Canada and Argentina have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1940. Canada’s first Ambassador to Buenos Aires, Warwick Chipman, began his assignment in 1945. In Argentina, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Buenos Aires. Argentina is represented in Canada by the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Ottawa, and also maintains consulates in Montreal and Toronto.
Canada and Argentina enjoy a productive and multifaceted relationship built on a commitment to multilateralism and similar perspectives on many global issues including peacekeeping, nuclear non-proliferation, human rights, the environment, strengthening democracy and combatting terrorism. Canada and Argentina also share membership in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which Canada is chairing until March 2014. Both countries share a similar approach to reforming the United Nations in order to make it more effective and a better representation of today’s world. We also collaborate closely in the context of the G20 process.
Argentina is an important partner for Canada in the context of our engagement in the Americas, which is focused on: increasing economic opportunity, strengthening security and institutions and fostering lasting relations. Argentina is the second-largest economy in South America and an influential and valuable interlocutor on hemispheric matters.
Canada and Argentina are jointly engaged in reconstruction and peacekeeping operations in Haiti and we collaborate actively in the Group of Friends of Haiti, the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and a trilateral cooperation project aimed at increasing food security for poor and vulnerable populations in Haiti. Peacekeeping troops from both countries regularly participate in training courses held at the other country’s training center. Argentina benefits from Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation program, through which Canada makes military training available to partner countries thus enhancing defence relations between our nations. To date, approximately 200 Argentines have received peacekeeping-related training through this program. Canada has also provided financial support to the Pearson Centre, which implemented the Latin American Peacekeeping Partnership (LAPP). The objective of the LAPP was to work with selected Latin American countries (including Argentina) to increase their capacity to contribute to the planning, management and conduct of multinational and multidimensional peace operations in line with international standards and best practices. Project activities focused on peacekeeping training centres and police peacekeeping services, with gender perspective as a cross cutting theme. In November 2012, in collaboration with the Argentine Ministry of Defence, a seminar on Gender Perspectives in Peace Operations was held in Buenos Aires, marking the first time that this project brought together representatives from defence ministries and peacekeeping training centres to discuss gender issues.
Canadian companies have found significant success in Argentina, especially through the past decade that has witnessed consistent and strong economic growth. Bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries was $2.5 billion in 2012. Exports from Canada to Argentina were a relatively modest $269 million in 2012, and led by machinery, petroleum products and natural uranium. Argentine exports to Canada attained $2.23 billion, of which approximately $1.7 billion was gold, plus noteworthy volumes of wine, seamless tubing and silver ores and concentrates. The stock of Canadian direct investment Argentina, as reported by Statistics Canada, stood at $2.75 billion in 2011. This is reflected by the active presence of Canadian mining sector firms, as well as Canadian-controlled subsidiaries in the agro-industrial sector (fertilizers, processed foods, livestock, dairy and fish products) as well as energy (principally oil and gas), printing, telecommunications, and various others. For more information, please visit the webpage of the Trade Commissioner Service in Buenos Aires.
Our deepening ties have been underscored by several high-level visits to Argentina, including the December 2011 visit of Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), Diane Ablonczy, when she attended the presidential inauguration in Buenos Aires. Earlier visits include that of former Governor General Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, former Minister of Labour Jean-Pierre Blackburn, former Minister of Health Tony Clement, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, former Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) Peter Kent, and former Minister of International Trade, Peter Van Loan. Parliamentarians from both countries collaborate through parliamentary friendship groups such as ParlAmericas.
While the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) does not maintain a significant development assistance program in Argentina, Argentina may benefit from various CIDA’s programs such as geographic regional programs that support the efforts of selected Canadian organizations working in developing countries. The Embassy of Canada in Argentina manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), which provides financial assistance to fund modest-scale development assistance projects. Projects supported by the CFLI focus on advancing democracy, creating opportunities for children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth, ensuring security and stability and increasing food security. For 2012-2013, seven projects in Argentina were selected for support.
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in Argentina to promote growth and development. Argentine researchers are focusing on issues such as labour markets and youth employment, MERCOSUR trade and integration issues, alternatives to tobacco farming, and the country’s efforts to help strengthen democracy and rebuild in Haiti. Since 1972, the IDRC has supported 191 activities in Argentina worth a total of $47 million.
Over the past decade, the Embassy of Canada has partnered with cultural events throughout Argentina helping to open new markets for Canadian cultural industries. Major companies and artists which have visited include: O Vertigo, Diana Krall, Atom Egoyan, Nathalie Choquette, Nicole Brossard, Les Ballets Jazz and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. For a current listing of cultural events, visit the Cultural and Academic Calendar.
Numerous links exist between indigenous communities and associations in Canada and Argentina. Indigenous leaders of Argentina have welcomed official delegations from Canada to exchange views and experiences. In 2012, the City of Buenos Aires erected a new totem pole in Canada Plaza to replace the historic totem which stood in the Plaza from 1964 until it was retired in 2008. The totem pole is a tribute to the rich indigenous heritage of Canada and that of Argentina, and serves as a tangible cultural bridge between the countries of the Americas through an indigenous world view.
The Argentine Association of Canadian Studies (ASAEC) sustains 7 centres across the country. Its members include prominent academic and research experts in an across-the board selection of domains, many of them also active political practitioners or members of civil society institutions. It also includes Canadian academic fellows, alumni and prominent institutions and individuals who wish to develop projects in connection with Canada. This network was created in 1990.
The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Summit of the Americas in 2009 provides short term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, to study or conduct research in Canada. The program is predicated on Canadian and Argentine institutional linkages which facilitate the creation of scholarship opportunities. These academic agreements help foster research collaborations and student exchanges. Since 2009, Argentina was awarded with 111 ELAP scholarships. In 2011, Canada hosted 175 Argentine students.
There are over 50 identified active agreements between Canadian and Argentinian universities, covering a wide range of disciplines, and which include both faculty and student exchanges.
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