Updates on major trade developments, including the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the UK, APEC and New Zealand’s involvement in the World Expo, to be held in Dubai, were discussed with Rino Tirikatene when he visited Te Taumata representatives this week.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Export Growth had frank and free discussions with Te Taumata about how upcoming opportunities in trade could be harnessed to benefit Māori businesses.

Mr Tirikatene confirmed negotiators were aiming to reach an agreement on the new FTA between New Zealand and the United Kingdom in August.

Te Taumata has kept a close eye on negotiations, with their invested interest having released an in-depth analysis on Identifying Māori Interests in a UK/NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which sets out the benefit of a UK/NZ FTA for Māori.

Opportunities to showcase Māori businesses at the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit were also discussed.

APEC is a premier business forum, attracting influential business leaders from some of the largest companies in the world.

This year’s summit will be hosted on November 11-12 as a hybrid event, with attendees in Auckland joining virtual participants from around the globe.

It was mutually agreed the summit, if harnessed correctly, could be a once in a generation opportunity for Māori businesses to promote products and services to the leaders representing 60 per cent of the global economy.

Substantial work is happening behind the scenes in preparation for the World Expo, to be held in Dubai later this year.

The New Zealand Pavilion’s theme reflects the Māori value of kaitiakitanga, which emphasises the deep connection between people and the environment.

This expo is another opportunity for Māori to showcase our culture and business acumen on the world stage.

Mr Tirikatene said the Government was committed to working closely with Te Taumata, to ensure Māori voices were well represented in trade.