Canada - Morocco Relations
Canada and Morocco enjoy excellent bilateral political and cultural relations. In 2016, Moroccan diaspora to Canada represented close to 73,000 people residing primarily in the Montreal area. Morocco is also the third largest source of immigrants to Quebec. Every year, close to 2,500 young Moroccans come to study in Canadian colleges and universities, traditionally in Quebec, but increasingly in other provinces and territories. Formal diplomatic relations were established in 1962 with 2017 marking the 55th year of official bilateral relations.
In addition to being a longstanding partner for Canada in La Francophonie, Morocco has in recent years established itself as an important global ally in addressing climate change and in countering terrorism and violent extremism. Morocco hosted the Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November 2016 and is currently co-chair of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) in which Canada is highly engaged.
Canada is represented in Morocco by the Embassy of Canada in Rabat, while Morocco is represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa. Morocco also has a consulate general and a cultural centre in Montreal. Montreal and Casablanca are connected by year-round non-stop flights operated by both Air Canada and Royal Air Maroc.
Canada's commercial activity in Morocco is diversified, focusing on trade and investment; establishing partnerships with teaching institutions; and setting up franchises and other global value chain activities. Morocco provides commercial opportunities of interest to Canada in the following sectors: infrastructures, mining, clean technologies, defense and security, agriculture, aerospace and education. Canada and Morocco are presently negotiating a free trade agreement. In 2016, our bilateral trade totalled over $767.0 million. Major drivers of Morocco’s economy include agriculture, tourism and mining (phosphates). An emerging high-end manufacturing sector (aerospace, automotive) is also present in the country. Morocco was Canada's 55th largest bilateral trade partner in 2016. Morocco is one of the priority countries identified in the Canadian strategy regarding international education.
Canada’s development assistance to Morocco dates from 1963, with annual bilateral disbursements now averaging $8 million. The ultimate outcome sought by Canada’s development assistance to Morocco is to help provide greater prosperity and a better future for young Moroccans, especially the most disadvantaged. Current programming focuses on human dignity, particularly through gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and a growth that works for everyone. Projects help to (i) improve youth employability and education and meet labour market needs, and (ii) support women’s economic empowerment, opening of markets, and the green economy.
The programming is aligned with Morocco’s priority reforms and the Government of Canada’s priorities in relation to development assistance. Gender equality is a major theme, and all projects must directly address issues related to women’s rights.
To find out what Canada is doing to support Morocco’s development, please visit the Project Browser.
Global Affairs Canada recommends anyone considering travel to Mauritania to check its travel advice and encourages travellers to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service when outside of Canada.
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