Canada and Norway established diplomatic relations in 1942. As NATO allies and multilateral partners, Canada and Norway enjoy a long tradition of cooperation on regional and global security issues, reinforced by like-minded cooperation at the United Nations and related multilateral forums.
As northern neighbours, Canada and Norway promote international circumpolar cooperation at the Arctic Council, consistent with the Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy and Norway’s High North strategy. Both documents highlight the importance of the Arctic as a key strategic priority area in the years ahead. Norway and Canada work closely together on a number of issues important to northerners and the Arctic. The same holds true for membership in other regional bodies, particularly NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). As founding members of NATO, Canada and Norway are firmly committed to the trans-Atlantic Alliance.
Over the years, Canada and Norway have co-funded several global initiatives, notably in the field of arms control and disarmament, war-affected children, gender equality, human rights, freedom of religion or belief and nuclear waste management. Norway is a valued supporter of Canada’s women’s and children’s health initiative. The two countries also consult frequently on the global security agenda.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between Canada and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries entered into force on July 2, 2009. Also entering into force at the same time as the FTA were three associated bilateral agreements on agriculture with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
The trade and investment activities between Canada and Norway are expanding, and Norway remains one of Canada’s most important trading partners in Europe. Our common commercial interests are mainly focussed on energy and natural resources. Norway was our most important Nordic trading partner and our 17th largest partner worldwide in 2014, with Canada importing $2.01 billion worth of Norwegian goods, mainly crude oil for refining, some of which is re-exported to the United States. Canadian merchandise exports to Norway totalled $2.24 billion in 2014, led by nickel and copper.
Academic relations, youth mobility and culture
The Canada and Norway Youth Mobility Memorandum of Understanding opens the doors for enhanced person-to-person contacts between Canadian and Norwegian youth. Scientific and Research cooperation is growing along with academic and student mobility. There is vibrant cultural cooperation between the two countries with frequent exchanges of artists. The co-production of the Oscar winning animation film The Danish Poet was facilitated by the Canada-Norway Audiovisual co-production agreement. The Inuit culture and traditional knowledge acquired by Norwegian explorer Amundsen in Gjoa Haven was credited for his success in reaching the South Pole in 1911, establishing by the same token a special connection between the community of Gjoa Haven in Nunavut and the Fram Museum in Oslo.
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