Harper Government Secures Full Market Access for Beef to the United Arab Emirates

Ottawa, Ontario, August 2, 2012 - Canadian beef producers will immediately benefit from full market access to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The announcement was made today by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast. With the expanded market access to beef from animals over 30 months of age, the UAE has now fully re-opened its door to Canadian world-class beef.

"The UAE is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council region to resume full access to our high-quality beef and this is a significant milestone for Canadian beef producers", said Minister Ritz. "We are hopeful that the UAE's decision will encourage other countries in this region to grant full access to Canadian beef."

The UAE is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional trading block which represents one of the wealthiest country groupings in the world. It includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Today's announcement is a successful result of the Harper Government's efforts to regain access for beef and cattle to the entire GCC and demonstrates how the UAE supports a science-based international approach to trade. It builds on previous successful negotiations from December 2011 allowing Canadian live cattle to the UAE.

Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) President Martin Unrau welcomed the announcement. "The UAE is the latest country to recognize the safety of Canadian beef and align its import requirements with the science-based standards of the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE)," he said. "The UAE joins nearly 70 countries that have either fully or partially re-established access for Canadian beef since closing their borders in 2003. The CCA continues to work to expand market access and applauds the efforts of Ministers Ritz and Fast."

Canadian exports of beef from animals under thirty months of age (UTM) to the UAE, Canada's 19th largest beef export market, was worth more than $1 million in 2011. The industry estimates that full market access for beef could provide additional opportunities worth up to $365,000 annually. The GCC is a priority market for the Government of Canada under the Global Commerce Strategy and this development sets the stage for other GCC countries to allow imports of world-class Canadian beef.

"This is yet another example of how our government's broad and ambitious pro-trade plan to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity is getting results for workers and businesses," said Minister Fast. "Today's announcement is important for our trading relationship with the UAE and advances our efforts to deepen our economic and trade ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council region as a whole."

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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