Ontario Builds Business Ties with Qatar

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KevinWaller

Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Canadian province of Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, paid an official visit to Qatar as part of a wider mission he led to the region from Feb. 27 to Mar. 3. The mission, which included stops in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is part of Going Global: Ontario’s Trade Strategy, focused on identifying opportunities for Ontario firms in large infrastructure projects and promotion of the Canadian province as a location for investment.

 

In Qatar, Minister Hoskins met with H.E. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Qatar’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Dr Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts, and Heritage, and Mr. Sultan bin Rashed Al Khater, Deputy Minister of Economy and Commerce. Discussions focused on areas of mutual economic opportunity and Ontario’s strength as a source of competitive goods and services in the construction technology, engineering, urban planning, culture and tourism, and financial sectors. Ontario and Qatar share an increasing focus on boosting the development of SMEs. Hoskins was joined by Canada’s Ambassador to the State of Qatar, André Dubois.

 

“Canadian businesses have the skills and experience to meet Qatar’s needs,” said Ambassador Dubois.  “Ontario is a dynamic partner who is ready to contribute to Qatar’s incredible growth.”

 

Rapid infrastructure development in Qatar and the wider Gulf region—including new cities, power plants, renewable energy, tourism projects, hospitals, schools, water and transportation projects—is creating opportunities for many Ontario-based architecture, construction and engineering firms.

 

“This has been a productive, enjoyable and successful visit, focused on boosting bilateral business ties with Qatar – a key trade partner and market for Ontario’s competitive goods and services. Ontario’s people and strategic partnerships are its greatest assets and the Gulf region is a priority market for Ontario’s export development as we explore further economic collaboration and opportunities. This mission served to advance Ontario’s interests in the region as we expand and diversify Ontario’s international business profile.”

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario’s exported goods to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in 2012 were valued at almost $260 million.
  • Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the United Arab Emirates’ hosting of World Expo 2020will further increase investment in Gulf-region infrastructure projects.
  • Business missions led by Minister Hoskins include California in September 2013, which contributed to securing the Cisco investment, the West Bank in October 2013, during which the University of Western Ontario and Al Quds University announced a joint cancer research project, and Brazil in January 2014 during which Ontario’s new business office in São Paulo was opened.
  • More than 1,400 Ontario companies were assisted by the ministry’s export development programs in the first three quarters of fiscal 2013-14, helping to generate almost $425 million in new business during the same period.
  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, every $100-million increase in exports creates approximately 1,000 new jobs.