Canada enjoys excellent relations with Estonia. Canada never recognized the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and was one of the first countries to recognize the restoration of Estonia's independence in 1991. In 2004, Canada was also the first NATO country to ratify Estonia's accession the organization. Canada is also the home to the world’s second largest Estonian community outside of Estonia, estimated at 24,000 individuals. The active Estonian-Canadian community underpins the countries’ dynamic bilateral relations. Recent high level visits have included that of Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet, who met with former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon, former Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan and Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay in November 2010. Former Minister Van Loan also visited Estonia in July 2010. In November 2011, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committees of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania visited Ottawa to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Baltic states.
Canada and Estonia signed a Youth Mobility Agreement that was ratified in August 2010.The objective of this agreement is to promote the mobility of young Canadians and Estonians through new work and travel opportunities. Under this agreement, young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 can easily obtain a work or residence permit to engage in short-term employment in the other country. Canada and Estonia also signed a Social Security Agreement that came into force in November 2006.
On October 31, 2007, the Canadian government announced that citizens of the Republic of Estonia no longer required a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.
Canada and Estonia are NATO allies and both participate in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Canada has provided Estonian military officers with English and/or French language training, peacekeeping skills and other types of professional development support. Canada has been sending officers to attend the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia and has been providing the institution with lecturers and course development assistance since 2001. Canada also attended the NATO Foreign Ministers' Meeting in April 2010, as well as the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session in 2012, both held in Tallinn.
Primary Canadian exports to Estonia include machinery, lumber, toys and seafood and fur products. These exports totaled $22.9 million in 2012. Canada mainly imports telephone sets, mineral and chemical and food products, as well as fishing articles. These imports totaled $48.4 million in 2012.
Last updated: March 2013
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