Canada – Honduras Relations
Canada and Honduras have maintained diplomatic relations since 1961. The two countries enjoy a positive relationship, and Canada is playing a constructive role in Honduras, given its demonstrated commitment to democratic development, its important development assistance program, and extensive trade and investment linkages. Canada also played a leading role in negotiation efforts for a peaceful solution to the political crisis sparked by the coup d’État in Honduras in June 2009.
In Honduras, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, and a Program Office for development in Tegucigalpa. In addition to managing the Development Cooperation Program with Honduras, the Program Office provides full consular services to Canadians. The Ambassador and other Embassy services such as trade and diplomatic relations in general are located and managed from the Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica. Honduras is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. It also has a consulate in Montreal.
Honduras is one of Canada’s countries of focus for international development assistance and benefits from Canada’s largest bilateral development program in Central America, with a budget of $27.2 million in 2013-2014. Canada’s objectives in Honduras are aligned with the Honduran government’s national development plan and its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for 2001-2015, where their stated priorities are education, health, and poverty alleviation. At the same time, Canada supports a number of regional initiatives targeting sustainable economic growth, gender equality, human rights, labour rights, and judicial reforms, as well as many initiatives developed by Canadian partners in the areas of agriculture, food security, health, civic and democratic participation, and private sector development.
Security issues are especially critical in Honduras, which ranks as one of the most violent countries in the world. Canada has provided approximately $3.7 million to Honduras to help it address its security challenges through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (SRTF).
The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), announced by then Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Summit of the Americas in 2009, provides short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean to study or conduct research in Canada. The program is notably predicated on Canadian and Honduran institutional linkages which facilitate the creation of scholarship opportunities. These academic agreements help foster research collaborations and student exchanges. Since 2009, one Honduran student has taken part in the ELAP. In 2014, 123 Honduran students participated in exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduate level in Canada through this and other programs. In addition to the ELAP scholarships, Honduran students are encouraged to apply for other Canadian awards open to all international students including the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. For a complete list of available scholarships, go to www.scholarships-bourses.gc.ca.
Honduras is also becoming an increasingly important destination for Canadian businesses and tourists. A total of 103,100 Canadians visited Honduras in 2014, and a considerable number of Canadians work in Honduras on behalf of Canadian and Honduran non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Over the past decade, a growing number of Honduran workers have come to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, with over 278 workers coming to work in Canada in 2014.
Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Honduras reached $289.75 million in 2014, an increase of 4% over 2013. Merchandise exports to Honduras were $45.06 million in 2014, the main products being fertilizer, machinery, electrical equipment, paper and plastic products, and meat. For their part, merchandise imports from Honduras amounted to $244.69 million, consisting primarily of clothing, fruit and coffee. Canadian direct foreign investment is prominent in Honduras in garment manufacturing and mining.
The year 2015 marks Canada’s 25th year as a full member of the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS is the region’s premier multilateral forum and provides a crucial venue for cooperation with hemispheric partners. Being a member of the OAS has allowed Canada to deepen its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean at various levels. Also, Canada is pleased to have hosted the XVII Pan American Games and V Parapan American Games in Toronto in July and August 2015. Canada is proud to have welcomed athletes and visitors from Honduras and from across the Americas.
In recent years, the deepening ties between Canada and Honduras have been underscored by numerous high-level contacts. In October 2014, former Honduran Secretary of State and International Cooperation Mireya Agüero visited Ottawa to celebrate the entry into force of the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement and parallel agreements on labour and environmental cooperation, signed in November 2013, during a visit to Ottawa, by the Honduran Minister of Industry and Commerce, José Adonis Lavaire. The conclusion of negotiations of these agreements had previously been announced during the 2011 visit of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Honduras, for which he was accompanied by the then Foreign Affairs Minister, International Trade Minister, and Minister of State (Americas and Consular Affairs). The latter also carried out a bilateral visit to Honduras in March 2012. Then Minister of State (Americas) Peter Kent also travelled to Honduras during the 2009 political crisis to support negotiations to restore democracy.
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