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Canada-Latvia Relations

Political Relations

Canada enjoys excellent relations with Latvia. Canada never recognized the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and was the first G-7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991. In 2004, Canada was also the first country to ratify Latvia's accession to NATO. The presence of an active Latvian-Canadian community in Canada (estimated at about 28,000 individuals) underpins the countries’ bilateral relations. Recent high level visits have included that of the former Speaker of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima), Gundars Daudze, who led a parliamentary delegation in Canada in May 2008. This visit was followed by that of Stockwell Day, a former Minister of International Trade, in May 2009, as well as that of the Honorable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate of Canada, in January 2010. In November 2011, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committees of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania visited Ottawa to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Baltic states.

Agreements

Canada and Latvia signed a Youth Mobility Agreement during the visit of former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga to Canada in September 2006. The objective of this agreement is to promote the mobility of young Canadians and Latvians 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 Latvia also signed a Social Security Agreement which entered into force in November 2006. In May 2009, both countries signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

Visas

On October 31, 2007, the Canadian government announced that the citizens of the Republic of Latvia no longer required a temporary resident visa to visit Canada. 

NATO

Canada and Latvia are NATO allies. Latvia currently contributes 27 military personnel to the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The Military Training Assistant Program (MTAP) has been a cornerstone of Canadian-Latvian defense relations. This initiative began as part of Canada's NATO commitment to the Partnership for Peace Program. Language immersion, peacekeeping and other professional development courses have been offered to more than 300 Latvian military officers.

Trade and Investment

Canada’s trade relationship with Latvia is modest. In 2012, Canada exported $54.7 million in goods to Latvia including machinery parts, pharmaceutical goods, food products and sports-related articles. Canada also imported $20.1 million in Latvian products including food products, glassware, furniture and optical fibers.

March 2013


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Date Modified:
2013-03-22