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Canada-Bosnia and Herzegovina Relations


Since Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) emergence as a state in 1992, the Government of Canada, has played a significant role in its development in terms of peace keeping, security, reconstruction, institutional reform, the promotion of good governance and the rule of law as well as the strengthening of state-level institutions. Canada’s approach in the Balkans is now in transition as its role as reconstruction partner has been phased out. The Canadian Embassy in Sarajevo closed in July 2009, now Canada is represented in BiH by the Canadian Embassy in Budapest.

Canadian military and police engagement

Following the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, some 40,000 Canadian Forces personnel served in the region (with 23 deaths). Canada's military mission in BiH, which lasted almost 19 years, ended in March 2010, with the departure of five Canadian officers and one non-commissioned member from NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. Canada provides training to BiH military personnel through the Military Training Assistance Program (MTAP), including training in the methodology and practice of peacekeeping and in English and French language instruction.

Canadian development assistance

Since 1995, Canada invested over C$540 million in development projects in the region, of which BiH has been one of the largest recipients. Canada has played a significant role in areas such as policing, mine action, human rights, and free media. Canada currently operates a Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina which supports small-scale development projects. Currently valued at approximately $70,000 (2013-2014), the CFLI is supporting projects focused on anti-corruption and transparency, vulnerable women and human rights.

Canada's contribution to mine action in BiH, Europe’s most mine-affected country, has been particularly noteworthy: since 1998, Canada has contributed $11 million for mine clearance, mine detection dog training, victim assistance programs, and the United Nations Development Programme’s Mine Action Centres throughout the country.

Peace Implementation Council

As a member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) created by the Dayton Accord, Canada supports the work of the High Representative Valentin Inzko, who supervises the implementation of civilian aspects of the Dayton Accord, on political, economic, and security matters.

Defence relations

Canada is a strong supporter of BiH’s aspirations to Euro-Atlantic integration including BiH’s inclusion in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program (PfP) in 2006 and the granting of an Intensified Dialogue (ID) with NATO in 2008. Canada welcomed NATO’s conditional offer for BiH to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the April 2010 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Tallinn.

Commercial relations

Canada-BiH trade is modest. Canadian merchandise exports to BiH in 2011 were $4.4 million consisting mainly of hides and skins, vegetables and railway equipment. Canadian merchandise imports from BiH in 2011 were $11.5 million composed primarily of footwear, woven apparel, furniture and bedding and electrical machinery. Statistics Canada does not list any Canadian based Foreign Direct Investment in BiH.

Last updated: February 2014

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