Harper Government Creates More Export Opportunities for Livestock Producers to Qatar

Ottawa, Ontario, October 2, 2012 - Beginning today, Canadian livestock producers will benefit from more export opportunities in the Middle East. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast today announced that Qatar has approved imports of sheep and goats from Canada.

"The Harper Government knows that trade creates jobs, which creates economic growth for all Canadians," said Minister Ritz. "That's why, market by market, we are creating new opportunities for livestock producers by opening, reopening, and expanding markets around the world, including the Middle East. By ensuring producers can earn their living from the marketplace, we are creating more jobs, prosperity, and economic growth in Canada."

Effective immediately, Canadian livestock producers can export sheep and goats to Qatar. Earlier this year, the Government also secured access for Canadian cattle to Qatar. Canada can now compete for its share of Qatar's market for high-quality breeding stock.

"The members of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association thank the Government of Canada for expanding export market access for Canadian sheep and goats," said Rick McRonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association. "Every new country presents new opportunities for Canadian producers."

Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman and which constitutes one of the world's wealthiest associations of countries. This new opportunity to export sheep and goats to Qatar is the result of the Harper Government's continued efforts to create more export opportunities for Canadian producers to the GCC.

"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 Qatar and advances our efforts to deepen our economic and trade ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council region as a whole."

Canadian exports of agriculture and food products to Qatar in 2011 were worth more than $4.5 million. In 2011, Canada's total worldwide exports of sheep and goats were worth $1.2 million.

For more information, media may contact:

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

Jeff English
Press Secretary
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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