The first joint economic committee of the United Arab Emirates and Canada successfully concluded its first preparatory meeting in Ottawa, Canada. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of International Trade. The event also witnessed the participation and attendance of senior government officials from both countries.
H.E. Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, and Christine Hogan, Deputy Minister of International Trade, headed various discussions in the presence of representatives from both UAE and Canadian officials of several government institutions and agencies.
The meeting witnessed a discussion of the guidelines and framework for the increased cooperation between the two countries, especially across key sectors like small and medium enterprises (SMEs), innovation and investment. They also spoke about their strategic efforts to enhance cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, banking & financial services, education, healthcare, agriculture, food, cultural exchange and airline services.
H.E. Al-Shehhi shared that the launch of the first joint economic committee of the two countries represents significant importance as it is tasked with the promotion of economic relations while also exploring potential opportunities in cooperation across common interest sectors – further reflecting a positive impact on the volume of trade exchange between UAE and Canada, wherein last year saw the achievement of over USD 2.1 billion in trade, including free trade zones.
He also pointed out that the joint economic committee constitutes the appropriate framework for the development of bilateral relations in accordance with the interests of the two countries through the implementation of an efficient mechanism aimed at monitoring the decisions made in accordance to clear timetables, especially as they are held with the participation of a large number of government agencies and the private sector from both sides. Lastly, H.E. Al-Shehhi revealed that both countries are now also looking at ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of aviation and air transport.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Hogan spoke about the importance placed on the joint economic committee, which is tasked with building and developing a solid foundation of economic relations and providing more facilities for cooperation among investors.
Hogan explained that the two countries share similar visions on the further promotion of innovation and the development of the SME segment – adding that these two factors act as key drivers in the efforts to improve UAE-Canadian relations, particularly in strengthening cooperation and exchanging and sharing expertise.