do to be successful in Saudi Arabia. Andrew has given back in so many ways to the NZ business community, and we are fortunate to have him on the board of the NZMEBC.

OXAGON Event Lewis Chen (陈俊源)

This was a mind-blowing and inspiring talk about NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Oxagon is a hugely ambitious project to build a massive port and business & economic hub in the new city of NEOM on the Red Sea. I was struck by the scale of the endeavor, and the professionalism of the team. A fascinating event for anyone interested in the region and Saudi Arabia.

We are also fortunate to be able to focus on events that we hope will help all businesses.

  • EY generously shared their insights on the evolving tax laws of the UAE

Our most popular event in 2022 was EY's seminar on taxes, as they are subject that affect all businesses. The tax framework in the UAE is also evolving, and this is important for all companies to understand. I am grateful for the experts in the field at EY to share their knowledge so generously on such an important subject.

We are planning upcoming forums on:

  • Law in the Middle East

  • Women in the Middle East

We are also grateful for our partnerships with MFAT and NZTE. Both have been terrific to work with.

Member News: Qatar Airways recommences direct flights to Doha!

On 2 September 2023, Qatar Airways will resume direct flights from Auckland to Doha, connecting New Zealand businesses to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The airline will be introducing their state-of-the-art A350-1000 to New Zealand at the same time, with 46 Qsuites in Business Class and 281 seats in Economy Class.

If your business is travelling to the Middle East, Africa, or Europe, check out their Beyond Business programme, with a current special offer in place. Long-standing NZMEBC executive member Chris Paykel is more than happy to answer any questions you may have, email:

We are always looking to grow, so please let me know if you have colleagues or friends who are interested in becoming members. For any questions or further information, visit our website at Alternatively, please feel free to reach out to us directly at

​Thanks so much!

Randall Blackford


New Zealand Middle East Business Council



Looking to expand your business into the Middle East?

We'll take you there.

bottom of page