We are proud of the over 38 years of strong diplomatic relations that the United Arab Emirates and Canada have established with each other. Our bilateral relations were originally founded upon solid commercial ties, and mutually complimentary value systems. However, we have been proud to witness the dramatic increase in trade activity, and the flourishing of our relations in all spheres over the years.
When the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Canada was first established in 1999, the total bilateral trade between our two countries stood at 365 million dollars, while by the end of 2011 it had increased to over 2 billion dollars. This represents a growth rate of more than 481% over twelve years, and it is expected to reach the same level in 2012.
In fact, the UAE is now Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa region, and is one of its major trade partners on the world stage. Canadian exports in goods to the UAE market stood at more than $1 billion for five years in a row.
To further develop our strong trade relations, the UAE Minister of Economy, His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori and Canada’s Minister of International Trade at the time, the Honourable Stockwell Day, signed a bilateral agreement in March of 2009 to further enhance economic cooperation, trade and investment.
Furthermore, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Affairs Minister, together with his Canadian counterpart, the Honourable John Baird, signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement during His Highness’s recent visit to Ottawa on September 18, 2012. This is another testimony to the strong trust, and bilateral ties that are ever strengthening at a time when the UAE and Canada are also working to establish a Canada-UAE Business Council as a way to deepen business, investment and trade relations.
The United Arab Emirates and Canada share a vibrant and diverse bilateral relationship from close political cooperation to the exchange of students. The two countries also actively exchange reciprocal visits in all areas of governance, from health care to education.