Canada is represented in Slovakia by Ambassador-designate Mark Bailey. Canada also has an office in Bratislava, headed by Chargé d'affaires Kathy Bunka.
Slovakia is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. Slovakia also has consulates in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
Canada and Slovakia enjoy excellent bilateral relations, largely thanks to Canada's sheltering of Czechoslovak political refugees in 1948 and 1968, steadfast support for dissidents throughout the Communist period and the strengthening of Canada-Slovakia personal and family ties since 1989. The community of 64,000 Canadians of Slovak heritage is a link which enhances the ties between the two countries. These Slovaks have enriched our nation in different walks of life and Canada is proud of their many achievements.
Our bilateral diplomatic relationship goes back over 80 years to 1920 when Czechoslovakia first appointed a Consular agent in Montreal. Since then, Canada and Slovakia have signed treaties that cover Social Security, the Avoidance of Double Taxation, the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy, the Promotion and Protection of Investment, Youth Mobility and much more. We are proud that Canada took a lead in supporting Slovakia's entry into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Relations between Canada and Slovakia are excellent and can only improve.
International Experience Canada…
The Canada-Slovakia Youth Mobility Agreement (officially known as International Experience Canada) came into effect on 1 July 2011. Through this new exciting initiative, young Slovaks (18-35) can apply for a temporary work permit to travel and work in Canada for up to one year and thus gain a valuable work and life experience.
What participants learn from other cultures and the self-reliance they gain from living and working abroad are highly marketable assets in a global economy. Companies with international operations often seek individuals who are able to communicate effectively in more than one language, and who can understand the nuances of a different culture and its values. An international experience in Canada can help you build these skills and more! This program is a bilateral arrangement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Slovakia and there are also opportunities for Canadian youth to travel and work in Slovakia.
Canada and Slovakia work together through a host of multilateral institutions including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Canada is deeply committed to the trans-Atlantic relationship and was the first to ratify Slovakia’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). We have also worked together in peacekeeping missions, including in Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.
Canada warmly welcomed the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union. This important event provides additional opportunities for our bilateral relations as Canada and the EU are engaged in a wide range of co-operation on foreign policy, defence and security, trade and investments, science and technology, justice and home affairs, and people to people exchanges.
The Canada-Slovakia bilateral commercial relationship has been extremely resilient in recent years. Slovakia has been one of the top economic performers in the European Union, and the economic fundamentals remain strong, with GDP growth of 3.2% in 2011 and 2.4% in 2012. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Slovakia reached $357mn in 2012, with Canadian exports to Slovakia accounting for $69mn and Slovak exports to Canada increasing to $288mn.
Slovakia is an attractive investment destination mainly thanks to political and economic stability, the country's use of the Euro currency, a favorable operating environment with a simple graduated taxation system, a highly skilled and educated labour force and a flexible labour code. Slovakia's convenient location in the heart of Europe with highly developed rail and road links to the region will continue to render Slovakia attractive to Canadian business and investment interests. Updated Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Canada and Slovakia entered into force in March 2012.
A number of Canadian companies have recognized the rich investment potential in Slovakia and over the past decade, Canadian investment in Slovakia is estimated to have reached between $700 and $800mn, making Canada one of the top 25 investors in the country.
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