Minister of State Yelich Advocates for Canadian Interests in Asia and the Middle East

Extending Canada’s influence in India and the United Arab Emirates

December 2, 2013 - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today wrapped up a week-long visit to India and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), where she held meetings with government and business leaders to further Canada’s bilateral and commercial ties with the two countries.

In Mumbai on November 28 and 29, and in New Delhi on December 2, Minister of State Yelich spoke about how people-to-people ties and increased cooperation in a wide range of areas between Canada and India are helping to increase the value of bilateral merchandise trade. The recently announced Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) identified key areas where there are opportunities for cooperation between Canada and India, including energy, agriculture and agri-food, infrastructure and education.

“Canada and India have long-standing bilateral relations, built upon shared values of democracy and pluralism, and strong people-to-people links,” said Minister of State Yelich. “In recent years, we have been working to enhance bilateral cooperation in a number of areas of mutual priority, including energy and food security.”

Minister of State Yelich participated in the India Nuclear Energy Summit 2013, where she delivered opening remarks and visited the Canadian Pavilion, home to the exhibits of 12 Canadian organizations. Canada has a full array of nuclear technology, equipment and services to offer the growing nuclear-energy market. She also visited the Mumbai Port Authority to witness the delivery of pulses from Saskatchewan via the Asia-Pacific Gateway. India is an important market for Canadian farmers, particularly pulse producers.

The Minister of State also met with key Canadian and Indian business leaders during the Canada-India Business Council’s Third Annual Business Forum in Mumbai and at a reception for the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber in Delhi. In Delhi, she also spoke with Preneet Kaur, Minister of State of External Affairs, to discuss cooperation on a number of bilateral and multilateral issues, as well as how the Canada-India foreign investment promotion and protection agreement and the comprehensive economic partnership agreement would benefit businesses and citizens of both countries.

In 2012, the value of bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and India exceeded $5.2 billion. As of September 2013, the value of bilateral trade was up almost 3.4 percent over the first nine months of 2012.

During her brief stay in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), on November 30, Minister of State Yelich met with Canadian expatriates who are pursuing careers in many fields, including medicine, law, education, hospitality and business. The meeting was held at the Maple Leaf Restaurant, a Canadian-owned Montréal-style deli that features Canadian cuisine.

“Canada-U.A.E. trade, investment, innovation and education linkages are long-standing, growing and broad-based, covering partnership in a number of key sectors,” said the Minister of State. “I was pleased to have the opportunity to learn first-hand about how some of our recent government-to-government initiatives with the U.A.E. are helping to set the stage not just for deeper commercial ties, but also in the area of security and development, where we are working toward greater cooperation as part of a strategic partnership.”

In recent years, Canada and the U.A.E. have concluded a convention to eliminate double taxation and a nuclear cooperation agreement. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment and the establishment of the Canada-U.A.E. Business Council are increasing cooperation.

Canada-U.A.E. bilateral merchandise trade was worth $1.7 billion in 2012, making it Canada’s largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa.

Both India and the U.A.E. were identified as priority markets in the GMAP, which was announced on November 27, 2013, by the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.

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Adria Minsky
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Office of the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)

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