Bilateral relations between Canada and Algeria are excellent. Algeria is Canada’s top trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in terms of value of total merchandise, in addition to being a key partner for Canada in the global fight against terrorism.
Canada recognised Algeria upon independence in 1962, and diplomatic relations were established in 1964. Approximately 60,000 people of Algerian origin reside in Canada, primarily in the Montreal area, and today Algeria is the third largest source of immigrants to Quebec. Canada is an attractive destination for Algerian students, and over 9000 Algerians visited Canada in 2012. The number of visitors and students visiting Canada has been steadily growing over the past several years, with an average of 6000 permanent resident visas issued to Algerians each year. The three weekly flights between Montreal and Algiers offered by Air Algérie is set to double to six weekly flights for the 2013 summer season.
In January 2011, Canada’s Foreign Minister visited Algeria, meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his Algerian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci. Canada and Algeria signed a Protocol of Understanding, paving the way for a new era of cooperation between the two countries. In addition, Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean travelled to Algeria in November 2006 as part of an African tour.
Algeria is a major regional player in the global fight against terrorism. Recognizing Algeria’s unique role, Canada is committed to strengthening its cooperation with Algeria to work towards building a safe and secure region. In September 2011, Canada participated in an international conference hosted by Algeria to explore ways to improve cooperation to combat terrorism in the region. That same month, Algeria and Canada participated in the launch of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF), within which the two states co-chair the Sahel Working Group.
Algeria has supported various international initiatives spearheaded by Canada. Algeria signed and ratified the Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, and has been active in promoting the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), particularly within the African Peer Review Mechanism. Although not a member of La Francophonie, Algeria is the second largest French-speaking country in the world, and has participated in Francophonie summits, including the 2008 Quebec City Summit. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika also participated in the 2010 G8 summit in Muskoka in the context of the G8 Africa Partnership, and his representatives have played an active role in the G8 Africa Personal Representative Process (APR).
Canada is represented in Algeria by the Embassy of Canada in Algiers, while Algeria is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa and a consulate in Montreal.
Canada and Algeria enjoy a dynamic commercial relationship, with bilateral trade valued at C$3.7 billion in 2013. The activities of Canadian companies doing business in Algeria span from basic foodstuffs to hydrocarbons to aeronautics. Algeria offers trade opportunities that merit Canada’s interest in the infrastructure, education, aerospace and agricultural sectors. Algeria was the second largest supplier of crude oil to Canada in 2013, and was Canada’s 18th largest bilateral trading partner that same year. Canada and Algeria also share cultural and academic ties, including a range of research and teaching agreements between universities.
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