Canada - Israel Relations
Canada recognized the State of Israel upon its founding in 1948, and the two countries established formal diplomatic relations on May 11, 1949.
In Israel, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Tel Aviv.
Israel is represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa. Israel also has consulates in Montreal and Toronto.
Canada and Israel have strong, multidimensional bilateral relations, marked by close political, economic, social and cultural ties. Support for Israel, especially its right to live in peace and security with its neighbours, has been at the core of Canada's Middle East policy since 1948.
One of the underlying strengths of the Canada-Israel bilateral relationship lies in the extensive people-to-people ties. There are approximately 20,000 Canadian citizens living in Israel and many Canadians have family in Israel. The Canadian Jewish community, which stands at around 350,000, acts as an important bridge between Canada and Israel. These informal ties give rise to significant cooperation between our two countries in business, philanthropy and tourism.
A key deliverable of the visit was the signing of the Canada-Israel Strategic Partnership MOU, designed to further strengthen the bilateral relationship in several areas including: energy, security, international aid and development, innovation, and the promotion of human rights globally - and enhance existing arrangements. Currently, Canada and Israel are particularly focussed on improving the trade relationship between the two countries.
The Canada-Israel Strategic Partnership MOU is designed to further strengthen the bilateral relationship in several areas including: energy, security, international aid and development, innovation, and the promotion of human rights globally - and enhance existing arrangements. Currently, Canada and Israel are particularly focussed on improving the trade relationship between the two countries.
The following agreements are also in place between Canada and Israel:
- Memoranda of Understanding on Foreign Ministry Cooperation and Public Diplomacy Cooperation; and,
- A Declaration of Intent on Enhancing Trade Promotion.
Various bilateral agreements support Canada’s commercial relations with Israel. These include the Air Transportation Agreement (2015), a renewed and funded Science & Technology Agreement, the Double Taxation Agreement (1977), and the Canadian Space Agency - Israeli Space Agency MOU for Space Cooperation (March 2005).
Israel is an important economic partner for Canada in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a full range of business possibilities including trade, investment, science & technology and innovation. The Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), in force since 1997, has led to a tripling in the value of merchandise trade between our countries to C$1.5 billion in 2014.
A key element of the commercial relationship is collaboration in science, technology and innovation (STI). Bilateral STI relations are strong and based on a significant, 20-plus year history of close collaboration to jointly fund bilateral industrial and basic research. Currently, a number of Canadian government organizations and the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan are funding collaborative research and development with Israel, and Nova Scotia recently established a programme to enhance R&D partnerships with Israel. DFATD is responsible for the Canada-Israel Agreement on Industrial Research and Development, which commits both parties to providing up to $1M per year towards industrial R&D with Israel. This funding is managed by an arms-length delivery entity, the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation.
Canada’s top merchandise exports to Israel in 2015 (valued at $341.6 million) included electrical machinery, electronic machinery and equipment, scientific and precision instruments, pharmaceutical products and paper. Canada’s main merchandise imports (valued at $1.2 billion) included electrical and electronic machinery and equipment, pharmaceutical products, machinery, precious stones and metals and scientific and precision instruments.
Israel has a relatively open investment environment. Foreign investors mostly enjoy equal treatment with nationals, though foreign investment is restricted in some sectors (such as defense) and requires government approval in other sectors (such as banking and insurance). Israel has robust infrastructure, a highly-skilled workforce, and it benefits from its Qualified Industrial Zone agreements with Jordan and Egypt.
Export Development Canada (EDC) offers all of its products and services (insurance, financing and bonding) in Israel. Israel is rated as investment grade by three international rating agencies.
Canada and Israel have a number of bilateral agreements in place, including one on Film and Videotape Production and on Mutual Legal Assistance. There are also a number of sub-national agreements between Israel and certain provinces, including Manitoba and Ontario.
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