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  • 30 July 2018 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Who will need to give fingerprints and photo (biometrics)?

    • a visitor visa
    • a work or study permit (excluding U.S. nationals)
    • permanent residence, or
    • refugee or asylum status

    Depending on your nationality, you may need to give your biometrics as soon as this summer

    • Starting July 31, 2018 – applicants from Europe, Middle East and Africa
    • Starting December 31, 2018 – applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas

    There are some exemptions:

    • Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents
    • visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
    • children under the age of 14
    • applicants over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants)
    • heads of state and heads of government
    • cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business
    • U.S. visa holders transiting through Canada
    • refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit
    • temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress

    Temporary exemption: Applying in Canada

    If you are applying for a visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence in Canada – you are exempt until the in-Canada service is established.

    How often you need to give your fingerprintsand photo

    Visitor visa, study and work permit applicants

    You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. You don’t need to give your biometrics until the 10-year period expires.

    If you’re from one these 29 countries/1 territory and you have a valid visitor visa, or a study or work permit, when you submit an application:

    • BEFORE July 31, 2018, you must give your biometrics again (even if you gave them in the past).
    • ON or AFTER July 31, 2018, you don’t need to give your biometrics again if they’re still valid.
      • Your biometrics will stay valid for 10 years from the date you gave them.

    Permanent residence applicants

    You will need to give your biometrics and pay the fee, regardless of whether you gave your biometrics in the past to support a visitor visa, study or work permit application, or a different permanent resident application. 

    How much it costs

    • Individual applicants: CAD$85
    • Families applying together at the same time: maximum total fee of CAD$170
    • Groups of 3 or more performing artists and their staff who apply for work permits at the same time: maximum total fee of CAD$255

    Why the Government of Canada collects biometrics

    Biometrics collection is recognized globally as a reliable, accurate tool for establishing identity. More than 70 countries around the world are using biometrics in their immigration programs.

    Biometrics collection allows the Government of Canada to effectively manage identity, facilitate application processing and simplify entry for travellers with legitimate identities. It helps deter, detect and stop the entry of those who pose a risk to the health, safety and security of Canadians.

    How the Government of Canada uses collected biometrics

    Biometrics will provide immigration officers with additional information to help make decisions on a person’s admissibility and by simplifying the travel of low-risk individuals.

    The fingerprints are stored by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the National Repository and checked against its immigration and criminal records. The biometric check confirms if someone applied to enter Canada before using the same or a different identity, has a previous Canadian criminal record, or has been removed from Canada before.

    Biometrics-based information sharing with the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will further support the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, in a manner that respects Canada’s privacy laws, civil liberties and human rights commitments, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    At the border, the Canada Border Services Agency will be able to quickly and accurately confirm whether a traveller’s identity is legitimate. This will contribute to more efficient and timely entry for travellers.

    At 8 major Canadian airports, fingerprint verification will be automatically conducted at a primary inspection kiosk.

    At other airports and land ports of entry, discretionary fingerprint verification will be conducted by a border services officer upon referral to secondary inspection, where the traveller’s identity will be verified to ensure that the person seeking entry to Canada is the same person who was approved overseas.

    Source: www.canada.ca

  • 27 July 2018 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From visiting friends and family to getting goods to markets around the world, Canadians rely on a robust aviation industry with diverse international air services. Expanding Canada’s existing air transport relationships allows airlines to improve their service offerings, which means more options and convenience for passengers and businesses.

    The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced the successful conclusion of expanded air transport agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

    The Canada-Egypt air transport agreement has been expanded to allow designated airlines to operate up to seven passenger flights per week, up from four. In addition, designated airlines now can serve any city in the other country’s territory.

    The expanded Canada-United Arab Emirates air transport agreement allows each government to allocate 68 per cent more capacity among its designated air carriers (i.e. the number of seats that carriers can sell). This agreement also now contains four dedicated frequencies for all-cargo flights for the first time.

    The new rights under the expanded agreements are available for use by airlines immediately.


    “These expanded air transport agreements with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are a positive development for air transport relations between our countries. We are pleased to expand these relationships with additional flexibility for airlines to serve these growing markets. These expanded agreements will continue to facilitate tourism, trade and investment between Canada and these countries and help our businesses grow and succeed.”

    The Honourable Marc Garneau
    Canada’s Minister of Transport

    “Canada’s commercial relationships with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are strong and growing. These expanded agreements will help Canadian companies grow and diversify their markets by making the movement of goods and people faster and easier."

    The Honourable Jim Carr
    Minister of International Trade Diversification

    Source: www.canada.ca

  • 18 July 2018 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Amarjeet Sohi, centre, stands with Trudeau and Governor General Julie Payette after being sworn in as minister of natural resources Wednesday. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made significant changes to his cabinet, bringing five new ministers to the table and creating new portfolios for seniors, intergovernmental affairs and border security.

    The retooled cabinet signals the government's intent to ease trade dependence on the U.S., address concerns about border control, and bolster political forces in key regions in the run-up to next year's federal election.

    In one surprise move, Bill Blair, a former Toronto police chief who has been the government's point man on the marijuana legalization file, was appointed minister of border security and organized crime reduction. He will also be in charge of managing the hot-button issue of irregular migration with asylum seekers crossing into Canada from the U.S.

    Other new ministers added to the cabinet today:

    Ministers with new or changed duties:

    • Dominic LeBlanc moves from Fisheries and Oceans to Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.
    • Amarjeet Sohi moves from Infrastructure to Natural Resources.
    • Carla Qualtrough, remains minister of public services and procurement and gets the added portfolio of Accessibility.
    • Jim Carr moves from Natural Resources to International Trade Diversification.
    • Mélanie Joly goes from Heritage to minister of tourism, official languages and la francophonie.
    • François-Philippe Champagne moves from International Trade to Infrastructure and Communities.
    • Treasury Board President Scott Brison also becomes minister of digital government.
    • Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett has "northern affairs" dropped from her title.
    • Government House Leader Bardish Chagger is no longer in charge of tourism and small business.

    In a news conference after the swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall, Trudeau said the focus on innovation and trade is a response, in part, to the constantly changing international context.

    "There is certainly a level of clarity for Canadians, for businesses, for everyone across this country that we need to diversify our markets. We need to ensure that we are not as dependent on the United States," he said.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet today at Rideau Hall 2:02

    Calling it a "desperate attempt" to hit the reset button before the next election, Deputy Conservative Leader Lisa Raitt said the shuffle is an acknowledgement that the government has failed to deliver results on trade, pipelines and infrastructure.

    "It's the last-ditch attempt to finish that homework at the last minute, to try and get the approval when they go to the election next time," she said.

    Canadians will judge

    "I don't think it's going to make one whit of difference. Canadians are going to judge upon what is being delivered."

    Francois-Philippe Champagne, left, touches the arm of Pablo Rodriguez as he waits to be called forward to be sworn in as minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism. Bill Blair, right, watches during the swearing-in ceremony. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

    LeBlanc's new job will be to smooth the waters in a changing domestic political landscape with a new premier in Ontario, elections on the horizon in New Brunswick, Quebec and Alberta, and simmering disputes over pipelines, carbon taxes and interprovincial trade.

    With several issues of potential tension with new Ontario Premier Doug Ford, LeBlanc said the federal and provincial governments share a common interest in strengthening the economy and creating more jobs.

    "There'll be a lot more, I think, that we have in common than we may disagree on, and my job will be to work with all of these leaders in a way that advances the interests of Canadians," he said.

    The cabinet shakeup boosts the number of ministers from Ontario and Quebec, where the Liberals need to win more seats in the next election to offset potential losses elsewhere.

    Read more at www.cbc.ca

  • 15 July 2018 3:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE's Minister of Energy & Industry, who was joined by His Excellency Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Canada, visited Calgary in Canada's western Province of Alberta from July 8-11, to attend the inaugural Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) Symposium, the Stampede Investment Forum, and serve as the key-note speaker at the TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference.

    Minister Al Mazrouei met with officials from the Canadian federal government, including Canada's Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, Alberta's Premier Rachel Notley, the province's Minister of Energy Margaret Ellen McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Agriculture Oneil John Carlier, as well as several other federal and provincial parliamentarians, and the Canadian business community to explore ways to improve the already strong relationship between the UAE with the Province of Alberta and Canada.

    In the presence of Minister Al Mazrouei and Ambassador Al Raqbani, Alberta's Minister of Economic Development & Trade Deron Bilous announced that the Government of Alberta will be opening a representational office in the UAE (in the fall) to broaden Alberta-UAE ties.

    His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei commended the Alberta decision and remarked, 'We welcome this step from the Alberta government to establish a representation office in the UAE, which will promote new opportunities."

    Minister Bilous spoke of the establishment of this new office as a next step in UAE-Alberta bilateral relations following his impressive visit last year to the UAE, and stressed the importance of the UAE market for Alberta; referring to the UAE and Canada as 'natural partners'.

    Minister Al Mazrouei emphasized to  government officials and the business sector of the importance of the Alberta and Canadian relationship for the UAE. He pointed out that the current relationship just touched 'the tip of the iceberg', and discussed key sectors which could be enhanced between the two countries from innovation, AI, food security, to green technology.

    Minister Al Mazrouei also encouraged Canadians to take advantage of the $150 billion of investment opportunities available over the next five years in UAE.

    Minister Al Mazrouei also highlighted the value of the UAE's unique global positioning as a gateway to the broader regions of Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East - with the UAE being just an eight hour flight from two thirds of the world's population; encouraging Alberta and Canada to take full advantage of this.

    His Excellency emphasized that the true mark of successful bilateral relations is when both sides have reciprocal investment relationships in each other's country market.

    Minister Al Mazrouei extended his appreciation to the Government of Alberta for their hospitality during his visit, and looked forward to future visits and cooperation from various levels of government between the two countries.

    Source: www.moei.gov.ae

  • 11 July 2018 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Canada-UAE Business Council facilitating long-term relationships to improve overall market-accessibility between the two countries.

    Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Co-Chair of Canada-UAE Business Council and CEO, Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company. Courtesy CERAWeek by IHS Markit

    This week will see an important gathering in Calgary hosted by the Canada-UAE Business Council that will contribute to the growing relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Canada. I am pleased to be participating in my role as Co-Chair of the Council, a relatively young organisation, which is facilitating long-term relationships to improve overall market-accessibility between the two countries.

    Since its inception in 2013, the Business Council has explored areas to spur trade and investment and build on the advance in relations between the two governments, with increasing momentum.

    Nevertheless, while the synergies between the UAE and Canada are plentiful, the full extent of the cooperation between the two countries remains relatively unknown.

    Exploring today’s cooperation

    Canada has been a part of our story since the formation of the UAE, and the parallels between the two countries are striking.

    Economic growth in both nations has been built on natural resources, and oil and gas in particular, with more recent investments in petrochemicals, infrastructure and renewable energy. New opportunities are emerging for collaboration in these and other sectors as we look to the next industrial age through innovation and diversification, and advance into nascent sectors such as artificial intelligence and space industries.

    Elsewhere, we have a similar federal government structure and our strategic geographical locations, with bordering powerhouse nations and partners in Saudi Arabia and the United States, respectively, have ensured we have an active voice in international cooperation.

    Beyond investment within economic and trade strategies, common social values have intertwined this relationship. We are committed to ensuring equal rights, tolerance and cohesion forms the social fabric of our nations. Indeed, at a time when the Middle East and many corners of the world are facing a tumultuous shift and the threat of extremism looms, bilateral relationships are forged to ensure a stable foundation and safeguard future progress.

    Social and economic ties

    Today, there are currently 40,000 Canadians living in the UAE, enjoying the security and lifestyle the country has to offer. There are also 150 Canadian companies operating across the UAE, all playing a significant part in the economic advancement and transformation we, as a nation, are engaged in.

    Equally, Canada has long invited UAE nationals to enter its higher education ecosystem. Knowledge transfer for our younger generation - be it curriculum led or within business areas - is a critical area of collaboration that continues today. Furthermore, earlier this year Canada confirmed that Emiratis will be able to travel visa-free to the country, an agreement that was ratified between Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Canada's Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade.

    This solidarity has also supported UAE-based companies in strengthening investment agreements on Canadian soil.

    As a representative of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company, I have seen this partnership in action and proudly seen first-hand how the UAE’s investment in Canada has now reached over $20 billion.

    Our operations in Canada and North America are an important pillar to our international expansion story. Today, we have live investments within Canada across a diverse range of sectors including energy, renewables, health care and education.

    UAE-Canadian success stories

    NOVA Chemicals lies at the heart of our petroleum and petrochemicals portfolio, and is one of North America’s leading polyethylene producers, developing a range of innovative products to meet the increasing complex requirements of its customers. As well as featuring in a wide range of everyday products, polyethylene is an important contributor to a new generation of strong lightweight materials that are vital to support new technological advances such as electric vehicles, personal communications devices and high voltage cabling. We are supporting NOVA’s Canadian growth strategy, with investment at its Ontario operations expected to exceed C$2bn (Dh5.59bn).

    Staying within the petrochemical sector, Mubadala’s integrated energy company Cepsa has a plant in Quebec producing linear alkylbenzene (LAB). LAB is the essential material in the production of biodegradable detergents and Cepsa is a global leader, with total production representing 15 per cent of world supply.

    These investments have a positive impact on the Canadian communities in which they operate, providing job opportunities, building human capital and infrastructure, and contributing to long-term economic prosperity.

    Future-proofing the relationship

    Through these investments, I have had the pleasure of visiting the operations of various UAE business interests on trips to Canada. We also regularly welcome over 50 Canadian companies at ADIPEC, one of the world’s largest oil and gas conferences, held annually in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, I am new to the role as Co-Chair of Canada-UAE Business Council.

    I was appointed just a few months ago, but it is a position that has already provided me with an enormous sense of pride. It is extremely humbling to be a part of a dialogue that is adding new voices to the cooperation between the UAE and Canada.

    This week I am travelling to Canada alongside a high-level UAE delegation, including Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy & Industry, and a number of world-leading UAE companies. Facilitated by the Business Council, we will participate alongside like-minded Canadian partners at various meetings as part of the Calgary Stampede and Stampede Investment Forum, and continue our dialogue in the Council’s own Symposium.

    As I prepare for the trip, one thought is evident; it is more important than ever for bilateral relationships to protect and increase global prosperity.

    For the UAE and Canada, I’m confident our nations will continue to deepen ties that will have a lasting impact. In Canada, the UAE has a world respected partner and ally.

    Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Co-Chair of Canada-UAE Business Council and Chief Executive Officer, Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company.

    Source: The National
  • 11 July 2018 3:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous. ED KAISER / POSTMEDIA

    Alberta is seeking to hire a trade representative in the United Arab Emirates as Canada’s energy-rich province looks to bolster its business in the Middle East.

    The provincial government said Wednesday it will spend $600,000 on a three-year-contract to hire a trade specialist in the country, likely based out of Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

    The move comes as Alberta strives to attract more investment from the UAE, as well as open new export markets for provincial companies.

    “As a region, it acts as a hub in the Middle East and having a presence will help Alberta companies access the market,” said Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous, while meeting in Calgary with UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

    “There are significant advantages with having someone in market, on the ground, to promote Alberta.”

    Alberta already has 12 trade offices around the world — in countries such as China, India, Mexico, Japan and the United States — and is currently hiring a trade representative in San Francisco to attract business in Silicon Valley.

    The new UAE trade specialist is expected to be in place by December, given the job of generating new investment leads and bolstering economic ties between Alberta and the Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  

    The UAE is a growing global financial centre, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — Al Mazrouei is currently the group’s president — and has the world’s seventh-largest petroleum reserves, generating an estimated US$65 billion in hydrocarbon exports last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

    The bilateral trade between Alberta and the UAE has averaged $261 million over the past four years.

    About half of the $30 billion the UAE has invested in Canada in the past decade flowed into Alberta, with Nova Chemicals owned by Mubadala Investment Co. of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

    Taqa North, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.’s North American subsidiary, is based in Calgary, and spent more than $7 billion on oilpatch acquisitions last decade.

    Aside from petrochemicals, oil and natural gas, Al Mazrouei said the UAE is looking at potential investments and opportunities in Alberta renewable energy, food security, artificial intelligence, robotics and electrification.

    “There are lots of exciting technologies, businesses, that Alberta has. The promotion of those cannot be done from remote distances, considering how far (apart) the two countries are,” he said.

    “Having someone there to link the companies here with their counterparts in the Emirates is a good step forward in promoting the businesses . . . but, at the same time, (it) helps us as well as investors to evaluate” opportunities in Alberta, he added.

    Source: www.calgaryherald.com

  • 01 July 2018 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ABU DHABI, 1st July, 2018 (WAM) -- President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory cable to Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, on the occasion of Canada Day.

    Similar greetings were sent to the Governor General by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

    Source: Emirates News Agency

  • 25 June 2018 1:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Emmanuel Kamarianakis, Consul-General of Canada to Dubai, leaving mission for Canada in August.

    Derek Baldwin, Chief Reporter

    Dubai: A new consul general will soon be measuring the curtains in the large corner office at the Canadian Consulate in Dubai and Northern Emirates overlooking Shaikh Zayed Road from Emirates Towers.

    Come early August, Emmanuel Kamarianakis, Consul-General of Canada to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, will be reassigned to a new posting in Canada’s capital of Ottawa later this year.

    One of the more popular Canadian diplomats to advance the Canadian bilateral mission in the UAE in recent years, Kamarianakis’ departure from his four-year term in Dubai is being met with a sense of loss at the consulate and within the Canadian expatriate community now numbering 40,000 strong.

    Kamarianakis, 50, was a regular fixture at a string of community events ranging from annual Canada Day gatherings and Canada’s 150th sesquicentennial celebrations organised by the consulate in 2017 to visits by trade and business groups to the UAE.

    The veteran diplomat has nothing but praise for his UAE and Dubai hosts as he looks back at a career starting in the early 1990s which saw Kamarianakis named to embassy outposts down through three decades such as Tehran, Athens, Mexico City and Rome.

    When he was assigned to the Canadian mission in Tehran from 1995 to 1998, Kamarianakis said he made a number of quick jaunts across the Gulf to visit Dubai for getaways from the every day.

    “That was the first time I visited Dubai — we used to come for little trips, to go out, do some shopping and to experience this great city,” he told Gulf News.

    While he is eager to work in his home country after a long tour of duty, he said he will definitely miss the UAE.

    “One of the things that made a strong impression on me is how much ‘Canada’ there is in the UAE. We estimate over 40,000 Canadian citizens live here, there is a very large community of Canadian companies based in the UAE, we have a dynamic and successful Canadian Business Council with over 500 members and we are fortunate to have many Emiratis who collaborate regularly with Canadians in business, cultural and government circles,” he said.

    Canadian expats are fortunate, he said, to have many tastes of home in Dubai thanks to a large presence of Canadian food brands.

    “I admit that we enjoy access to the many Canadian brands available here in Dubai. I don’t think there are many (if any!) cities outside of Canada that have Tim Hortons, Second Cup Coffee, Big Smoke Burger, Beavertails, Pita Pit, Lululemon, Felix & Norton Cookies, Aldo Shoes, Eggspectations, etc. There are also great Canadian food products in Dubai’s amazing restaurants and supermarkets,” he said.

    One of the reasons Canadian expatriates enjoy such a high quality of life is due to the UAE’s open-minded, innovative approach to the future and international relations, he said.

    “I’d add that a particular theme that has resonated with me has been the commitment of the UAE and of Dubai to the concept of innovation. In everything from government services to technology accelerators in fintech and health care to philanthropy. It is impressive to see this country invest in globally-significant ventures and to see it dream big such as the UAE’s planned mission to Mars,” he said.

    “Canada is proud to be an innovation partner for the UAE and I was particularly happy to see the UAE Space Agency recently sign a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Space Agency during the visit of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] to Canada in May 2018.”

    Kamarianakis thanked Canadian Ambassador Masud Hussain and mission staff, noting: “I would like to thank my colleagues at the Canadian Consulate in Dubai for all that they do, every day, to help Canada and Canadians. I may be a bit biased, but I think they are the best consulate in Dubai.”

    Source: www.gulfnews.com

  • 06 June 2018 12:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ABU DHABI, 12th June 2018 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates and Canada signed on Tuesday an agreement on consular affairs and services, with the aim of consolidating cooperation in all consular services and related affairs between the countries.

    The agreement calls for setting up a joint consular committee to provide consular services to citizens of the two countries.

    Ahmed Al Ham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Masud Husain, Ambassador of Canada to the UAE, signed the agreement at the MoFAIC headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

    Commenting on the agreement, Yasser Al Shemaili, Director of Consular Services at the MoFAIC, stressed the importance of cooperation in the area of consular services given its pivotal role in strengthening bilateral relations.

    He referred to the positive developments in the UAE-Canadian ties, following the recent signing of an MOU that allows UAE citizens to visit Canada without entry visas from 6th June 2018.

    Ambassador Masud Hussain praised the UAE's leading position at regional and international levels and its vital economic and commercial role.

    WAM/Hassan Bashir

    Source: Emirates News Agency

  • 02 June 2018 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Higher frequency of flights will further strengthen business ties between the two trading partners.

    Sultan Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, has met with the Canadian Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and discussed ways to develop joint cooperation in the air transport field, WAM reported on Saturday. Delores Johnson / The National

    The UAE and Canada are exploring the possibility of increasing the number of direct flights between the two countries in a bid to further strengthen their existing business ties.

    Economy Minister Sultan Al Mansouri has met with the Canadian Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and discussed joint co-operation in air transport, the official news agency Wam reported yesterday.

    There is a need to develop aspects of co-operation in the field of aviation and air services, to keep abreast of the current development in bilateral relations between the two countries and to enhance the investment opportunities offered in many vital sectors, Mr Al Mansouri told the meeting, which was also attended by Fahad Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada and a number of senior Canadian officials.

    He said increasing the number of direct flights will shorten geographical distances and achieve better communication between the business community and investors, and increase the volume of trade and tourism.

    Effective June 5, Emiratis will be able to enjoy visa-free travel to Canada. The change will allow UAE nationals to stay for up to six months for business or tourism. Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, announced the provision during a meeting with the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed last week.

    The UAE, which is home to two of the major Middle East carriers, is strengthening economic and trade relations with Canada.

    Both countries have taken steps to “create the necessary legislative structure” to increase private sector co-operation and opening up of the markets through a number of agreements.

    Establishment of the Joint Economic Committee and the formation of the UAE-Canada Business Council are also part of these steps, according to Wam.

    Source: www.thenational.ae

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