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Canada-Mexico Relations

A Strategic Partner for Canada

Spanning 77 years, Canada and Mexico share a vibrant, multi-faceted relationship that is characterized by deep people-to-people ties, rich cultural connections and growing trade and investment. In recognition of this important relationship, the Government of Canada has committed to enhancing and expanding relations with Mexico, both bilaterally and within the North American partnership.

Our trade and investment relationship has seen strong growth since the entry into force of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. Canadian trade and investment with Mexico is steadily growing, with over $36 billion in two-way merchandise trade in 2020. Mexico is Canada’s third largest single-country merchandise trading partner (after U.S. and China). Canada was Mexico’s seventh-largest merchandise trading partner in 2020. Canadian Direct Investment in Mexico was $28.8B in 2020, which is Canada’s ninth largest direct investment destination. Mexico’s stability, growing consumer class and competitive labour continue to make it an attractive market for Canadian exports and investments. As a result, Mexico has been identified as a priority market for Export Development Canada (EDC), which has operated a regional office in Mexico since 2000, providing extensive financial services related to Canadian exports and investments in the country.

Canada and Mexico have also focused on collaboration within North America, working closely with our common neighbour, the United States. Through mechanisms such as the North American Leaders’ Summit, our countries work together in areas such as security, competitiveness and the environment to create a more integrated, sustainable, and globally-competitive North American economy. Canada hosted the last North American Leader’s Summit in Ottawa on June 29, 2016.

Our people-to-people connections are undeniable, with over 948,319 Canadians travelling to Mexico in 2020 for both business and pleasure, which is approximately 59% less than the previous year due to COVID-19. In addition, a significant number of Canadians, particularly retirees, have purchased property in Mexico and spend extended periods of time there.

Northbound, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada had seen a significant increase in visitors from Mexico. Around 510,000 Mexicans visited Canada during 2019 . Despite a drop in travellers from Mexico to Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 101,000 in 2020 and around 31,000 so far in 2021, Mexico was the second largest source country of travellers to Canada in 2020.

In addition, in 2020 Canada received more than 28,000 agricultural workers from Mexico under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, often cited as a model for international labour-mobility arrangements. Mexico is also Canada's 12th largest source country for international students globally and the second largest in Latin American with over 12,000 Mexican students in Canada in 2019 and over 10,000 in 2020. Academic and cultural ties are essential components of our relationship. There is a significant amount of ongoing academic collaboration and exchange. There are over 300 MOUs between Canadian and Mexican higher education institutions, which mainly facilitate academic exchanges, as well as a number of MOUs between Canadian education associations and Mexican government bodies.

Canada and Mexico have become important strategic partners that share ongoing dialogue and engagement. Our collaborative efforts are pursued through a variety of means, ranging from periodic high-level consultations and inter-parliamentary meetings to more institutionalized mechanisms such as the Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP). The CMP, established in 2004, aims to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors and operates through a series of working groups covering: energy; agri-business; creativity and culture; human capital; trade, investment and innovation; environment; mining; and forestry. A yearly security dialogue involving security consultations, as well as Defence Dialogues, is complemented by strategic security programming through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program. At the same time, Canada works closely with Mexico to advance common interests through international and regional forums such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

November 2021 

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Date Modified:
2021-11-10