Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, the UAE Minister of State for Food Security. (Screen Grab, Supplied)

UAE Minister’s visit part of a wider tour and overall drive to future proof economy to deliver innovation within the food and beverage industry. UAE is New Zealand’s 10th largest trading partner. New Zealand’s total exports to the UAE grew 47% between 2016‐2017. The visit comes a little more than two years out from Dubai Expo 2020 where New Zealand will hold a significant presence in the Sustainability District … reports Asian Lite News.

Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, the UAE Minister of State for Food Security. (Screen Grab, Supplied)

The UAE Minister of State for Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, has completed a successful visit to New Zealand as the nation seeks to identify sustainable food solutions to future proof the needs of its residents.

Following visits to the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia, the latest visit to New Zealand – with the UAE being the country’s 10th largest trading partner – is part of a capability and collaboration tour designed to help build the UAE’s food security strategy.

During her successful visit, Al Mehairi visited the capital city, Wellington, Nelson, and Auckland, covering everything from New Zealand’s world leading expertise in areas like aquaculture, food science and production, to the successful Garden to Table initiative to help primary-school aged children learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food. The learnings and examples of best practice from the tour will be used to help form and further innovate the UAE’s food and security policy going forward.

Indeed, the UAE is already seeing the strength of its trade ties with New Zealand come to fruition; for example the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency is trialling the Crop Calculator, a software product developed by Plant and Food Research, a New Zealand Government-owned research institute, which estimates the optimal water needs of specific crops.

The Minister’s visit comes against the backdrop of solid two‐way trade between the UAE and New Zealand. Trade has grown rapidly, with New Zealand’s total exports (goods and services) to the UAE growing from 2016‐2017 from NZD 749 million (1.8 million AED) to NZD 1.1 billion (AED 2.687 billion), an increase of 47%, with UAE exports to New Zealand also growing from NZD 1.1 billion to NZD 2 billion (AED 4.8 billion) in the same period.

The growing trade relationship is set to unite the nations even further as we move towards Expo 2020. The New Zealand Pavilion will be built in the Sustainability District at Expo 2020, reflecting New Zealand’s focus on creating a sustainable food supply for its people and major markets around the world. The pavilion will tell the story of New Zealand’s kaitiakitanga – a Māori word meaning care for people and place – a vital concept for ensuring the world’s food security.



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