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Canada-Sweden Relations

Canada is represented in Sweden by the Embassy of Canada in Stockholm. Canada also has a consulate in Göteborg.

Sweden is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. Sweden also has consulates in Calgary, Edmonton, Fredericton, Halifax, Montréal, Québec city, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Canada-Sweden bilateral relations are close, positive and constructive. The like-minded values of Canadians and Swedes are reflected in our strong commitment to free trade, protection of human rights, peacekeeping, UN reform, and environmental protection.  Both Canada and Sweden have been involved in areas of conflict such as Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan and off the Horn of Africa.

Sweden has Arctic territory (although no Arctic Ocean coastline), Arctic peoples (the Sami), and does considerable Arctic research.  As founding members of the Arctic Council, both Canada and Sweden collaborate to promote circumpolar cooperation in the Arctic region within the context of the Council, which Sweden chairs as of May 2011 until 2013, just ahead of Canada.

As an active EU member, Sweden is a valuable interlocutor on the Canada-EU agenda with Canada greatly appreciating Sweden’s strong support during its EU Presidency in 2009 for ongoing negotiations on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Sweden regularly co-sponsors Canada’s UN resolutions (e.g. on Iran) and was one of the countries to provide policy support to Canada's Maternal and Child Health Care Initiative at the G8 Summit.

Canada and Sweden enjoy a strong commercial relationship, with significant trade flows, two-way investment levels, and science and technology (S&T) cooperation. Over the ten year period from 2000 to 2010, Sweden was the 15th most important investor in Canada. With the presence of large, technologically sophisticated multi-national enterprises and dynamic and innovative SMEs, Sweden is one of Canada’s priority countries for investment; by the same token, Investissement Québec has opened in May 2012 its office for the Nordic countries within the Mission in Stockholm. Sweden is a top innovation partner for Canada given that it is the second country in the world on the innovation index and spends close to 4% of its GDP on R&D. Canada and Sweden have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Science and Technology and look forward to growing collaboration in research and development.

The Canada-Sweden MOU on Youth Mobility was signed in spring 2007, opening the doors for enhanced person-to-person contacts among Canadian and Swedish youth. An increasing number of Swedes travel to Canada each year through International Experience Canada to work and travel, and Canadians come to Sweden to do the same. Ties between Canada and Sweden are also strengthened through bilateral agreements and exchanges between Swedish and Canadian universities.

Cultural Relations

Cultural relations are strong, marked by frequent exchanges in fields such as dance, film, literature, and music. Recent performers include Feist, Arcade Fire, Kathleen Edwards, and Le Vent du Nord. Canadian authors are also gaining considerable recognition in Sweden with Canadian books being translated into Swedish and Canadian films continue to be featured at various film festivals.

Culturally, there are active exchanges between the Sami in northern Sweden and Canada's First Nations. The return of the Haisla G'psgolox Totem Pole from The Museum of Ethnography in Sweden to the Haisla First Nations in March 2006 was an excellent example of contact focussing on indigenous peoples' interests.

 June 2012

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