The Canada-Egypt bilateral relationship is a mutually respectful and beneficial partnership, founded on a common interest in peace, stability and security in the Middle East, development cooperation, cross-cultural understanding and growing trade relations. Canada and Egypt established embassies in their respective capitals in 1954. Since that time, Canada has enjoyed positive relations with this key Arab partner who is an important actor in efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. The shared commitment for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East lies at the core of Canada's relations with Egypt. Canada is supporting the democratic transition in Egypt.
The relationship is not limited to this issue, however, and continues to expand into new areas of cooperation. International trade relations, disarmament issues, La Francophonie, cultural exchanges and education are just a few of the areas of common interest to both countries. As both an Arab and an African state, Egypt is uniquely situated to be a partner for Canada in the Middle East and North African regions. During former Foreign Minister John Baird’s visit to Cairo in January 2015, Canada and Egypt solidified their mutual interest in strengthened bilateral relations which were further reinforced by the visit in Egypt of the new Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in December 2015.
Canada first gained prominence in Egypt with its successful intervention in the 1956 Suez Crisis. Canadian Forces personnel have participated in UN peacekeeping forces in the Sinai and are currently serving as peacekeepers in the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. Canada is an important destination for Egyptian emigrants and there are now large Egyptian-Canadian communities in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
Canada prioritizes its engagement with Egypt on a wide range of global issues, including the development of democratic governance, pluralism and human rights, as well as the promotion of citizenship rights, the rights of women and girls, and freedom of expression and association. Canada continually strives to maintain and strengthen its valued relationship with Egypt, a historical and key partner bilaterally, regionally, and internationally.
Trade and Economic Relations
Canada-Egypt commercial relations are broad in scope with two-way trade totalling about $1.1 billion CAD in 2014. Agricultural and food products account for 36% of Canada’s exports to Egypt while its top merchandise exports to Egypt are in the areas of iron and steel, oil seed, machinery, cereals and ores. Precious stones form the bulk Canada's imports from Egypt accounting for 77.6% of Canada's total bilateral trade with Egypt. Other top import commodities are fertilizers, carpets and textiles and apparel.
A number of top Canadian companies are also engaged with Egyptian stakeholders in the areas of transportation, aerospace, defence & security, information technology, and sustainable technologies. Canada has sizeable investments in Egypt in the field of pharmaceutical, petrochemicals, and oil & gas. Canadian companies have invested hundreds of millions dollars in Egypt, creating thousands of jobs, generating revenues for the government, and helping local communities develop and the Egyptian economy achieve significant growth.
Canada’s ties with Egypt in the field of education are also important. There are over 1000 Egyptian students currently studying in universities in Canada. There are a number of academic institutions providing Canadian education in Egypt, offering the Canadian curriculum from British Columbia, Ontario and Manitoba and degrees from Canadian universities. A number of Canadian institutions are working with Egyptian stakeholders to further deepen education sector ties.
- Canada has signed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Egypt in 1997
Canada-Egypt signed MOUs on trade in January 2015:
- Food Security with Egypt’s Ministry of Supplies and Internal Trade
- Energy Security with Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
- Canadian Commercial Corporation & Suez Canal Authority of Egypt
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