Jubail Industrial – Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi
Kingdom's decision to freeze trade ties hurts Canadian investments
The decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's government to freeze its trade and investment relations and new projects with Canada, the expulsion of its ambassador and the recall of the Saudi ambassador to Canada because of Canada's blatant interference in the Saudi affairs, dealt a bitter blow to the Canadian government and its major companies in the oil, gas, petrochemical and mining sectors in alliance with the major Saudi companies in joint investments estimated at SR 100 billion, as the Kingdom's move poses a threat to Canadian investments.
Canadian activists on " Twitter" expressed regret over the deterioration of relations between the two countries due to the illegal Canadian interference in the Saudi internal affairs. They pointed out that the Kingdom enjoys an unprecedented political stability since its establishment. This is proven by the eagerness of the Canadian companies to expand their investments and partnerships in the fields of oil, energy, gas, mining and petrochemicals. They are proud of their strong partnership with Aramco, Maaden, SABIC and other major Saudi companies, considering the Kingdom as the undisputed best and most attractive environment for the safe profitable investment in the world.
They stressed that the Canadian government's confidence in the security and stability of Saudi Arabia is confirmed by sending more than 50 Canadian companies and industrious trade delegations by the Canadian government to the Kingdom. Meanwhile, the Canadian press dealt with the issue with dissatisfaction and concerns about the negative impact that may hit the tremendous Canadian investments in the Kingdom, which comes the first in the Middle East in the light of the growing volume of joint trade. The Canadian companies are currently engaged in negotiations for new projects that have been agreed between factories, traders and companies of the two countries, supposed to contribute to the escalation of the trade volume to a broader perspective of growth that strengthens the historical relations between the two countries.
Freezing investment ties between the two countries would affect strategic Canadian deals with the kingdom, including a deal with the Canadian Trade Commission and General Dynamics to supply the Kingdom with Canadian military equipment and military training. The Government of Canada welcomed this partnership, which reflects Saudi Arabia's commitment to strengthening and reinforcing cooperation between the two countries, despite the availability of a myriad of offers to Saudi Arabia from other manufacturers. Yet, the deal went to General Dynamics in order to support the will of both countries to increase the trade exchange between them, and increase opportunities of strengthening Saudi-Canadian investment relations.
The largest Canadian alliance in the Kingdom is the Canadian Alcan Group's involvement with Maaden in an aluminum-from-rock project to the final product at a capital cost of SR 26.25 billion to produce 720,000 tons of aluminum a year in Ras Al-Khair in the Eastern Province, north of Jubail Industrial, relying on bauxite ore reserves in Al-Zoberah and which are enough for more than 30 years.
Several Canadian companies have planned to manufacture vehicles, aircraft and rail cars to set up factories for collecting vehicles, especially cars in Ras Al Khair Industrial City, following the success of Maaden in increasing its production and imposing global competition in the production of aluminum ore which forms the hard core in manufacturing the various means of transport, as well as manufacturing building materials and tools, including doors, windows, facades of buildings and the electricity sector, in addition to cables and wires, with total expected investment volume estimated at SR 100 billion.
Canadian companies interested in the manufacture of transport vehicles and other manufacturing industries have shown keen interest in negotiating the establishment of factories in Ras Al-Khair, based on the savings of molten aluminum in various its forms that include aluminum alloys that converted into aluminum sheeting used at Maaden rolling factories to be used in manufacturing the beverage and food cans and the automotive structures from Maaden aluminum complex which is the world's most efficient and largest in size and investment for which Maaden pumped investments of to SR 40.5 billion.