Mission to the United Arab Emirates and India - February 23 - March 4, 2017

Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier led a mission to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Mumbai and Delhi, India to attend the Gulfood trade event and support the efforts of Alberta agriculture, food, and forestry industries to promote and export their products and services. The mission included engagement with federal and state governments, private businesses, and key industry stakeholders.

Mission Objectives:
  • Profile Alberta as a safe, stable supplier of premium agriculture and food products, and a potential destination for foreign direct investment in food processing.
  • Build and enhance government relationships with trade partners.
  • Address access issues affecting Alberta products to these key export markets.
  • Support Alberta’s beef, swine, canola, grain, and pulse industries through meetings and roundtable events with business and government officials, site visits, and participation in the Gulfood trade event.

The UAE is Alberta’s sixth largest export market for canola seed, with exports of $82.5 million in 2015. The country is also a major market for Alberta’s wheat, hay and pulses, and is a priority market for Alberta’s beef exporters. Gulfood is the top trade event in the global food and hospitality business, attracting 5,000 exhibitors and 90,000 buyers from 160 countries. Agriculture and Forestry (AF) has played a role developing an Alberta presence for the past 10 years. This year, 11 Alberta companies participated in the trade show, in addition to a series of business to business meetings and programs arranged by AF staff. Industry reported sales from participation at Gulfood 2017 are estimated at $11 million, in addition to trade and investment leads. Several companies were also involved in a series of events across the UAE, including retail displays and product promotions at key restaurants.

AF staff have worked with Alberta companies to have their products carried by Choithrams, a major national retailer in the UAE. Minister Carlier visited Choithrams’ flagship store to discuss opportunities to introduce additional Alberta goods to the chain.

Minister Carlier also met with the UAE’s Minister responsible for food standards to discuss food import requirements.

India is, by far, Alberta’s largest export market for dried peas ($25.4 million in 2015), and is also a major market for canola meal, lentils, and malt. Alberta’s canola oil producers see the market as a great opportunity for their products. Minister Carlier met with importers of Alberta goods and business associations, in both Mumbai and Delhi to gain an understanding of India’s needs, and promote Alberta growers and processors, with the goal of increasing Alberta-India trade.

Minister Carlier also met with appropriate Indian and Canadian officials to discuss import requirements on Canadian pulses specifically related to fumigation with methyl bromide at origin, which acts as a trade barrier for Canada.

In January, 2014, Alberta signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian state of Meghalaya, promoting cooperation on agricultural issues. Minister Carlier met with senior officials from Meghalaya to discuss the idea of renewing this agreement.

In order to gain an understanding of India’s forestry sector and discuss trade opportunities, Minister Carlier met with Honourable Anil Madhav Dave (Minister of State), Environment, Forestry and Climate Change.

The mission was successful in achieving the following results:
  1. Communicated Alberta’s status as a safe, stable supplier of premium agriculture and food products.
  2. Promoted Alberta as a potential destination for foreign direct investment to specific current investors, and to key potential investors from multiple countries.
  3. Supported Alberta companies participating in the Gulfood trade event
  4. Promoted Alberta retail-ready products to a major UAE chain of supermarkets.
  5. Promoted Alberta commodity products such as canola seed, pulses, and swine genetics to business and government audiences.
  6. Built relationships with federal and state governments that will allow staff to deal more efficiently with the regions in the future.

  • Honourable Oneil Carlier
  • Tony Clark, Chief of Staff to the Minister
  • Dave Burdek, Assistant Deputy Minister, AF
  • Grant Winton, Manager, Central & South Asia, Middle East & Africa, International Relations and Marketing Section, AF

Final Itinerary for Minister Carlier

Thursday, February 23
  • Depart Edmonton
Friday, February 24
  • Arrive Dubai
Saturday, February 25
  • Canada Beef Event
Sunday, February 26
  • Meeting with Consul General and staff
  • Attend Gulfood Show
  • One-on-one meetings with Canadian delegates
  • Site visit to butcher serving Alberta meat
  • Canada Beef Event
  • Canada reception for key stakeholders from across Middle East, South Asia, and East Africa
Monday, February 27
  • Visit Camelicious Dairy
  • Business lunch with major UAE agriculture and agrifood stakeholders
  • Dinner with Alberta Gulfood exhibitors
Tuesday, February 28
(Dubai & Abu Dhabi)
  • Tour of Choithrams Canada Food Festival
  • Meeting with UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment (responsible for agriculture and food imports)
  • Meeting with India Pulses and Grains Association
Wednesday, March 1 (Mumbai)
  • Meeting with Alberta India Office
  • Breakfast meeting with Consul General and staff
  • Corporate call: Export Trading Group
  • Corporate call: Hypercity
  • Lunchtime Media Event: cooking with Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani on his YouTube show
Thursday, March 2
  • Meeting with Deputy High Commissioner and staff
  • Lunch meeting with Indo Canadian Business Chamber
  • Meetings with Indian agriculture industry stakeholders
  • Meeting with Government of Meghalaya
  • Alberta reception with key Indian buyers and stakeholders at residence of High Commissioner
Friday, March 3
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony at “Raj Ghat” – Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi
  • Meeting with Honorable Anil Madhav Dave (Minister Of State) Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, Government of India
  • Roundtable: Facilitated by Federation of Indian Food Importers (FIFI)
Saturday, March 4
  • Return to Edmonton

International Travel Final Expenses

Expenditures by Participants
Travel (includes airfare, airport service fees, ground transportation costs, including taxis, car rentals, parking, trains, buses as well as mileage to/from airport or taxis to/from airport in Alberta, including any cancellation fees)14535.47
Accommodation (room charges and related taxes, including any cancellation fees)$9,405.67
Meals (includes restaurant bills and tips, meals on hotel bills, per diem meal claims, share of group meals or working sessions)$1,534.75
Incidental and Miscellaneous (includes cell phone rental charges, incremental costs for all electronic devices such as roaming charges for cell phones, iPads and costs associated with communications such as the costs incurred for media call-backs, conference/ registration fees, including cancellation fees, fax and internet charges, passport and visa fees, medical and inoculation fees, laundry and dry cleaning, baggage handling, out-of-country per diems, and other sundry expenditures)$2,247.50
General Mission Expenditures Amount
Receptions and Hosting (receptions, luncheons, dinners, and events that are hosted by the Government of Alberta that are specific to the mission and include meeting related costs for room rental, room rental for hosted events, food, beverages, catering staff, service charges, entertainment, flowers)$10,621.81
Incidental and Miscellaneous (includes translation of documents fees, publications, shipping charges, gifts purchased specifically for mission, Canadian Embassy/High Commission/Consulate charges for services provided to the GOA)$906.80
Total Costs
Share via AddThis.com
For more information about the content of this document, contact Kelly Bernard.
This information published to the web on May 3, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 19, 2018.