Canada - Côte d'Ivoire Relations
Canada and Cote d'Ivoire established diplomatic relations in 1962. In Cote d'Ivoire, Canada has been represented by the Canadian Embassy in Abidjan since 1970. Cote d'Ivoire has been represented in Canada by its Embassy in Ottawa since 1972.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Cote d'Ivoire are close and cordial. The two countries frequently collaborate within the United Nations and La Francophonie. Côte d’Ivoire will host the VIII Francophonie Games in Abidjan, in 2017.
In its 2013 Global Markets Action Plan, Canada designated Cote d’Ivoire as an emerging market offering specific leads for Canadian businesses. In August 2012, Canada announced the cancellation of Cote d'Ivoire's $130 million debt as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) and the Canadian Debt Relief Program. In 2014, merchandise trade between Canada and Côte d’Ivoire was close to $602 million, with imports from Côte d’Ivoire reaching $519 million. Imports are mainly mineral fuels and cocoa, but also rubber and rubber products; wood and wood products; and edible fruits and nuts. Canadian exports reached $83 million, including mainly aircraft and parts; machinery; automobiles and parts; cereals (primarily wheat); fertilizer; and electrical and electronic equipment.
In Montreal, in September 2013, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Christian Paradis, announced, in the presence of the Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, the conclusion of negotiations towards a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). The FIPA was signed on November 30, 2014 in Dakar, on the margins of the Francophonie Summit by Minister Christian Paradis and Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Charles Koffi Diby. The two parties are currently ratifying the agreement.
The two countries signed a Double Taxation Agreement in 1983 and an Air Transport Agreement in 1987.
The bilateral development assistance program came to an end on March 31, 2010, having been significantly reduced in the early 2000s. Today, Canada contributes to the development of Côte d’Ivoire through United Nations agencies, Bretton-Woods institutions, the African Development Bank and multilateral program. Côte d’Ivoire is also eligible for the Francophonie Scholarships Program. Canada has contributed $8 million to programs of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN High Commission for Refugees and non-governmental organizations in response to the post-election crisis in Côte d'Ivoire and the massive displacement of Ivorians who fled to Liberia in 2011-2012. For example, Canada contributes to the WFP school feeding program and a Helen Keller International food security program. In 2013-2014, Canadian development assistance, estimated at $7.04 million for Côte d’Ivoire targeted health. The main Canadian partners involved in Côte d’Ivoire were SOCODEVI, Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education and CAPRA International Inc. The main multilateral partner was the World Food Program.
Canada does not provide bilateral development assistance to the government of Cote d’Ivoire. Cote d’Ivoire can receive Canadian development assistance delivered by international and other partners.
Canada was represented by Senator Raynell Andreychuk at President Ouattara's inauguration in Yamoussoukro, on May 21, 2011. Then Minister of State of La Francophonie Bernard Valcourt visited Côte d’Ivoire in June 2012. He met with some key Ivorian interlocutors, including President Ouattara. In September 2013, the then Quebec Minister of International Relations, Francophonie and International Trade, Jean-François Lisée along with a delegation of Quebec companies and institutions, carried out a mission in Francophone Africa, including Cote d’Ivoire. Senator Raynell Andreychuck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Lois Brown, Senator Jim Munson, MP Jim Hillyer and MP Mauril Bélanger of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association visited Côte d’Ivoire in October 2013. Former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, former Prime Minister Joe Clark and former Quebec Premier Jean Charest visited Abidjan, between October 2013 and January 2014 respectively. The Ivorian Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, the Minister of Industry and Mines and representatives of the Ivorian private sector, participated in Forum Africa in Montreal in September 2013. The Ivorian President of the National Assembly, Guillaume Soro, participated in the 40th session of Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, which was held in Ottawa in July 2014. The Ivorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Koffi Diby, made an official visit to Canada in September 2014. Ivorian Minister of Transport Gaoussou Touré visited Toronto in September 2014 as part of the transfer ceremony of the two Bombardier Q400 aircraft acquired by Air Côte d’Ivoire.
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