Canada and Cyprus enjoy close bilateral relations through our shared membership in the UN and many of its agencies, the OSCE, La Francophonie, and the Commonwealth. Canada supports a negotiated solution to the Cyprus question that is acceptable to both sides, and was a major contributor to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) when it was formed in early 1964. Before the withdrawal of the bulk of the Canadian contingent in 1993, over 25,000 Canadian soldiers served in UNFICYP, 28 of whom lost their lives while deployed.
Bilateral commercial relations with Cyprus remain relatively modest but are expanding. In 2011, Canadian merchandise exports to Cyprus totalled $12.4 million and were comprised mainly of machinery, electronic equipment, wood, paper, and vegetables. Canadian merchandise imports from Cyprus amounted to almost $3 million in 2011 and included mainly baked goods, fruits and nuts, as well as copper. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian direct investment in Cyprus was valued at a strong $3.4 billion in 2011. It is difficult to estimate Cypriot direct investment in Canada.
Opportunities exist not only in the development of natural gas and subsequent pipelines, but also in the possible development of a natural gas infrastructure in Cyprus. The Cypriot government often promotes tenders to improve infrastructure in the sectors of electricity (power stations and power lines), roads, and management and consultancy services. There is good potential for Canadian firms to partner in these local projects. The new Cyprus-Canada Business Association, launched on January 21, 2011, is examining ways to exploit this potential and strengthen the bilateral commercial relationship.
The Canada-Cyprus Tax Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed on May 2, 1984. Cyprus has expressed strong support for a successful conclusion to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations.