Minister Day Signs Agreement to Promote Trade Opportunities with Kuwait

(No. 329 - November 4, 2009 - 1:30 p.m. EST) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today signed an agreement on economic cooperation with Ahmad Rashed Al-Haroun, the Minister of Commerce and Industry for Kuwait, in Ottawa.

“Kuwait offers many opportunities for Canadian companies in the oil and gas sector, engineering and architectural services, agri-food and education,” said Minister Day. “In signing this new agreement with Kuwait, the Government of Canada is opening doors for Canadian business by establishing a framework by which both sides can work to increase trade and investment.”

The agreement’s objectives are:

  • To enhance economic relations in the fields of trade and investment;
  • To strengthen cooperation with a view to liberalizing trade and investment in accordance with national laws and international obligations;
  • To facilitate the increased involvement of the private sector in trade and investment cooperation; and 
  • To promote a favourable environment and complementary activities to encourage private-sector investment.

Minister Al-Haroun is leading a trade mission to Canada. Among the business delegation are members of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Kuwait Banking Association and the Investment Companies Association.

Kuwait has one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, with assets estimated at $200 billion. Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Kuwait in 2008 was valued at $195 million, almost a 70-percent increase over the previous year.

Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group of six nations that is a priority market for Canada. The GCC comprises the most prosperous countries in the Middle East, and it has a rapidly growing economy worth $1.1 trillion. Building on their immense success in the oil industry, the GCC countries are diversifying their economies and transforming the region into a world hub for business, finance and tourism.

Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and GCC nations reached $5.6 billion in 2008, a 37-percent increase from 2007.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade
and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000