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Canada-Australia relations

Bilateral relations

Canada-Australia relations are friendly and highly productive. The relationship has developed over a long history and is based on both a shared past and a common set of values in the fields of trade, defence relations, academic and student exchanges, culture, consular arrangements, parliamentary relations, multilateral cooperation and political and governmental affairs.

Canada and Australia enjoy strong and multifaceted bilateral relations. Canada regularly consults with Australia to advance common interests on international issues based on their policy convergence in many areas, including defence and security, trade, economic growth, illegal migration, counterterrorism, counter-proliferation, social (including Indigenous peoples), transportation and regional issues. Canada’s defence relationship with Australia is its largest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Official relations between Canada and Australia are conducted through respective foreign ministries and the diplomatic missions in each other’s country. In Australia, this is the High Commission of Canada in Canberra and the Consulate General in Sydney. In Canada, the Australian High Commission is located in Ottawa, and there is a Consulate General in Toronto.

The foreign affairs departments of Canada and Australia exchange officers for professional development purposes, and similar exchange agreements exist between other government departments.

Consular sharing

The Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement allows Canadians to receive consular services from Australian officials in a number of countries where Canada does not have an office, and vice versa. Furthermore, Canada and Australia share diplomatic facilities, including the Canadian embassy in Kyiv, where Australia has been provided space, and the Australian embassy in Laos, where Canada has a diplomatic office.

Academic and cultural relations

There are more than 180 formal agreements between Australian and Canadian universities, almost 300 members of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia and New Zealand and more than 2,000 Australian and Canadian students enrolled in universities in each other’s country.

Trade relations

Canada’s commercial relationship with Australia is strong and diversified. In addition to traditional sectors such as mining and transportation, there are significant opportunities offered in the infrastructure sector for Canadian businesses. In 2021, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Australia remained stable at $4.5 billion. Canadian exports were valued at $2.3 billion and largely composed of machinery, aircrafts and parts, vehicles, minerals and mineral products, electronic equipment, scientific and precision instruments and pharmaceutical products. Imports were valued at $2.2 billion and largely composed of inorganic chemicals, precious stones and metals, meat, beverages, scientific and precision instruments and machinery. Bilateral services trade in 2021 was valued at about $2.1 billion, with Canadian exports accounting for $964 million of that total.

In 2021, Canadian direct investment into Australia amounted to $45.4 billion. Australia’s foreign direct investment into Canada totaled $18.5 billion on an Ultimate Investor Country (UIC) basis. With its strong focus on Asia and its favorable business climate, many Canadian companies see Australia as a springboard to the booming Southeast Asian region.

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