CUBC Board of Directors Meeting Montreal

Strengthening Bilateral Ties: Highlights from the Canada-UAE Business Council's Visit to Canada

Montreal, Canada (May 23rd, 2024) - Senior executives representing leading Canadian and Emirati businesses convened for the Canada-UAE Business Council (CUBC) bi-annual Board of Directors meeting and related visit on Wednesday, May 22nd and Thursday, May 23rd 2024, in Montreal, Quebec (Canada).

The visit was led by CUBC Co-Chairs the Honourable Jean Charest, Partner, Therrien Couture Joli-Coeur and Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Director, Low Carbon Solutions and International Growth, ADNOC, and sought to further enhance the economic partnership between Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through productive sectorial  engagements.

CUBC Meeting with Minister Joly

During the event, the CUBC delegation met with Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Mélanie Joly; with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Hon. François-Philippe Champagne; and with the Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, the Hon. Harjit Sajjan. Discussions delved into current developments and issues of mutual interest between the two nations, reaffirming their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties.

The delegation also met with Eric Girard, Minister of Finance of Quebec, who shared his insights on economic policies and priorities during a dinner hosted by the Business Council.

CUBC Meeting with Quebec Minister of Finance

The Board of Directors visit included enlightening engagements with institutions at the forefront of innovation. A trip to Mila - the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute - provided insights into cutting-edge research and potential collaboration opportunities in the field of artificial intelligence. 

Additionally, a visit to the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) facilitated discussions on strategic investments and showcased the Group's commitment to fostering international partnerships for economic growth.

CUBC Meeting with CDPQ

The Canada-UAE Business Council hosted during the visit its bi-annual Board of Directors meeting, where it established its policy priorities for 2024 and reviewed initiatives aimed at advancing bilateral commercial relations.

CUBC Board of Directors Meeting Montreal

In his opening statement, the Hon. Jean Charest highlighted the role of the Canada-UAE Business Council in promoting trade and investment between Canada and the United Arab Emirates by fostering new opportunities and building strong connections between the two nations.

He noted that the bilateral commercial relationship is approaching $45 billion, with bilateral trade between the two countries totaling $3 billion and foreign direct investment stock standing at $30 billion for United Arab Emirates investments in Canada. Meanwhile, Canadian pension funds and institutional investors have invested over $12 billion in the United Arab Emirates.

CUBC Meeting with Caisse de depot

Similarly, Mr. Al Kaabi emphasized the momentum in bilateral collaboration in the realms of sustainability and decarbonization following the Canada-UAE Future Energy Forum held by the Business Council in December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on the margins of the 28th session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 28).

Canada’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Kris Panday; and the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Fahad Al Raqbani, also addressed the Board. The Heads of Mission discussed and reiterated the importance of the Canada-UAE economic partnership and the opportunities ahead.

In conclusion, the Hon. Jean Charest underscored the significance of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the UAE, highlighting the enduring strength of their expanding ties. Mr. Al Kaabi affirmed the continued pivotal role of the Canada-UAE Business Council in furthering bilateral trade and investment initiatives. The visit of the Canada-UAE Business Council to Canada exemplifies the commitment of both nations to deepen their commercial relationship and explore new avenues for collaboration.