Mutual trade on the increase between Canada and UAE

Canada's exports to the UAE rise by 13 per cent over same period last year with improving relations.

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Exports from Canada to the UAE rose in the first seven months of the year on the back of improving relations between the two countries.

From January to July, Canadian exports to the UAE increased 13 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Investments from the UAE into Canada also increased, led by the energy sector, where about US$7.5 billion has been invested so far. The UAE has also become a hub for re-export of Canadian goods in the Arabian Gulf.

Last year, trade between the two countries had touched $1.7bn.

Meanwhile, Sultan Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, met Ed Fast, the Canadian trade minister, in Montreal ahead of the first meeting of the UAE-Canadian Business Council.

The council was set up on October 1.

“We believe that this is an excellent forum for our respective countries and businesses to continue collaborating with one another and expanding this strategic partnership,” said Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi,  the director general of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and the vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa). “We share a deep history of trade and commerce. We would like to build on this.”

He is also a co-president of the council.

The council wants to attract investments from the private sector of both countries in the areas of energy, mining, information and communications technology, financial services, education, health care, agriculture and food products.

Diplomatic relations between the countries touched a low in 2010 after a dispute over landing rights for UAE carriers in Canada, followed by a denial of visa-free travel for Canadians to the UAE.

In May, Canadians were again permitted to travel to the UAE without a visa.

About 40,000 Canadians live and work in the UAE, according to the Canadian embassy.