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Saudi-Canadian Business Council: Severing Relations Will Have Major Impact on Ottawa

Saudi-Canadian Business Council: Severing Relations Will Have Major Impact on Ottawa

Tuesday, 7 August, 2018 - 12:15
Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

The Saudi-Canadian Business Council said the freezing of economic transactions between Saudi Arabia and Canada would have a significant impact on the Canadian side, mainly with regards to Saudi Vision 2030 and the giant projects it holds.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat from New York, Dr. Imad Al-Dukair, the president of the Saudi-Canadian Business Council, stressed that the interference of the Canadian government and its embassy in the Kingdom’s internal affairs would have major negative consequences on the Canadian side, at the economic, investment and trade levels.

“Economic, trade and investment interests between Riyadh and Ottawa are relatively low. Although Canada is a member of the G7, yet the volume of trade exchange between the two countries is the lowest compared to the other seven countries,” he said.

Dukair also said that the volume of commercial exchange between Saudi Arabia and Canada was around $4-5 billion per year, noting that the trade rate for the last 10 years reached 140 billion riyals ($37.3 billion). He pointed out that there were prospects for upgrading these relations had it not been for Canada’s recent “irresponsible act”.

Dukair went on to say that Saudi investments in Canada were greater than Canadian investments in the Kingdom, emphasizing that the impact of Saudi Arabia’s economic boycott would be painful and would deprive Canada of the investment share recently offered to foreign entities, within Saudi Vision 2030.

Riyadh suspended diplomatic relations with Canada on Monday and gave Canadian envoy Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the country over what it slammed as "interference" in its internal affairs.

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