CANADA-UAE BUSINESS COUNCIL APPOINTS HIGH-PROFILE CO-CHAIRS
Former Québec Premier Jean Charest and Mubadala Investment Company CEO of Petroleum & Petrochemicals Musabbeh Al Kaabi will drive council’s goal of promoting greater trade and investment between Canada and the United Arab Emirates
Toronto/Abu Dhabi, March 1, 2018: The Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) is pleased to announce two new co-chairs. Jean Charest becomes the Canada representative, and has a distinguished background in federal and provincial politics. Musabbeh Al Kaabi becomes the UAE chairman, and is one of the most respected business leaders in the UAE. These new co-chairs will help the CUBC to spearhead efforts to build closer economic ties that will benefit businesses and create jobs in both countries.
The CUBC works collaboratively with government, business, and civil society partners to promote the bilateral economic and cultural relationship, and to identify and address areas of unrealized potential. According to Mustafa Sahin, President & Executive Director of the Canada-UAE Business Council, “these two well-respected appointees bring a powerful blend of political and business experience to the CUBC. Their combined experience will help to ensure that the Canada-UAE relationship is a top priority of both governments in the years ahead. I congratulate Jean and Musabbeh and look forward to working with them.”
Mr. Al Kaabi has served as a senior leader at Mubadala since 2013. He is currently CEO of Petroleum & Petrochemicals. Mubadala is Abu Dhabi’s leading investment company with assets totaling C$161 billion in 13 sectors and more than 30 countries. In December 2017, Mubadala subsidiary Nova Chemicals announced an investment of C$2 billion to expand its facility in Sarnia, Canada. The investment will create 145 direct jobs, and 1,400 indirect jobs in the region.
“The existing trade and investment ties between Canada and the UAE are already strong, but are not well recognized,” said Mr. Al Kaabi. “The UAE is already one of the biggest investors in Canada, and supports jobs across the country. Through the CUBC, we will promote the existing success of the relationship, and work to grow significantly trade and investment between our countries across a broad range of sectors such as education, health, agriculture, and AI.”
The Honorable Jean Charest, Partner at Montreal law firm McCarthy Tétrault, brings over 30 years of public sector and political experience, most notably in his role as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada in 1993, and as Premier of Québec between 2003 and 2012. Mr. Charest is a strong advocate for free trade, championing the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) from initiation through to implementation. Of the Canada-UAE relationship, he said: “Our countries share a common view that free trade and open markets are fundamental pillars of economic success and job creation. The UAE is already Canada’s biggest export market in the Middle East, and Canadian companies can significantly grow their exports from the UAE to the rest of the world. This is an exciting relationship with great potential.”
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About the Canada-UAE Economic Relationship
The UAE is Canada’s biggest export market in the Middle East. There are more than 40,000 Canadians living in the UAE and over 150 Canadian companies are registered in the country. Examples of brands are Tim Hortons, Lululemon, Blackberry, Aldo Shoes, and BMO. The UAE is also a major investor in Canada with estimated foreign direct investment totaling over $20 billion. Both countries are significant markets alone, but also have great potential as hubs for their respective wider economic regions.
About the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC)
The Canada-UAE Business Council is the premier business-led organisation facilitating greater trade and investment between Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Established in 2013 under the directive of the Canada and UAE foreign ministers, the non-profit organisation provides a forum to stimulate business relations between Canada and the UAE and promotes the growth of the Canada-UAE economic relationship. Examples of member companies are Mubadala and Etihad Airways on the UAE side and Canadian companies EllisDon and Brookfield. For more information, visit www.canadauaebusiness.org