Canada established diplomatic relations with Tajikistan in 1992. In Tajikistan, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Astana, Kazakhstan. Tajikistan is represented in Canada by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United Nations in New York.
Bilateral contacts between Canada and Tajikistan have focused on landmines, development issues, and electoral reform. However, there have been recent high-level contacts. Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai travelled to Tajikistan in January 2010. In addition, Minister Cannon met Minister Zarifi at the OSCE informal ministerial in Almaty, Kazakhstan this July.
Canada’s modest merchandise exports to Tajikistan more than doubled from 2007 to 2008, to $4.6 million, and then declined to $3.5 million in 2009 and increased again to $5.4 million in 2010. Canadian imports from Tajikistan are virtually non-existent. A limited number of Canadian companies have been active in Tajikistan in the mining and hydropower sectors. Most recently, in January 2011, a Canadian company signed an MOU with the Tajik Government for the joint construction of several hydropower plants.
Canada has been providing development assistance to Tajikistan since 1994, mainly through CIDA, which has contributed approximately $45 million to date. The Aga Khan Development Network, headquartered in Ottawa, remains active in local projects and partnerships.
The Canadian embassy in Astana, which is responsible for Tajikistan, manages a small Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives program focused on Tajik NGOs active in community development.