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NZ to talk free trade with Arab countries

New Zealand is trying to make another free trade deal, this time with six oil-rich Arab countries, though existing tariffs are already low.

The deal got a kick-start last week when Trade Minister Phil Goff visited trading partners Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Goff said both countries encouraged New Zealand to enter free trade talks with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) comprising Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. GCC countries no longer negotiate individual deals.

At present, New Zealand exports about 500 million NZ dollars ( 350 million US dollars) of goods to the region each year, mainly meat and dairy products. New Zealand imports mainly oil-related products worth about 1 billion NZ dollars (700 million US dollars).


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