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June 13, 2017 | 10:15 | Dubai
Industry leaders and innovators in Canada are looking at Dubai as a promising hub for expanding to new markets and pursuing further innovations, according to a trade mission that toured the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal recently. The mission led by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, participated in a series of seminars and B2B meetings in the two cities during the recently concluded five-day visit.
Representatives from Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Science Park, Emirates Group, and DIFC Courts also participated in the mission, which sought to present Dubai’s unique advantages as a gateway and hub for connecting to new markets worldwide and growing sustainably.
The mission was also supported by the UAE diplomatic mission in Canada and His Excellency Sultan Ali Al Harbi, UAE Consul General in Toronto, congratulated the mission for adding momentum to the ongoing strategic partnership between the two countries.
“The effective engagement with the mission was further evident by the high profile Ontario Government participation led by the Honourable Minister Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade; Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee; and Mr. Alan O’Dette, Chief Investment Officer of Ontario Investment Office,” the Consul General said.
“The private sector was equally involved across the key meetings held, which raised further the profile of the Emirate of Dubai, the advantages it brings to the world and related opportunities; as a true hub for the region and beyond for financial services, innovative technologies, commodities trading, free zones, and tourism to name a few,” His Excellency added.
Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said the mission will go a long way in advancing UAE-Canada engagement, and attracting Canadian investments into Dubai’s knowledge economy initiatives.
“It’s the third consecutive year Dubai FDI has led a mission to Canada and such persistent focus saw Canada emerging as one of our top FDI source markets in 2016. More remarkable outcomes will follow as Canadian investors see significant opportunities in Dubai, particularly in the Dubai Plan 2021 and its focus on creativity, smart services, sustainability and happiness,” Al Gergawi added.
The delegation met with senior government executives and pioneers in different sectors in addition to visiting academic and business establishments, industrial sites and innovation hubs in the two cities. Mayor Denis Coderre received the delegation in Montreal and a number of B2B meetings were held with companies in the technology, financial services and design sectors.
In Toronto, the delegation visited the Bombardier Aerospace Regional Aircraft plant in addition to meeting with various innovative initiatives including the DMZ Incubator for tech start-ups at Ryerson University and OneEleven, accelerator and innovation hub that has already raised more than US$ 100 million (AED 367 million) in financing start-up growth.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, said: “Dubai, and DMCC, has rapidly evolved as world leading, interconnected hub for trade. Everything we do at DMCC is fundamentally built to facilitate trade and attract FDI to the Emirate. We do this by collaborating with government entities such as Dubai FDI on a local and international scale and were delighted to take part in the recent visit to Canada to further strengthen our bilateral trade relations for mutual future growth”.
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, stated: “During the mission to Canada, a growing source market for visitors to the emirate, we were able to share with prospective investors a picture of the tourism landscape in Dubai and the opportunities in the sector here. Our team also provided a flavour of the lifestyle and rich culture available to those interested in establishing a presence in Dubai. On behalf of Dubai Tourism, I would like to thank Dubai FDI for arranging this mission to Canada, and we look forward to working with them and other key partners and stakeholders in promoting Dubai around the world.”
Vikrant Bhansali, Senior Vice President of Banks and Capital Markets at Dubai International Financial Centre Authority commented that Canadian business partners will find DIFC to be a useful base for the providing strategic access to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, representing a population of three billion and a cumulative GDP of US $7.8 trillion.
“We had many insightful conversations with Canadian businesses during the recent mission, especially around cutting edge topics such as Islamic Finance and FinTech. DIFC is a financial community of more than 1600 companies as well as innovative solutions. Complementing our robust regulatory ecosystem, FinTech Hive at DIFC provides a unique platform for regional Fintech firms and leading financial institutions to come together and develop cutting edge Fintech solutions for the region and beyond,” Bhansali said.
Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Executive Director of Dubai Science Park, termed the mission a valuable platform to address Canadian science companies looking to explore opportunities in the Middle East.
“Dubai’s science sector is booming with significant government investments across various domains, including medical equipment and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, renewable energy and healthcare services. Dubai Science Park plays an integral role in achieving various national goals, most notably the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 and UAE Vision 2021, by offering a community dedicated for science in support of developing a knowledge-based economy. We look forward to the mission leading to mutually beneficial projects between the UAE and Canada,” added Janahi.
Mark Beer, OBE, Co-Chief Executive and Registrar General, DIFC Courts, stated that engaging with influential business and government leaders during the mission provided a golden opportunity to explain how DIFC Courts sets a global example of a commerce-friendly legal system.
“Canada has always been a land of promise and potential – although the polar opposite to our country in terms of climate. With world trading patterns shifting as NAFTA comes under pressure in North America and Brexit looms large in Europe, the time was ripe for Dubai’s ambitious “Mission Canada. Thanks to FDI, key opinion formers across Canada now know how the DIFC Courts’ opt-in works for commercial contracts, and how we promote access to new markets with the certainty that business deals can be protected under familiar English-language common law principles,” Beer said.
About Dubai FDI:
Dubai Investment Development Agency (DUBAI FDI) is an agency of Dubai Economy – Government of Dubai. DUBAI FDI develops, promotes and supports Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities to facilitate investors’ success, growth and expansion in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and across regional and international markets.