March 18, 2009 (4 p.m. EDT)
No. 71

Minister Day Signs Agreement to Promote Trade Opportunities with United Arab Emirates

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today concluded a successful visit to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) by signing an agreement on economic cooperation, trade and investment with Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansouri, the U.A.E.’s Minister of Economy.

“This agreement will set the stage for more trade opportunities for Canadian business in this dynamic economy,” said Minister Day. “It will generate new economic activities between our two countries and will help support the efforts of our private sectors in their business ventures. Canadian companies have proven to be world-class competitors, and opening doors for Canadian companies is something that I will pursue vigorously.”

While in Dubai, Minister Day met with senior executives of Emaar Properties PJSC, which is one of the biggest developers in the U.A.E. and the world and has interests in British Columbia. Emaar’s projects include the Dubai Mall, the largest in the world, and Burj Dubai, the tallest building. While touring Burj Dubai, the Minister witnessed the ingenuity of Canadian enterprises such as Crystal Fountains Inc., GSM Design, NORR Ltd., Nortel Networks Corp. and RWDI Inc., all of which are involved in the construction of this global architectural wonder.

Minister Day also visited Emirates CAE Flight Training, which employs flight simulators from Canadian world leader CAE Inc. to train pilots from the UAE and around the world.

To showcase one distinctly Canadian business venture in the region, he visited the Dubai Mall, which houses a state-of-the-art ice rink. CIMCO Refrigeration was a major technology supplier for the rink. The Minister also took time to meet with the Canadians who play on the Dubai Mighty Camels hockey team.

Minister Day also participated at a reception co-hosted by the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The Minister concluded his visit by attending a performance of Alegría by the world-famous, Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil. Alegría is the second show Cirque du Soleil has presented in the Middle East.

“The United Arab Emirates is Canada’s most important export market in the Middle East,” said Minister Day. “There is no doubt that a closer economic relationship with the United Arab Emirates will help Canadian businesses thrive in this market and benefit Canadian consumers and workers back home.”

The U.A.E. is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa, with two-way trade totalling $1.8 billion in 2008. Canadian merchandise exports to the U.A.E. totalled $1.5 billion in 2008, a 28.8-percent increase over 2007. Merchandise imports from the U.A.E. to Canada totalled $330.2 million for the same year.

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For further information, and high-resolution pictures of Minister Day’s visit to the U.A.E., 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