Canadian exports to Iran might reach $1 billion

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Canada has finally gotten around to removing most of its sanctions on Iran (a bit slow in my opinion compared to Europe which is already eating our lunch), and I found a number here about exports to Iran before:

Canada’s exports to Iran peaked at $772 million in 1997. With the imposition of sanctions, this number declined to $67 million in 2014 (comprising mostly food products exempt from sanctions).
So my $1 billion isn't based on anything more than the fact that both countries have larger economies and populations than in 1997. And even that isn't that large a number.

On the whole Iran and Canada are an odd match for trading, since they are far from each other and export much of the same items: petroleum, raw materials, etc., and the some of the obvious items Iran has that we don't are ones like nuts and caviar and rugs and things. Now if Canada's Bombardier can manage to sign a contract with Iran Air for a good number of planes then it'll be a different story. Bombardier is good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory though so who knows what will happen there. If they can't get a contract from a country that now needs 600 or so planes and has $100 billion freed up to do it, then that will tell us something about the company.

Personally though I think they will buy planes from as many countries as possible, including Canada, for two reasons:

1) Buying a jet doesn't mean getting a jet right away. Each company has different waiting times and Iran Air isn't in the mood to wait.

2) The more countries they sign contracts with the less eager the world will be to snap sanctions back into place later on if something goes awry. See the $15 billion contract for armed vehicles to Saudi Arabia that Canada does not want to nullify for an example of this.


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