Oman opens its market for Canadian imports of live cattle, Canadian agriculture minister says

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Nov 28, 2012 – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

OTTAWA , November 28, 2012 (press release) – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast announced today that Oman has opened its market for Canadian imports of live cattle. This new market is estimated to be valued at $900,000 annually according to the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, representing a significant increase of agricultural exports to this country for Canada.

"This is another significant step for Canadian producers interested in exporting to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, an important market for Canada's high-quality beef and cattle," said Minister Ritz. "The Harper Government knows that more exports mean more jobs for Canadians and represents economic growth overall."

This new opportunity to export breeding cattle to Oman is the result of the Government of Canada's continued efforts to regain full market access for beef and cattle to the GCC region and to create more export opportunities for Canadian producers.

Oman is a member of the GCC, which also includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. This region is one of the world's wealthiest associations of countries and represents a priority market for Canada under the Global Commerce Strategy.

"Our government understands that opening new markets to increase our world-class agriculture exports creates jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity in every region of our country," said Minister Fast. "That is why we are working hard to strengthen and expand existing trade relationships and undertaking the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history."

"It is good to see the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council provide access to Canadian cattle," said Rick McRonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association. "This particular negotiation started with a specific request for cattle in April, so resolution of the access issue was relatively fast. Now that we have access, our members can follow up on that request with more detail and also determine what the full market potential might be. Our thanks to all who worked together to achieve cattle access to Oman."

Recent successful negotiations resulted in market access being granted for Canadian high-quality cattle to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Canada can now compete for its share of another market in this region. Today's announcement demonstrates that countries in the GCC support trade based on international science-based standards, and it sets the stage for other GCC countries to allow imports of world-class Canadian beef and cattle.

In 2011, Canada exported $24.9 million worth of breeding cattle worldwide. Exports of agriculture and food products to Oman were worth approximately $1.1 million annually.

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