How Canada and the UAE are stepping up economic ties
The first joint economic committee of the United Arab Emirates and Canada successfully concluded its first preparatory meeting in Ottawa, Canada. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of International Trade. The event also witnessed the participation and attendance of senior government officials from both countries.
Discussions during the preparatory meeting were led by H.E. Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, and Christine Hogan, Deputy Minister of International Trade, in the presence of representatives from both UAE and Canadian representatives of various government institutions and agencies.
The meeting witnessed the discussion of the guidelines and framework for the increased mutual cooperation between the two countries, especially across key sectors like small and medium enterprises (SMEs), innovation and investment. Also talked about were key efforts to enhance cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, banking and financial services, education, health care, agriculture, food, cultural cooperation and airline services.
H.E. Al-Shehhi shared that the launch of the first joint economic committee of the two countries represents significant importance as it is tasked with the promotion of economic relations while also exploring potential opportunities in cooperation across common interest sectors--further reflecting a positive impact on the volume of trade exchange between UAE and Canada, wherein last year saw the achievement of over $2.1 billion in trade, including free trade zones.
He also pointed out that the joint economic committee constitutes the appropriate framework for the development of bilateral relations in accordance with the interests of the two countries through the implementation of an effective mechanism aimed at monitoring the decisions made in accordance to clear timetables, especially as they are held with the participation of a large number of government agencies and the private sector from both sides. Lastly, H.E. Al-Shehhi revealed that both countries are now also looking at ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of aviation and air transport.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Hogan spoke about the importance placed on the joint economic committee, which is tasked with building and developing a solid foundation of economic relations and to provide more facilities for cooperation among investors.
Hogan explained that the two countries share similar visions with respect to the further promotion of innovation and the development of the SME segment--adding that these two factors act as key drivers in the efforts to improve UAE-Canadian relations, particularly in strengthening cooperation and exchanging and sharing expertise.
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G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”