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Inland Revenue

Tax Policy

PUBLISHED 23 September 2003

New double tax agreement with United Arab Emirates

New Zealand has signed a double tax agreement and an Arrangement on Trade and Economic Cooperation with the United Arab Emirates. The double tax agreement will come into force once both parties have completed domestic procedures to give legal effect to it, which in New Zealand's case will require an Order in Council. It is expected to take effect from the next income year. For more information see the government's media statement and the text of the UAE-New Zealand double tax agreement.

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Revenue

Hon David Cunliffe
Associate Revenue


NZ-UAE sign double tax/economic cooperation pact

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today signed a double taxation agreement and an Arrangement on Trade and Economic Cooperation [ATEC] with the United Arab Emirates.

The signing took place during Dr Cullen's visit to Dubai - host of the current IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting.

"This represents a further deepening of relations between our two countries and follows the establishment last month of air links," Dr Cullen said. "The UAE is already our third largest trading partner in the Middle East but there is substantial potential for further development. The two texts we have signed today will provide a framework for that growth to occur.

"A Joint Commission will be established under the ATEC to meet at Ministerial level to discuss bilateral trade and economic issues and to move the trade relationship forward.

"There is already a strong political dialogue as is evident in the fact that Prime Minister Helen Clark, Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton and Education Minister Trevor Mallard have all made official visits to the UAE since 2001," Dr Cullen said.

The double taxation agreement, the first with a Middle Eastern country, would provide opportunities for investment into New Zealand by the UAE and was expected to come into effect from the next income year. It would cover the operation of the Emirates Airlines in New Zealand.

"New Zealand is party to 27 double taxation agreements. These are aimed at reducing tax impediments to cross-border trade and investment, by preventing businesses being taxed twice and providing them with greater certainty about future taxation. They also play an important role in assisting tax administrations in the detection and prevention of tax evasion," Dr Cullen said.

The text of the United Arab Emirates-New Zealand double tax agreement is published at

Contact: Helen Mackenzie [tax advisor, Dr Cullen's office] 471-9728