Dubai: The UAE and Canada launched a joint business council in Montreal, Canada, on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, and Ed Fast, Canadian Minister of International Trade, jointly launched the Canada-United Arab Emirates Business Council (CUBC) and its first meeting hosted in Montreal.

The business council is said to form a pillar of the Canada-UAE Strategic Agenda announced earlier this year. The two countries are looking to re-energise their relationship, which was soured over landing rights in 2010.

“Our government’s top priority is the economy and creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families,” Fast stated.

The Canadian members of the new business council are expected to help strengthen the country’s trade relationship, as its government opens new markets for exporters.

Abdulla Saif Ali Sulayem Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) and Vice-Chairman of Taqa and Gordon Nixon, President and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada were named co-chairs of CUBC earlier this year.

Al Nuaimi stated that the new council provided an “excellent forum” for the two countries and its business to collaborate and expand their strategic partnership.

Fast stated that the two governments would work with the CUBC on a “wide range of matters” to find practical ways to move forward.

“In order to maximise the true potential of the Canada-UAE economic relationship, governments and businesses must work together,” he stated.

There is significant potential for Canada and the UAE to increase trade relations with Nixon stating that the UAE was a “high-growth market in a strategically important region.”

The UAE Ambassador to Canada, Mohammad Saif Helal Al Shehhi, and the Canadian Ambassador to the UAE, Arif Lalani, were also present at the launch.

“The Canada-UAE Business Council further demonstrates the importance Canada attaches to its partnership with the UAE, and the vital role the private sector has to play. This is a significant milestone in our relationship” Lalani stated.