Canada and Albania enjoy modest relations, and Canada supports Albania’s full integration in European structures. Since joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2009, Albania's chief foreign policy objective is European Union (EU) integration. Albania submitted its formal application for EU membership in April 2009, and was granted candidate status in June 2014.
Canada’s Ambassador in Rome is accredited to Albania, while a Consulate in Tirana, headed by an Honorary Consul, assists Canadian interests in Albania. Immigration and visa applications by Albanians are processed by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office in the Canadian Embassy in Rome, whose staff members visit Albania periodically to interview candidates.
Edmond Haxhinasto, Albanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (then Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs) met with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird during a visit to Ottawa in May 2012. Minister Haxhinasto praised the excellent status of political and economic relations between Canada and Albania. Most recently, Minister Baird travelled to Tirana in his first official visit on 2 September 2014, where he met with President Bujar Nishani, Prime Minister Edi Rama, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati, where they discussed areas of mutual cooperation.
Between 2004 and 2014, Albania participated in the Canadian Military Training Assistance Program (MTAP), whose purpose was to provide language training for Albanian military officers in Canada. Canada also provides assistance to Albania in an anti-personnel mine destruction program and has contributed expertise, training and $500,000 to help the Albanian military destroy some 10,000 tonnes of small arms and light-weapons ammunition.
The Albanian Investment Development Agency cites Canada as the largest foreign investor in Albania with $810 million in stock investment, mostly in the oil, gas and mining (copper, zinc, gold and silver) sectors. Bankers Petroleum, Petromanas Energy, Stream Oil and Gas and Tirex Resources are some of the largest Canadian investors in Albania. Canada’s exports to Albania in 2013 amounted to $36.84 million, with machinery, iron and steel products, animal products and tools counting among the top exports. Canadian imports from Albania totalled $6.37 million, mainly in footwear, iron and steel products, apparel and grain.
To help protect and encourage two-way investment, the governments of Canada and Albania are currently finalizing a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
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