Abu Dhabi, Thursday March 2, 2017
CBC staff and Mr. Hans Fraikin, Board member, met with a Canadian delegation, led by Patti-Sue Lee, Director, International Business Development and Canada Business, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Prince Edward Island | Government of Canada
The goal of the meeting was to facilitate on behalf of the Government of Prince Edward Island, an incoming trade mission to Dubai (Sunday 26th February to Wednesday 1st March) and then on to Abu Dhabi (Thursday 2nd March only), mostly consisting of companies visiting Gulfood in Dubai, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality event serving one of the fastest growing sectors on the planet.
The delegation reached out to CBC to see if there could be any interest to meet the visiting Government officer from PEI to learn more about upcoming initiatives to boost bilateral trade. The meeting was also planned to ensure that CBC members be alerted to PEI mission delegates, and to explore any path that could be of interest for both parties. Ms. Patti-Sue was accompanied by Mr. Tony Aggarwal, Director at Kinetic Cube and the meeting facilitator, by Ms Jane Preston, consultant Middle East, Kinetic Cube and the following Canadian companies’ representatives: Lobster4 dinner, Atlantic East Seafood and PEI juice.
Prince Edward Island is one of Canada’s three Maritime Provinces and is the smallest province in both land area and population’s (145,000 inhabitants). The economy of most rural communities on the island is based on small scale agriculture. Industrial farming has increased as businesses buy and consolidate older farm properties.
Ms. Lee spoke about the initiative of the Federal Government to support Atlantic Canada including PEI, where she has relocated. The mission of the Agency is to assist small business owners in exporting their products, by organizing trade delegations to the Gulf and other parts of the world.
Mr. Hans Fraikin, CBC Board member, was present at the meeting and engaged the participants, asking them about their respective companies and products and about their expectations to penetrate the Abu Dhabi food market. All of them were able to arrange side meetings at the Gulfood and thought that there were real business opportunities to explore in Abu Dhabi, for the lobster company representative as well as the berry company. Ms. Preston spoke about an innovative and first of its kind approach by a Canadian seafood company to sell de-shelled frozen lobsters in plastic wrap, ready for cooking (7 minutes). CBC put her in touch with Etihad Airways, as she expressed her interest in introducing the product to Airline companies.
Ms. Lee inquired about opportunities of collaboration with the CBC. She wanted to explore the possibility of holding a networking events in Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The Ontario Ministry Luncheon was cited as an example of a successful networking event that was organized by the CBC. Ms. Lee expressed her interest to stay in touch with the CBC as a partner and a valued contact in the UAE.