The Canada Arab Business Council commends the early efforts of the governments of Canada and Saudi Arabia to resolve the current bilateral dispute between our countries and encourages them to amplify these discussions with a view to moving towards a more constructive relationship in the future.
The economic, social and cultural ties between Canada and Saudi Arabia have been both long-standing and tremendously beneficial for both of our countries.
For over 50 years, Canadian companies have provided extensive engineering, construction, medical training, university and college education, telecommunication systems, rail and urban infrastructure, aviation and transportation services and products to Saudi Arabia. Indeed, many of Canada’s largest and most impactful foreign supply and service contracts over the last half a century have been with Saudi Arabia, supporting highly skilled jobs and technology development in both countries.
Since 1978, over 4,500 Saudi graduate doctors have completed advanced specialty medical training in Canada to achieve certification based on Canadian medical standards. There are currently 1,000 Saudi doctors receiving their training and providing advanced care in Canadian healthcare institutions, and over 15,000 Saudi students (most of whom are accompanied by their families) studying at Canadian post-secondary institutions. This influx of highly trained and educated students has contributed significantly to the economic, social and cultural development of both of our countries in ways that cannot be expressed in financial terms.
Apart from these intangible benefits, bilateral trade in goods and services between Canada and Saudi Arabia has reached approximately $5 billion per year over the past several years. Importantly, over the past 5 years, our merchandise exports to Arab countries have grown by 25%, outpacing Canada’s overall exports (16%) and exports to the Asia Pacific Region (14%). This impressive growth reflects the increasingly attractive opportunities that Canadian companies have and will continue to pursue in the Arab world.
The CABC stands ready to play a constructive role to ensure that Canada’s long-standing collaboration with Saudi Arabia continues to thrive. We invite companies and organizations across Canada and Saudi Arabia who have invested in building business and institutional relationships between our countries to be in touch with us so that we can work together with our governments to secure and enhance our economic, social and cultural development together.