Canada consulate opened 

By TARIQ KHONJI

A CANADIAN consulate was officially opened in Bahrain yesterday by Riyadh-based Canadian Ambassador Roderick Bell. It is located in Al Jasra Tower, Diplomatic Area, and will serve over 400 Canadians living in Bahrain as well as tourists and business visitors.

The consulate will also give advice to Canadian businessmen seeking to do business here, in addition to Bahraini traders wanting to find out more about Canada.

However, Mr Bell said the office won't be issuing visas to Canada in the immediate future.

"The visa office is at our embassy in Abu Dhabi," he said. "Applications can be picked up from the consulate, but will have to be mailed to the UAE."

Meanwhile, Mr Bell said trade between Canada and Bahrain could be stronger.

However, he added that it was still up 30 per cent last year over 2003.

"Canada is very far away from Bahrain so one of the main issues is that Canadian businessmen must learn more about the country in order to look into investing here," he said.

"That is where the consulate will play a key role."

Mr Bell added that political relations had been strengthened in a visit by the speaker of the Canadian senate, Dan Hays, to Bahrain in January at the invitation of the Shura Council.

He also said an affiliation agreement between Bahrain's Royal University for Women and McGill University in Montreal bodes well for future co-operation in the education sector.

The new Canadian Consulate is located within the law office of consul Qays Zu'bi.


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