Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: His Excellency Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, met Christina Alexandra Freeland, Canada’s Federal Minister of International Trade, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Summit to discuss areas of cooperation for strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
The meeting focused on boosting economic relations, increasing trade and bolstering cooperation in vital sectors such as innovation and knowledge economy. Highlighting steps needed to follow-up on existing economic and trade treaties, the two sides agreed to hold the first UAE-Canada Joint Economic Committee meeting in Ottawa next September.
Trade volumes between the two countries registered US$1.864 billion in 2013, marking an increase of 18.1% over the previous year. Free Zone specific trade increased by 169% over the same period, reaching US$970 million in 2013. Currently, 46 Canadian companies operate in the UAE, while 63 Canadian trade agencies and 788 Canadian trademarks are registered with the UAE’s Ministry of Economy.
Commending the high level of economic cooperation between the UAE and Canada, His Excellency Al Mansouri said the UAE is keen to further improve bilateral synergies in trade and investment.
The Minister of Economy highlighted the importance of events and meetings in enabling people-to-people networking and dialogue. He pointed out that such efforts will help government officials and business communities in both the UAE and Canada to build on available opportunities and forge strong partnerships.
Al Mansouri said the UAE is looking to particularly benefit from Canada’s experience in research and development, intellectual property and patents. He also made special mention of the existing constructive collaboration between the Ministry of Economy and the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.
MaRS Discovery District is a not-for-profit corporation that works with an extensive network of partners to help entrepreneurs start up and develop innovative companies. It brings together educators, researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs and business experts with the aim of supporting innovative entrepreneurship.
For her part, the Canadian Minister of International Trade confirmed her country’s appreciation for the strong bilateral relations between Canada and the UAE, stressing the Canadian side’s keenness in boosting economic and trade cooperation with the UAE. She added that Canadian companies are interested in expanding their investments and enhancing their position in the region via the UAE to benefit from its high quality infrastructure, as well as facilities and services for businesses growth.