Ag Minister heads to UAE and Egypt

The Agriculture Minister says a visit to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt will help strengthen important trade relations with New Zealand.

Damien O'Connor left on Sunday for the five-day visit, and will hold meetings on trade, food security and agricultural technology. 

"Our relationship is growing with these important trading partners and my visit will be a chance to advocate for issues important to Kiwis, listen to Kiwi businesses operating there and grow the links between our economies even further," said Mr O'Connor.

The United Arab Emirates is New Zealand's 11th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth more than $3.7 billion for the year ending December 2018.

"In Dubai I'm looking forward to going along to Gulfood, the world's largest food and beverage trade exhibition, to support New Zealand suppliers," he said.

Mr O'Connor will also meet with the Ministers of Economy, Climate Change and Environment and Food Security.

While in Egypt, he will meet with the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Minister of Trade and Industry, to discuss the diversification of our trade relationship as well as recent agriculture cooperation projects.

"Egypt is New Zealand's second largest market in Africa with two-way trade worth more than $350 million a year, mostly in dairy and meat."

He said it is an important time for the New Zealand-Egypt relationship as this will be the first trade-focused ministerial visit since 2006.

"Trade is crucial to our economies and so is ensuring that the benefits that come from trade are shared by all."