In Latvia, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Riga.
Latvia is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. Latvia also has consulates in Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver.
Canada enjoys excellent relations with Latvia. Canada did not recognize the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and was the first G-7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991. The presence of an active Latvian-Canadian community in Canada (estimated at about 28,000 individuals) underpins the countries’ bilateral relations. The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and Latvia.
Canada and Latvia have several bilateral agreements and MOUs, including: Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2011); Youth Mobility Agreement (2007); Social Security Agreement (2006); Audio-Visual Co-Production Agreement (2003); and an Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation (1995).
Canada and Latvia cooperate closely also through multilateral initiatives as valuable partners in the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization and across a wide range of United Nations organizations and initiatives.
Canada and Latvia cooperate on defence issues through NATO. Canada was one of the first countries to ratify Latvia's accession to NATO in 2004, and Canada and Latvia continue to enjoy positive and constructive defence relations. At the NATO Warsaw Summit 2016, Canada announced that starting early 2017, it would become one of four Framework Nations and would lead a robust multinational battalion in Latvia. This deployment would be part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe. Bilateral military cooperation with Latvia has already increased in recent years due to Canada’s contributions to NATO assurance measures, through which the Canadian Armed Forces had a number of opportunities to train and exercise side-by-side with their Latvian counterparts. Canada contributed $1 million CAD to the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence based in Riga for the purpose of specialized programming.
Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Latvia totaled almost $73 million at the end of 2015. For the same year, Canadian merchandise exports to Latvia reached $29.3 million and consisted of mineral fuels and oils (not crude), machinery, electronic and electrical machinery and equipment, precision and technical instruments, and fish and seafood. Canadian imports from Latvia reached $43.5 million in 2015, and included fertilizers, beverages and spirits (vodka), precision and technical instruments, machinery, and furniture and bedding.
Each year, Canada hosts a number of international students from Latvia. Latvian students are invited to consider applying for the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, worth $50,000 annually for a three year Ph.D., and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, worth $70,000 a year for up to two years.
The Canada-Latvia Youth Mobility Agreement facilitates Canadian and Latvian youth (between the ages of 18 and 35) to obtain a work or residence permit to engage in short-term employment in the other country.
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