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Canada-Croatia Relations

Canada is represented in Croatia by the Embassy of Canada in Zagreb, which also handles Canada’s diplomatic relations with Kosovo.

Croatia is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. Croatia also has consulates in Mississauga and Montreal. According to the 2006 Census, Canada has a 110,880-strong community of Croatian-Canadians living mainly in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Since 2000 Croatia has implemented important political and economic reforms, with its sights firmly set on Euro-Atlantic integration. Croatia joined NATO at the Alliance’s Summit in April 2009, and pending ratification by all 27 EU Member States is expected to join the EU on July 1, 2013.

Canada and Croatia enjoy good bilateral relations. Canada has supported Croatia in its pursuit of political and economic reforms and its efforts to strengthen the rule of law. Canada has also encouraged Croatia's continuing efforts to improve its relations with neighbouring countries and is a strong supporter of Croatia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. The political dialogue between Canada and Croatia is excellent, with significant interaction at the highest levels. Canada signed an agreement on Youth Mobility during the visit of Prime Minister Harper in early 2010.

Croatia has participated in the Department of National Defence's Military Training Assistance Programme (MTAP) since 2005, which comprises language training, staff officer and peacekeeping training.

Canadian companies are showing increased interest in trade with Croatia. Croatia enjoys the highest per capita GDP at power purchasing parity (PPP) in the region (at $16,660 in 2008), and is courting foreign direct investment. Bilateral commercial exchanges are modest but growing. In 2008, Canadian exports to Croatia totalled $70,558,382, and imports to Canada were $50,510,606. Canada signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in 2001 and an Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation in 1999. In 2006, Canada and Croatia concluded an air transport agreement.

In light of progress achieved in the country, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) no longer has a bilateral aid program, although Croatia does benefit from some multilateral programs for the region.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. Canada recognized Kosovo on March 18, 2008, and has since established full diplomatic relations.  In Kosovo, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Croatia.

Kosovo is in the process of determining its diplomatic and consular representation for Canada.

Bilateral relations between Canada and Kosovo are good, and show potential for continuing development as the relationship between the two countries matures. Canada is satisfied that Kosovo’s Parliament has committed itself to the protection of the rights of minorities, including its cultural and religious heritage, and notes that the country’s constitution reflects these commitments. The development of Kosovo into a democratic, multi-ethnic state that fully respects human rights is essential for peace, political stability, and economic progress in the Balkans.

Since the fall of 2008, Canada has deployed a small contingent of Canadian Forces personnel to the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) to work as defence planners. Also, between 2009 and 2011 through the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), Canada deployed police experts to the EU rule of law mission (EULEX), which assists Kosovo authorities in supervising and monitoring minority rights.

Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada has provided $135 million in development assistance to Kosovo since 1992. CIDA’s Balkans was phased out in 2010. In support of the planned transition of the region from a donor-recipient relationship to one that reflects broader Canadian interests, CIDA completed its last cycle of programming in rule of law, health and education in the Western Balkans.

Trade relations: Kosovo’s economy is developing and is showing progress in the transition to a stable and market-based system.  The government is working to further improve the business environment and to attract foreign investment.

April 2012

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