John Key, New Zealand's Prime Minister, is to lead a business delegation to the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

John Key NZ PM

The visit to the UAE, scheduled for April 26, comes as the GCC ranks as New Zealand’s fifth largest export destination with goods exports worth $1.4 billion in the year to December 2014.

Exports of goods have grown by an average 10% per year over the last decade, according to a statement.
The delegation will also visit Saudi Arabia on April 28, the statement added.

"The visit is an opportunity to strengthen and grow trade and business links between the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand," said the Prime Minister.

"A key priority for me will be talking to key figures in the region about the importance of progressing New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with the GCC," said Key.

"New Zealand has a lot to offer the UAE and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. My visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to further promote New Zealand companies," he added.

A range of meetings are scheduled with senior government leaders across the region. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser.

Also traveling as part of the contingent is Jasper Holdsworth, managing director of Pultron Composites - a New Zealand based company with manufacturing facilities in Jebel Ali. The company opened its facilty in 2010 and supplies composite products for the construction industry, including its mateenbar replacement for traditional steel rebar. Mateenbar takes its name from the Arabic word for strong and durable.

Holdsworth says the company has worked on hundreds of projects throughout the GCC and is currently supplying mateenbar products to the Doha Metro tunnelling project because traditional rebar was not suitable for the highly corrosive environment.

"We're the only construction oriented company on the delegation, so it's going to be a very interesting time for us," Holdsworth said.

"It's the first time we've done anything like this, and it's a positive thing for us and the company. Talking to the right people is vital in any business, and this being part of the delegation is quite an honour."

Source: Construction Week Online - April 26th 2015

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