Canada - Panama

Canada and Panama share strong bilateral ties going back over half a century, with the two countries having established diplomatic relations in 1961. Canada considers Panama to be an important like-minded partner in the region with whom we share a common vision for a more secure, prosperous and democratic hemisphere.

In Panama, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Panama City, which in 2015 celebrated the 20th year of its establishment. Besides bilateral programs, the Embassy also houses three regional offices: the Regional Office for Emergency Management (Latin America and the Caribbean); the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Panama and Costa Rica); and a regional Customs and Border Services Agency (Panama, Colombia and Ecuador). Panama is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa with consulates in Vancouver, Toronto, Burlington and Montreal.  

Panama and Canada worked together on organizing the seventh Summit of the Americas, which took place in Panama on April 10 and 11, 2015. Canada considers the Summit an essential forum for hemispheric heads of State and governments to discuss priority issues for the region.

The Organization of American States (OAS) is the region’s premier multilateral forum and provides a crucial venue for cooperation with hemispheric partners. Being a member of the OAS has allowed Canada to deepen its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean at various levels. Also, Canada is pleased to have hosted the XVII Pan American Games and V Parapan American Games in Toronto in July and August 2015. Canada is proud to have welcomed athletes and visitors from Panama and from across the Americas.

Canada and Panama have established strong commercial relations that continue to expand. In the Central America region, Panama is our sixth largest merchandise trading partner and our third largest merchandise export destination. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Panama in 2014 amounted to $106.5 million. Canadian merchandise exports to Panama in 2014 totalled nearly $95.5 million, and included machinery, paper and paperboard, meat, pharmaceuticals, and vegetables. Imports from Panama in 2014 were valued at $11.1 million and consisted principally of vegetables, fish products, machinery, stone, plaster and cement products, and coffee, tea and spices. Since entering into force in April 2013, the Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement has eliminated tariffs on Canadian goods exported to Panama while promoting greater protection, predictability and transparency for Canadian and Panamanian businesses.

The Embassy of Canada to Panama manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), which provides financial assistance for modest-scale projects in the country. In the past two years, Canada has supported projects focused on institutional strengthening in the area of democratic institutions: supporting free and fair elections and encouraging a greater participation of women in the political process; human rights: reform of the penal system and promotion of LGBTI rights; and rule of law: combatting human trafficking and modernization of the justice system with restorative and conflict resolution programs.

The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) provides short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean to study or conduct research in Canada. The program is notably predicated on Canadian and Panamanian institutional linkages, which facilitate the creation of scholarship opportunities. These academic agreements help foster research collaborations and student exchanges. Since 2009, 16 Panamanian students have taken part in the ELAP. In 2014, there were 197 Panamanian students participating in exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduate level in Canada through this and other programs. In addition to the ELAP scholarships, Panamanian students are encouraged to apply for other Canadian awards open to all international students including the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. For a complete list of available scholarships, visit

November 2015

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