Thursday, March 10, 2011

McCully names first resident Ambassador to the UAE

New Zealand’s first Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), resident in Abu Dhabi, will be career diplomat Malcolm Millar, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully recently announced.

“The United Arab Emirates is an important relationship for New Zealand. It is currently one of our top 20 trade partners with total bilateral trade for the year to July 2010 reaching NZ$1.3 billion ($US959 million).

“The UAE is also a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which will be one of the leading drivers of global economic growth in the coming decade.

“Investing in a new embassy and opening a diplomatic mission is part of our broader efforts to strengthen ties with the GCC nations. It will enable us to promote awareness of our products to the Gulf region by supporting New Zealand businesses to make the most of opportunities there,” Mr McCully says.

The GCC is already New Zealand's sixth-largest trading partner and exports to the region grew by 122 per cent between 2000 and 2009, with the UAE established as New Zealand’s second-largest market among the Gulf nations.

“Services exports, while harder to quantify, have also grown substantially, particularly in the education and professional services fields, and over 7000 students from the Gulf are now studying in New Zealand,” Mr McCully says.

New Zealand exported NZ$400,797 ($US295,833) million to the UAE (New Zealand’s 21st largest export destination) in the year to July 2010 – with dairy, meat, wood and machinery being the main exports. Imports from the UAE reached NZ$901 ($US 664) million (New Zealand’s 12th largest source of imports), with oil the main import.

There are now some 4,000 New Zealand residents in the UAE, many of whom are involved in business and professional services.

As Ambassador, Mr Millar will manage the opening of New Zealand’s first Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Mr Millar is currently the Deputy Director of the Economic Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Prior to this role, Mr Millar served twice in the Ministry’s Trade Negotiations Division. He has also previously served as Deputy High Commissioner in Apia and Deputy Head of Mission in Buenos Aires.

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