The red meat sector welcomes United Arab Emirates trade talks

The red meat sector has welcomed the start of trade negotiations between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying a high-quality and comprehensive agreement would further open opportunities to increase trade between the two countries.

The UAE is an important market for New Zealand’s red meat sector, generating $47 million of export earnings in 2023, making it the second largest market in the Gulf Cooperation Council after Saudi Arabia.

High-value chilled beef is the most valuable export sub-category to the UAE, worth $31 million in 2023, making the UAE New Zealand’s fourth largest chilled beef market behind the US, China, and Japan.

MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said existing exports to the UAE have been supported by New Zealand’s internationally recognised reputation as a supplier of high-quality halal products and the zero tariff on chilled beef and lamb products.

“A high-quality and comprehensive agreement would open the door to reduce tariffs on other products that we export to the Middle East including frozen beef and lamb, and wool.

“That would represent a boost for our exporters, particularly as our industry looks to support the Government to meet its goal of doubling the value of New Zealand’s exports over the next decade.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive Sam McIvor said the UAE is among the world’s wealthiest economies.

“There is increasing demand in the market for the high-quality, safe, sustainable, and nutritious products that the sector produces.

“What has underpinned the success of our export strategy over the last couple of decades has been to have as many open markets as possible, so we have options for capturing the highest price possible for all cuts for our farmers.

“Not only will our farmers and exporters benefit from such an agreement, we know that export growth benefits all New Zealanders so its critically important that a comprehensive agreement succeeds.”