The Embassy of Canada in Khartoum, Sudan, has been representing Canada in Chad with an accredited non-resident Canadian ambassador since June 2013. Between 1962 and 2011, the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé, Cameroon, assumed this function. Canada also has an Honorary Consulate in N'Djamena, Chad. Since 1975, Chad has been represented in Canada by its embassy in Washington, D.C. In 2013, Chad decided to open an embassy in Ottawa, and accreditation of the first resident ambassador is expected in 2014.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Chad are modest. The two countries mainly collaborate in various multilateral organizations, including the International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF). Canada and Chad do, however, have common interests, including counterterrorism; for example, Canada contributed to Chad’s participation in the Oran Conference held in Algeria in 2013. Both countries contribute to the International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), as they did to the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (MISMA). Chad became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 2014, and will complete its term at the end of 2016.
Canada supports efforts to re-establish peace, security and political dialogue in the region. The conflicts in Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), and the humanitarian situation on the Chad-Sudan border (Darfur region) contribute to the region’s instability. In addition to assisting with the return of more than 150,000 Chadians from Libya at the end of the Gaddafi regime, Chad has taken in some 362,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan, and more than 91,000 refugees fleeing the repeated crises in the CAR. Chad must also accommodate thousands of its own nationals who have fled the CAR.
Canadian assistance to Chad, mainly humanitarian in nature, is sent through international multilateral organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Canada works with partners like the WFP to address food insecurity and malnutrition in Chad. Canada also provides training grants to Chad through the Canadian Francophonie Grants Program and finances local projects through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, which is managed by the Embassy of Canada in Khartoum.
Generally speaking, trade between Canada and Chad is modest. Moreover, in 2013, there was a significant decrease associated with the drop in petroleum imports (from $114.9 million in 2012 to $7 million in 2013). In 2013, bilateral trade almost reached $25.4 million; exports were valued at approximately $25.1 million, and imports from Chad totalled $268,848. There is currently no trade agreement between Canada and Chad.
The business environment in Chad is one of the toughest in the world, characterized by red tape, problems with the legal framework and judicial system, and difficulties associated with starting up a business and obtaining credit. That said, a number of Canadian companies, mainly in the oil industry, are well established in the country. Chad’s economy is booming as a result of oil revenues and the current stability. The country presents interesting opportunities for Canada in the mining and energy sector.