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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
MONTREAL, Quebec, 31st May, 2018 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the office of the Canadian Space Agency, CSA, in Quebec as part of his official visit to Canada. He was accompanied by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence; and Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah heard a presentation given by CSA President Sylvain Laporte on the agency's work and programmes.
The UAE Minister and his accompanying delegation proceeded to tour the Agency's facilities, which were equipped with advanced systems used to contribute towards developing Canada's national space sector.
Sheikh Abdullah lauded the Canadian space programme which is administered by the Agency, recognising Canada as one of the leading industrial countries in the field of space science advanced innovations.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs also expressed the UAE's interest to further boost cooperation with Canada in the sector, in light of yesterday's signing of an Memorandum of Understanding between the space agencies of both countries.
Canada's space programme dates back to the post-World War II period, and the country's government agencies continued their commitment to develop and boost the progress of the sector to meet national requirements, hence making it one of the leading countries in its use of innovative technology in the field of space science and the telecommunications satellite industry.
He also visited the headquarters of CAE, a Canadian manufacturer of simulation technologies, modelling technologies and training services.
Shaikh Abdullah experiences a simulation system during tour of the CAE headquartersin Montreal. The UAE foreign minister also visited the headquarters of Element AI.
Montreal: Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited the headquarters of “Element AI”, a Canadian artificial intelligence company, within the framework of his official visit to Canada.
Shaikh Abdullah also visited the headquarters of CAE Inc, a Canadian manufacturer of simulation technologies, modelling technologies and training services.
He was briefed on the mission of “Element AI” and its most prominent programmes, and lauded its work in AI research and development. Element AI was founded in 2016 by leading AI researchers in Montreal, and is pioneering an ‘AI-First World’ by turning the world’s most important AI research into transformative business applications.
While touring CAE Inc facilities and was briefed about its most prominent programmes that it offers as well as its simulation systems provided to customers, which will contribute to preparing qualified human resources to work in the aviation sector.
The UAE Minister also expressed the UAE’s interest to strengthen cooperation with these companies in order to exchange expertise and achieve mutual benefit that lead to the development of the AI and aviation sectors in both countries.
Shaikh Abdullah was accompanied by Dr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada.
SHEIKH ABDULLAH BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
30 May 2018
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Positive stories are easy to overlook among all the turmoil in the Middle East. The UAE, an Arab nation only a generation old, has worked hard to ensure that every woman has a chance to play a leading role in public and political life, that every girl receives an education and that women and girls are protected from the pernicious ideas propagated by extremists.
While admittedly starting from a low bar, women’s rights have improved in recent years elsewhere in the Middle East. This growing momentum in the region deserves to be acknowledged and fostered. It also needs to be protected from powerful forces in the region that still resist change and seek to push back against women’s rights. The costs of failure will be severe.
The Middle East, where 60 per cent of the population is below the age of 30, captures only a part of the vast potential of a young and increasingly well-educated population. We can tap into more of that potential by paying attention to the challenges women in the region face and by providing them with equal opportunity, equal pay and a strong voice in our societies.
Through the opportunities provided to women, the UAE has set an example for the region and aims to send a message of hope to the younger generation. The wasting of women’s talents must cease, and the status quo must change.
First, governments must place the empowerment of women at the top of their reform agendas. While commitment alone is not enough, it sets the stage for positive changes that can pave the way for women to pursue the same opportunities as men. This is why the UAE adopted a strategy for the advancement of women in 2015, which has set goals for achieving further equality in the workplace. Our commitment to women’s empowerment is also embedded in our constitution and other national plans, including strategies on youth and education.
The other solution we see as critical is that we do everything we can to remove the obstacles that are preventing women from accessing the same opportunities as men. Barriers can be brought down in many ways, including through affirmative action and temporary quotas, implementing new and revamped legislation, or promoting role models.
Indeed, through such policies, the UAE has opened opportunities that were previously not widely available to women.
In government, Emirati women occupy two-thirds of jobs, which is one of the highest percentages worldwide. The UAE has elected the first female speaker in any Arab parliament, setting an important precedent for the rest of the region. Nine ministers in our cabinet are women.
In the private sector, the UAE was the first Arab country and one of only a few nations around the world to pass legislation that makes it mandatory for Emirati women to be represented on the boards of all private companies. Several years later, the percentage of women board members in the private sector is getting closer to the global average.
We realize that increasing women’s participation in the labour force, with equal opportunity and pay to men, is crucial to the growth of our economy. This is why the UAE passed a law this year, which ensures that men and women receive equal pay for equal work, and further reaffirms our commitment to women’s empowerment.
Women and girls are a critical pillar of the UAE’s development assistance to other countries. By putting women at the heart of our assistance to rural communities, for instance, we have seen pockets of prosperous communities develop in some of the most difficult parts of the world. The UAE has also taken a strong stance for girls’ rights to education and will continue to ensure that its education-assistance policy is sensitive to gender barriers.
These are but a few examples of the UAE’s ongoing commitment to the empowerment of women. These results, and others, demonstrate that breaking down barriers for women and girls will help achieve positive and lasting change in the long run.
The measures we have taken were borne out of a conviction that, unless we support women, our country will not be able to reach its true potential. Prosperity is only achievable if men and women contribute as equal partners in development. And that when young people see the tangible and positive contributions women bring to society, they, too, will fully embrace this conviction.
In a region in which young people are particularly vulnerable to the forces of globalization and extremism, the empowerment of women cannot be a cosmetic development, but a more significant and enduring trend. We must continue working together to maintain the current momentum for women’s rights. As we see it in the UAE, every step we can take to empower women is a step in the right direction.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has met with Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence of Canada.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed cooperation ties between the UAE and Canada especially in the military, security and defence industry sectors. They also exchanged views on the latest developments in the region and discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Sheikh Abdullah reaffirmed the depth of relations between the two countries and the continued eagerness to strengthen them.
In turn, the Canadian Defence Minister praised the strong ties between the UAE and Canada, emphasising his keenness to enhance joint cooperation across various areas. He also praised the UAE's pioneering status at the regional and international levels and its initiatives to support the international community to bring stability and peace to the world.
The meeting was attended by Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada.
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