Canada places great value on building and nurturing relationships with partners in the Americas. People-to-people relationships across government, the private sector, civil society and academia are fundamental to achieving long-term results. We are prioritising the strengthening of our bilateral relationships and our support to regional organizations such as the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank.
To build on momentum towards our goal of fostering lasting relationships, Canada is:
- Enhancing bilateral relationships, especially with Brazil and free-trade partners (Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and Panama);
- Promoting accountability, transparency and effectiveness within the Organization of American States and the broader inter-American system;
- Reinforcing cooperation to assist Canadians abroad;
- Supporting Canada-Americas private sector partnerships;
- Broadening people-to-people ties through ministerial outreach, education, sport and tourism; and
- Increasing two-way business and student mobility.
Ties between Canada and the Americas are growing stronger each year. In fact, more than 3.7 million Canadians visit the region annually for tourism or business, while more than 500,000 people from the region visited Canada in 2012 alone. Almost 1.2 million people from Latin America and the Caribbean call Canada home. As such, the Government of Canada has made both high-level political engagement and strengthening of people-to-people ties a crucial component of Canada’s engagement in the Americas.
Between March 2012 and March 2013, there were over 50 high-level visits to the Americas by Prime Minister Harper, Governor General Johnston and Ministers Baird, Fast and Ablonczy. These trips served as meaningful opportunities to engage with our partners in the region and build lasting relationships as well as to advance the interests of Canada and Canadians.
Our partners in the Americas increasingly value their relationships with Canada. In 2012-2013, official visits to Ottawa were made by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (Jamaica), Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago), and President Sebastian Piñera (Chile).
In 2012, approximately 18,000 Latin American and Caribbean students studied in Canada.
The Government of Canada offers over 600 scholarships annually to students and researchers from the Americas which create person to person links with future academic and business leaders from the region. Scholarships include the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), the Canada-CARICOM Leadership suite of awards, the Canada-Chile Leaderships Scholarships, and the Canada Brazil-Joint Research Projects.
During an official visit to Brazil in April 2012, Governor General Johnston announced that Canada will host up to 12,000 Brazilian students through the Science Without Borders (SWB) program over four years (in 2012-2013, Canada hosted over 1,500 SWB students in academic institutions across the country). Also during that visit, Canadian institutions announced over 75 new institutional partnerships, scholarships and student mobility programs with partners in the Americas.
Toronto will host the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. The Government of Canada is actively preparing to welcome more than 250,000 visitors from the Americas to Canada during the Games. These efforts will be supported by approximately 17,000 Canadian volunteers, offering great opportunities for enhanced people-to-people ties.
You may also be interested in...
- Overview of the Organization of American States (OAS)
- Government of Canada – International Scholarships
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