Canada’s Strategy for Engagement in the Americas

A whole-of-government approach toward a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere.

Since 2007, Canada has invested more than $4 billion in total international assistance in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 30 federal partners are advancing the Strategy’s three goals and 16 objectives to deepen Canada’s engagement in the region.

Canada's Strategy
(Eng PDF 298 Kb | Portuguese PDF 283 Kb | Spanish PDF 283 Kb)

"We are a country of the Americas. [Engagement] in our hemisphere is a critical international priority for our government. Canada is committed to playing a bigger role in the Americas and to doing so for the long term.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Santiago de Chile, July 2007)

Goal 1: Increasing Canadian and hemispheric economic opportunity

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  • Canada views increased engagement through trade and commercial-economic ties as one of the best ways to promote sustainable economic growth in the Americas. Since 2007, bilateral trade has increased over 34 percent, Canadian direct investment in the region has grown over 58 percent, and in 2012 nearly 55 percent of all Canadian mining assets outside of Canada were located in the Americas.
  • We are working with our trading partners to open new markets, thereby creating opportunities for businesses and jobs in Canada and across the hemisphere. Canada has concluded or brought into force more free trade agreements with countries in the Americas than anywhere else in the world.
  • We are working with partner governments and the Canadian extractive industry to promote responsible natural resource management and business practices for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Goal 2: Addressing insecurity and advancing freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law

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  • Canada is concerned by rising insecurity in parts of the Americas (Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean) as it poses direct threats not only to our friends and neighbours across the hemisphere, but also to Canadians and Canadian interests.
  • With new security and defence cooperation arrangements and millions of dollars invested in security programming, development projects and humanitarian aid, we are increasing security and improving socio-economic conditions for the most vulnerable groups in the region.
  • Through our capacity-building work, we are improving the professionalism and accountability of public institutions and helping them to be responsive to the needs of their citizens. Canada has supported more than 50 Organization of American States electoral observation missions throughout the hemisphere since 2009.

Goal 3: Fostering lasting relationships

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  • Canada places great value on strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations throughout the hemisphere across government, the private sector, civil society, academia and communities. Building these relationships across borders strengthens our mutual understanding and cooperation.
  • There have been more than 200 Canadian high-level visits to the Americas since 2007, directly accelerating progress on initiatives that benefit both Canadians and partners in the region. We are developing valuable links with leaders of tomorrow through education, art, culture and sport. In 2012, more than 18,000 students from Latin America and the Caribbean were studying in Canada.
  • Athletes and visitors from across the Americas will come to Toronto in the summer of 2015 for the Pan American/Parapan American Games. In the lead up to and during the Games, we will seize opportunities to strengthen people-to-people ties across all sectors.