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 peacekeeping, security, reconstruction, institutional reform, the promotion of good governance and the rule of law as well as the strengthening of state-level institutions.
Canada remains involved in BiH and supports BiH’s aspirations to Euro-Atlantic integration including their inclusion in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program (PfP) in 2006 and the granting of an Intensified Dialogue (ID) with NATO in 2008.
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.
Canada is represented in BiH by the Canadian Embassy in Budapest. Bosnia and Herzegovina is represented in Canada by its Embassy in Ottawa.
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. Canada provides training to BiH military personnel through the Military Training Assistance Program (MTAP), including training in the methodology and practice of peacekeeping and English and French language instruction.
Since 1995, Canada has 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 BiH which supports small-scale development projects. Currently valued at approximately $115,000 (2014-15), 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. Canada’s recent contributions includes two 2012 projects, valued at $1 million.
A Parliamentary Canada-BiH Friendship Group was created in November 2011 and consists of 30 Members of Parliament. Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella and a Senate delegation visited Sarajevo and Mostar in September 2012. Most recently, Minister Yelich represented Canada at the International Donors’ Conference for BiH and Serbia in Brussels on 16 July, 2014, where she announced $100,000 in humanitarian assistance in response to the severe flooding and subsequent landslides in the Balkans. This announcement was in addition to the $600,000 already announced to help residents of BiH affected by the flooding.
Canada-Bosnia and Herzegovina’s commercial relationship is modest. Canadian merchandise exports to BiH in 2013 were $1.8 million, consisting mainly textiles, vegetables and railway equipment. Canadian merchandise imports from BiH in 2013 were $15.5 million composed primarily of footwear, woven apparel, furniture and bedding and electrical machinery. Statistics Canada does not list any Canadian Direct Investment in BiH although several Canadian companies are active in the market in the Agrifood, Construction and Engineering, Defence, Energy and ICT sectors.
Last updated: December 2014