In Gabon, Canada is represented by the Canadian High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon since 2005. Canada also has an Honorary Consulate in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. Between 1971 and 2011, Gabon was represented in Canada by an Ambassador in Ottawa, and since 2011 is represented by a Chargé d’Affaires en Pied. Gabon also has a Consulate in Montreal.
Canada established diplomatic relations with Gabon in 1963. Bilateral relations between Canada and Gabon are modest. The two countries collaborate in various multilateral forums including the International Organisation of la Francophonie (IOF).
Bilateral trade relations between Gabon and Canada are growing. Gabon was the third market for Canadian exports in Central Africa in 2013. Gabon and Canada signed a Double Taxation Agreement, which came into effect on December 22, 2008. This type of agreement facilitates investment in both countries and should lead to more Canadian investment in Gabon. Canadian companies operating in Gabon are primarily active in the extractive and engineering sectors.
Canada no longer maintains a bilateral assistance program in Gabon. However, Canada provides training grants to Gabon through the Canadian Francophonie Grants Program and supports programs managed by multilateral organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. To date, the Fund has contributed US$30 million to Gabon, which has served to treat 8 800 Gabonese suffering from HIV/AIDS and was used to distribute mosquito nets to prevent Malaria.
Canada supports regional initiatives related to agriculture, infrastructure and management of water resources and minerals, which could benefit Gabon. In 2013, Canada contributed $20 million to the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), which is managed by the African Development Bank, to help local communities in forest zones secure sustainable livelihoods and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, therefore alleviating poverty while maximizing carbon storage. Gabon and nine other Central African countries benefit from the CBFF.
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