Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Saudi Arabia market closure adds to growers' woes

Saudi Arabia market closure adds to growers' woes

In an interview, Dr. Spadafora, who oversees the training of all U of T residents and fellows, including 216 from Saudi Arabia, said his first priority is helping the Saudi trainees whose careers have been thrown into turmoil by the kingdom's announcement.

The Saudi central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost", according to the report.

She noted it's unclear how numerous students are impacted by the Saudi government's decision to axe their scholarships, but there are options available to help them stay.

The Saudi Central Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A representative with Canada's ministry of global affairs did not immediately have a comment.

OTTAWA: Canada plans to seek help from the United Arab Emirates and Britain to defuse an escalating dispute with Saudi Arabia, sources said on Tuesday, but close ally the United States made clear it would not get involved.

Dahl said said he was not aware of any Canadian shipments now en route to Saudi Arabia.

Badawi was arrested at the end of July along with fellow Saudi women's rights activist Nassima al Sada. European traders said the main Saudi wheat-buying agency had told grains exporters it will no longer accept Canadian-origin wheat and barley.

Although Saudi Education Minister Ahmed Al-Eissa released a statement saying the state will work to make the withdrawals an "easy transfer" to other universities in countries, such as the United States and Britain, that could prove hard for medical trainees.

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic rupture with Canada underscores the kingdom's newly combative foreign policy to tame worldwide criticism after a crackdown on domestic critics, as it struggles to implement risky reforms, analysts say.

"Both sides need to diplomatically solve this together".

"Should we have to replace them, it would be like if 86 people suddenly called in sick", Dr. Hodges said.

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Saudi Arabia also called backed its ambassador from Ottawa and ordered Canada's chief envoy out of the country.

"What we're seeing ... is (an) example of growing hypernationalism constructed in Saudi Arabia: vigorously defending sovereignty through punitive measures against transnational civil society groups and countries that support them", said Diwan.

But it said it has asked the Saudi government "for additional information on the detention of several activists" and that it urges Riyadh "to respect due process and to publicise information on the status of legal cases".

It's also cancelling scholarships for more than 15,000 Saudi students attending Canadian universities, which will yank away big economic benefits Canada reaps from global tuition fees.

The Saudis have also threatened to exclude Canadian companies from participation in the lucrative Vision 2030 programme, where the kingdom is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to modernise its economy.

Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia totalled about $1.12bn in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

The Toronto Star reported that in the past year, Canada sent 135,000 tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia, a significant part of the 1.9 million tonnes of Canada's barley exports each year, and 70,000 tonnes of wheat, a smaller portion of the 16.5 million tonnes of wheat that Canada exported.

Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state-owned oil company and the world's largest crude producer, shipped 136,321 barrels of oil per day to Canada in June, the last month for which Statistics Canada oil import data is available.

Canada on Monday indicated it will not back down, despite the risk of imperilling business deals including a significant $15 billion agreement to sell Riyadh light armoured vehicles.

"Thousands of students (being withdrawn), that's a strong signal", said Roland Paris, a professor of International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and a former adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The British government on Tuesday urged Canada and Saudi Arabia to show restraint.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday she "looks forward" to hearing from Riyadh about the future of the deal.

We could fire our foreign minister and say, 'You're right, we shouldn't be interfering.' Or we can take a more principled stand that human rights are universal rights.

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