Canada and Saudi Arabia Conclude Health Care Initiative

Harper Government committed to promoting Canadian expertise abroad

(No. 332 - October 13, 2010 - 11:50 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, participated in a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in health care between Canada and Saudi Arabia. The MOU will provide a broad platform for health cooperation between the two countries. Minister Van Loan witnessed the signing while visiting Saudi Arabia, where he is promoting closer economic and investment ties with Canada.

“This agreement will increase cooperation between our countries in health and medicine. It will create a positive environment for Canadian businesses to participate in major Saudi health care projects,” said Minister Van Loan. “Our government is committed to promoting Canadian expertise in key markets around the world, including Saudi Arabia.”

Thanks to this MOU, Canada and Saudi Arabia will be cooperating on a number of initiatives, including the exchange of information, lessons learned, best practices and specialists for mutually beneficial projects.

Minister Van Loan was joined at the ceremony by Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rabeeah, Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is expanding its health care system as part of its planned expenditures of $400 billion in its five-year development plan (2010 to 2014).

Over 10,000 Saudi government-sponsored students are studying in Canada, including 800 Saudi doctors and medical students pursuing graduate studies in Canada’s hospitals and universities. These students represent an annual positive economic impact on the Canadian economy of approximately $420 million.

For additional details on Minister Van Loan’s visit, please go to: Ministerial visit to Middle East.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304
monika.bujalska@international.gc.ca

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