Canada enjoys excellent relations with Lithuania, including growth in trade and investments, as well as increasing military co-operation. Canada never recognized the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and was one of the first countries to recognize the restoration of Lithuania's independence. Canada was also one of the first to ratify Lithuania's accession to NATO in 2004. Canada’s large Lithuanian community (estimated at 46,000 individuals) underpins the countries’ dynamic bilateral relations. Recent high level visits have included that of Minister Baird who attended the OSCE Ministerial Council hosted by the Lithuanian Government in December 2011 and that of Lithuania‘s former Minister of Defence Rasa Jukneviciene who visited Ottawa to meet with Canada‘s then Minister of National Defence Peter McKay in May 2012. The chairs of the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committees of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also gathered in Ottawa in November 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Baltic states.
In February 2004, Canada was the first NATO member to ratify Lithuania‘s accession to the alliance. Since then, both countries have participated in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Lithuania presently contributes 95 military personnel to the mission in Afghanistan, including special task forces operating in the country‘s south. Canada is also a leading member of NATO when it comes to language and peacekeeping training in Lithuania. Hundreds of Lithuanian officers and senior general staff received instruction in Canada.
Canada and Lithuania signed a Youth Mobility Agreement in 2009. The objective of this agreement is to promote the mobility of young Canadians and Lithuanians 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 Lithuania also signed a Social Security Agreement in 2006, which helps Lithuanians living in Canada and Canadians living in Lithuania to qualify for social security benefits.
Citizens of Lithuania do not require temporary resident visas to travel to Canada if they are holders of biometric passports. A temporary resident visa is required if an individual’s passport was issued before August 28th, 2006.
There is a modest but steadily increasing flow of trade and investment between Canada and Lithuania. In 2013, Canadian imports from Lithuania totaled $188.9 million and included mostly petroleum and related products, as well as mineral, chemical and furniture products. Canadian exports to Lithuania amounted to $88.9 million in metals, agricultural machinery, food products and automotive parts. EU membership makes Lithuania an attractive investment destination for Canadian companies. Canada‘s cumulative direct investment to Lithuania in 2012 reached $500 million.
Last updated: July 2014
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