United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States (U.S.), and Canada (October 21, 2020) – The Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) hosted a dialogue between the UAE Ambassador to the U.S., and leaders from Canada and the UAE, via videoconference, on October 21, 2020.

The event brought together leading figures, including Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba; UAE Ambassador to Canada H.E. Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani; Canadian Ambassador to the UAE H.E. Marcy Grossman; and CUBC Co-chair and Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, The Honourable Jean Charest.

Ambassador Al Otaiba outlined the UAE’s strategic vision that led to the achievement of the historic accord, and its foundation which is grounded in His Highness Sheikh Zayed’s core principles of inclusion and diversity that have been part of the Emirati DNA since the UAE’s founding 50 years ago. He also detailed the UAE’s important role in taking meaningful steps to speak out against extremism in order to promote peace and prosperity to the Middle East.

Ambassador Al Raqbani discussed with HE Al Otaiba the timing and significance of normalization for the region and the inspiration it could serve for the region’s youth, entrepreneurs and the global community. They discussed the Strategic Agenda for the Middle East that is outlined in the Accords and highlighted collaborative initiatives including direct flights, visa-free travel, and kosher certifications, that the two countries are already undertaking.

“The Abraham Accords are an historic achievement that promotes peace and prosperity in the Middle East, which will have a positive impact for the entire global community. The UAE is proud of its long-standing, strong relationship with Canada, and looks forward to building upon this valuable partnership to further enhance multilateral cooperation with Israel in promoting a more stable, prosperous and secure future, while continuing to stand by the Palestinian people.”

 H.E. Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada

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Turning to broader geopolitical issues, CUBC Co-chair The Honourable Jean Charest noted Canada’s support of the agreement and the strong relationship Canada enjoys with both the UAE and with Israel. In a dialogue with HE Al Otaiba, they explored the economic sector focuses between the two countries including agriculture and food security, emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, and healthcare, as well as the implications for Canada, a country with strong expertise in those areas. They invited Canadian and UAE businesses to take this development into consideration in their plans to diversify and expand their business.

As the world confronts a global pandemic, the UAE and Israel have offered a welcome sign of hope for the future. The Abraham Accords focus on economic collaboration and development in meaningful sectors, including agriculture and food security, energy and clean technology, and healthcare. The coming together of these two leading countries will generate exciting breakthroughs for the world. It also presents real opportunity for countries like Canada, a country with deep expertise in these areas, and strong trade relations with both the UAE and Israel.

–  The Honourable Jean Charest, CUBC Co-Chair and Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

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Ambassador Grossman concluded the discussion with HE Al Otaiba by exploring the significance of the people-to-people ties that will be fostered through the Abraham Accords, and drew parallels to Canada’s shared views and experiences around tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. She noted that the normalization agreement will increase the opportunities for the exchange of citizens through tourism and education, which will further serve to enhance the understanding of each other’s values and cultures. The Ambassador reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to diplomacy in the region as a foundation that will serve to create prosperity and an enduring peace.

“Canada welcomes the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel, both of whom are our strategic partners. The Abraham Accords are an historic achievement and a bold step in diplomacy to ensure greater stability, security, and prosperity in the region. Canada is pleased to support the bilateral relationship between the UAE and Israel, and to pursue the many opportunities and common aspirations that our three countries share.

  H.E. Marcy Grossman, Ambassador of Canada to the United Arab Emirates

[Quote] Mr. Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CUBC Co-Chair and CEO, Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company

A focus of the Strategic Agenda for the Middle East highlighted in the Abraham Accords is the expansion of trade cooperation. This presents vast opportunities for businesses in the region and around the world. As Co-Chair of the Canada-UAE Business Council, I have seen firsthand the successful trade partnerships between Canada and the UAE, and I encourage Canadian businesses to take this development into consideration in their plans to expand their business.

About the Canada-UAE Business Council

The Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) is an initiative spearheaded by the federal governments of the UAE and Canada to facilitate trade and business activity between the two countries.  This high-level business organization supports the development of long-term relationships and undertakes strategic and targeted initiatives to enhance business and trade opportunity between Canada and the UAE, by supporting Canadian business to conduct business in the UAE and UAE businesses to conduct business in Canada.