Canada wants to increase its trade volume with Qatar and is keen to attract more Qatari investments, according to the Ambassador of Canada to Qatar HE Stefanie McCollum.
Talking to the local media recently, Ambassador McCollum said that forging further partnership with Qatar in trade and investment, in particular aerospace, security and defence, oil and gas and infrastructure are among the priorities of the embassy for the year.
On security and defence, the envoy said that Qatar and Canada are in the final stage of signing a defence cooperation agreement that would look at specific programmes where the two countries can work together in the field.
“Both sides have been working on and have agreed on the final text for the MoU, which will serve as an overall framework that would allow smaller initiatives in the field of security and defence without having to go up the chain for approvals. The embassy is working closely with the Amiri Diwan and the National Service Academy of Qatar,” said McCollum.
She also mentioned food safety and standards and agro-food as among the potential fields for collaboration between the two countries as Qatar continues to make great strides in becoming self-reliant in food and other essential industries. The envoy reiterated Canada’s capability and willingness to help Qatar in those areas.
“We will work with local partners to deliver all of those priorities and programmes. We want to increase the volume of exports between our countries. We are also looking at more Qatari investments in Canada. Qatar’s Supreme Committee was there a few months ago looking for Canadian firms that do large scale response for big events around the FIFA World Cup. This week we had an agriculture delegation in Doha and in the Fall we expect a very large delegation around the medical and health sector,” the official said.
Another priority area for the Canadian Embassy in Doha, the official added, are the issues related to human rights, such as gender equality and women empowerment as well as working with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Doha office on labour rights for migrant workers.
On Qatar’s preparations for hosting FIFA World Cup 2022, McCollum said she thinks it is going to be an amazing event. She also said in addition to helping Qatar achieve the most sustainable World Cup ever, they are also keen to bringing those lessons back to Canada as it gears up to host FIFA World Cup 2026 along with the US and Mexico.
The envoy also mentioned the embassy’s interest in introducing Canadian culture to Doha by bringing Canadian artists and performers.
She also mentioned the efforts of the embassy to enhance services for Canadian nationals in terms of automated transactions, new booking package and extended hours.
Currently, there are over 9,200 Canadians in Qatar and the number is growing.
The ambassador said: “Qatar is a great place to live, to have a family. The education is good and medical system is good. There is an emphasis on standards and accountability. Our values structures are very similar and there are a lot of good opportunities here for Canadians to feel attracted,” the envoy said.
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