A diplomatic row between Canada and Saudi Arabia is casting a shadow over long-term trade and business prospects.
While trade between the two countries is relatively small overall, oil-producing giant Saudi Arabia is still Canada's most important trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Global Affairs Canada.
Saudi Arabia has frozen ties and banned new trade deals with Canada after the Canadian foreign minister urged the kingdom to release jailed civil rights activists.
The following is a snapshot of Canada's 2017 trade with Saudi Arabia:
- Canada's estimated C$1.5 billion ($1.15 billion) in exports to Saudi Arabia represented only a fraction of the country's C$501 billion in total domestic exports last year, according to Canadian government data.
- Canadian goods exported to Saudi Arabia: C$1.5 billion, including vehicles, machinery and mineral ores * Canadian goods imported from Saudi Arabia: C$2.6 billion, including mineral fuels and oils
- Canadian services exports to Saudi Arabia: C$604 million * Canadian services imports from Saudi Arabia: C$495 million * Estimated number of Canadian companies in Saudi Arabia: 60 * Estimated number of Canadians in Saudi Arabia (via Registration of Canadians Abroad Service): 6,003 Canadian companies with exposure to Saudi Arabia: SNC-Lavalin Group
Construction and engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group generated about C$992 million in Saudi Arabia in 2017, or about 11 percent of total revenues. SNC has contracts with state-run Saudi Aramco and holds a majority stake in Saudi Arabian Kentz Co Ltd. SNC said there would be an impact on its "future financial performance" if Saudi Arabia introduced a widespread commercial embargo on Canadian companies.
Construction firm WSP Global has 200 staff in Saudi Arabia, but contracts in the country represents less than 1 percent of its total net revenues, chief executive Alexandre L'Heureux told analysts.
Bombardier has less than 50 staff in Saudi Arabia working on previously-awarded contracts for the Riyadh metro and Jeddah Airport, worth a combined $479 million, according to company statements. Bombardier did not have further details immediately about a third project, a proposed monorail for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, which has yet to commence. Bombardier Transportation said its revenue from Saudi Arabia was low as a proportion of the division's total 2017 revenues of $8.5 billion, but could not immediately provide further details.
($1 = 1.3042 Canadian dollars)
(Compiled by Allison Lampert in Montreal, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
© Reuters News 2018