Trade Minister Todd McClay is off to visit the World Trade Organisation in Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Following his appointment as a WTO vice-chair, McClay is travelling to prepare for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, being held in Abu Dhabi in February.
While in Geneva, McClay will meet key leaders within the WTO, including the director-general, deputy-director-general, and the heads of key regional groups.
“The WTO remains at the core of New Zealand’s trade and economic interests. A functioning rules-based system delivers benefits for our businesses and exporters, as well as the broader economy,” McClay said.
“My visit provides the opportunity to influence and drive positive outcomes at the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting, especially around domestic agricultural production that supports the interests of both developing and developed countries.”
McClay will then travel to Dubai to meet Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, to discuss NZ’s support for the UAE chairing of the 13th WTO Ministerial Committee, and the countries’ bilateral trading interests, including exploratory talks towards a bilateral Closer Economic Partnership Agreement.
“The UAE is New Zealand’s largest export market in the Middle East, and a key interlocutor on regional issues.
“I look forward to meeting with my counterparts to discuss and advance our relationship on a number of issues, including trade, food security, and climate change.”
McClay departs New Zealand on Tuesday 23 January.