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Canada-France Economic Relations

Canada and France maintain strong and mutually beneficial economics relations. Trade in high value-added products and services are important. The two countries are expanding their partnership in the form of direct investments, strategic alliances, and scientific, technology and innovation collaborations.

Trade and Investment1

Canada and France are part of the Canada-United-States-Mexico Agreement and the European Union, respectively, and are gateways to these two major regional markets. Since September 2017, Canadian and French businesses and citizens have benefited from the provisional entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), between Canada and the European Union, which aims to reduce the costs of goods by eliminating tariffs, to increase mobility of people and to intensify trade in goods and services.

In trade of goods, France remained Canada's ninth-largest global partner in 2020, with bilateral trade of 10. 2 billion Canadian dollars ($). Canadian exports to France increased slightly to $3. 7 billion and imports decreased to $6.5 billion. Canada's main exports to France included aircraft and aircraft parts , canola and other food products, ores, industrial, electrical and electronic equipment , and consumer goods. Canada’s top imports from France were food products and other consumer goods, aircraft and aircraft parts, industrial machinery and electrical and electronic equipment, pharmaceutical products.

In trade of services, France was Canada’s fifth largest partner worldwide and its second largest in Europe in 2020. Bilateral service trade totaling over $5. 1 billion. For the second year in a row, Canada was a net exporter of services to France with , for 2020, exports at almost $2.9 billion and imports at $2.2 billion.

Cross investments are important and diversified. The stock of Canadian direct investment in France increased to $11. 6 billion at the end of 2020. Around 250 French subsidiaries of Canadian companies are represented in France, employing some 25,000 people (Source: Orbis), covering a wide range of economic sectors such as aeronautics, land transport, manufacturing, renewable and non-renewable energy production, the food industry, as well as engineering, telecommunications, management consulting services, transport and financial services .

France is an increasing source of investment for Canada. France is the 12th largest foreign investor in Canada, with a direct investment stock increasing to $17.6 billion at the end of 2020. Approximately 1, 200 Canadians subsidiaries of French companies are established in Canada and employ about 120,300 people (Source: Eurostat). In 2018, French companies held $ 88  billion worth of assets in Canada. They are mainly located in Quebec and Ontario, and are growing across Canada. Almost all French multinational groups, big names in industry and services and more and more SMEs are present.

Science, technology and innovation

France is one of Canada’s priority countries for scientific cooperation and technology partnerships. Canada and France pledged to strengthen their cooperation in science, technology and innovation. High value-added partnerships with a focus on innovation are being developed in strategic sec- tors: aerospace; medical technologies; biotechnology as applied to medicine and agro-industry; technologies for precision agriculture; green technologies; renewable energy; advanced materials; nanotechnologies; and information and


1. All data from Statistics Canada, unless otherwise stated

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Date Modified:
2021-05-27