OTTAWA, Ontario – The Government of Canada has reached a new agreement on an export certificate with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which Canadian exporters of live cattle will regain access to the UAE market for the first time since bovine spongiform encephalopathy was first found in Canadian cattle in 2003. Industry estimates this market could provide up to $40 million (US$39 million) in sales.

As a result of this announcement, new export opportunities are immediately available for Canadian producers, and it is a significant step toward regaining access to other key markets in the region, said Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture Minister.

"The UAE's announcement advances our bilateral commercial relations, and will help our overall efforts to build on our economic and trade ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council region as a whole," added Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

The UAE is part of a regional trading block called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Under Canada's Global Commerce Strategy, the GCC is a priority market. The GCC represents the fifth-largest export destination for Canadian agri-food products. In 2010, Canadian agri-food exports to the GCC surpassed $835 million (US$813 million).