Canada - Tunisia Relations

Canada - Tunisia Relations

Canada and Tunisia established diplomatic relations in 1957. The two countries enjoy excellent bilateral relations and are both members of La Francophonie. In 2016, Tunisian diaspora in Canada represented close to 20,000 people residing mainly in Quebec. Canada is a top destination for international education and attracts close to 2,000 Tunisian students annually.

Canada welcomes the progress Tunisia has made towards democratic reform since the Jasmine Revolution of January 2011, and has been working with the Tunisian Government and with the international community to support the country’s political consolidation and economic reforms.  Canada and Tunisia cooperate on gender equality, inclusive governance, international education and counter-terrorism in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, La Francophonie and the African Union.

Although Canada and Tunisia lack a bilateral extradition treaty, both are parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which permit extradition in accordance with Canadian law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Canada has also introduced the law on Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials and the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Tunisia), which gives effect to written requests from the Tunisian government to freeze assets placed in Canadian financial institutions by senior officials of the former regime, as well as their family members and associates.

Commercial Relations

Although commercial relations between Canada and Tunisia are relatively modest, Canada is committed to pursuing new opportunities to deepen business ties and expand investment in Tunisia. Tunisia presents notable commercial opportunities for Canada in the infrastructure, consulting engineering services, agriculture, education, information and communication technology and aerospace sectors. Our two countries have begun negotiating a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and are finalizing a Social Security Agreement. In 2018, our bilateral merchandise trade with Tunisia totaled $171.2 million. Tunisia ranked 91st among Canada’s bilateral trading partners in 2018.

Canadian Programming

During the Tunisia 2020 conference that took place in November 2016, the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie publically announced a $20 million integrated support plan for Tunisia over a period of four year (2017-2021). The main pillars of this plan aim for: a) socio-economic reinforcement of vulnerable populations, notably women and girls in disadvantaged regions, through professional training, education and entrepreneurship; b) green and sustainable economic growth in order to create employment for youth and women; and c) inclusive and responsible governance in order to answer the needs of the most vulnerable populations, to reinforce the respect of human rights, and to promote women participation and representation in the Tunisian society. Since this announcement, additional support is provided to bilateral development assistance, averaging $ 5 million per year in the areas of women's economic empowerment and inclusive governance.

Since 2016, Canada has also contributed more than $7.6 million to Canada's Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program with the aim of supporting Tunisia in stabilizing borders and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

Travel Advisory

Global Affairs Canada recommends anyone considering travel to Tunisia to check its travel advice and encourages travellers to register with Registration of Canadians Abroad service when outside of Canada.