This is an exciting time for the economic relationship between Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The volume of non-oil trade between the two countries reached C$2.7 billion (Dh7.7 billion) in 2015 (UAE Ministry of Economy). The UAE is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa, with Canadian merchandise exports at C$1.8 billion or Dh5.2 billion in 2016. Foreign Direct Investment from UAE to Canada totalled C$9.68 billion (Dh28 billion) in 2015 (Statistics Canada). That’s the big picture today.
In 2013, the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) emerged as a joint vision between two foreign ministers who saw potential for a more prosperous relationship. Indeed, an increasing number of leaders in the public and private sectors are keen to do business or to grow their activities in the UAE and Canada, two strategic markets that are gateways to even larger regional markets.
Success is on the rise. Brookfield Property Partners has joined with the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) on a US$1 billion development within Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) district. DP World operates the CENTREM terminal Port Metro Vancouver and bought the Fariview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert for C$580 million (US$457 million) in 2015. DP World partners with CDPQ to create a US $3.7 billion investment platform. These are just some examples.
I am honoured to be in this bilateral role and look forward to serving you. Together, we will be successful. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said, “Determination, strategy and vision for the future are our real resources in the quest for excellence and success.” At the CUBC, we live by this reminder.