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- Canada-Bahamas fact sheet
Canada and The Bahamas enjoy friendly diplomatic relations founded on common traditions, values and interests, and our strong people-to-people ties. The Bahamas is an important partner for Canada in the Caribbean region, with whom we share like-minded views and a strong commitment to a rules-based order. Our countries cooperate in regional and global fora across a wide range of issues, including promoting democracy and protecting human rights.
Canada established diplomatic relations with The Bahamas in 1973 after it achieved independence. The Bahamas is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa, and Canada is represented in The Bahamas by the High Commission of Canada in Jamaica. Canadians in The Bahamas can also access consular services at the Canadian Honorary Consulate located in Nassau.
The Bahamas is the second largest of Canada’s merchandise trading partners among the Caribbean Community, with bilateral merchandise trade amounting $367.4M in 2021. With Exports valued at $356.4M and Imports valued at $11 million. Canadian direct investment, primarily by Canadian banks, constitutes the pillar of our commercial relations and amounted to $23.1 billion in 2021. Canada’s expertise in renewable energy, clean technology and infrastructure can provide effective solutions to the reconstruction needs of The Bahamas.
Canada is a long-standing friend and partner of The Bahamas, and remains committed to continued collaboration in areas of mutual interest, such as climate and economic resilience, sustainable and inclusive governance, and the advancement of gender equality.
Although not eligible for official development assistance, The Bahamas benefits from Canada’s support to the Caribbean region. For example, the Project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean works with National Statistics Offices across the region to provide social and economic statistics for policymaking. Canada’s key support to the International Monetary Fund’s Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center provides technical assistance for public financial management and financial stability.
Following the devastating 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean, Canada announced a 5-year $100 million Pledge for Caribbean Reconstruction and Economic and Climate Resilience to support reconstruction, building resilience, and strengthen regional response capacities. The pledge was fulfilled in 2022 and included support to organisations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, which played an active role in response to Hurricane Dorian in 2019, to which also Canada also responded with humanitarian assistance. The Bahamas is also a borrowing member of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), of which Canada is the largest non-borrowing shareholder and a key contributor. The CDB extended a US$50M loan to The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and an additional US$40M loan in 2020 to address COVID-19.
At the CARICOM Intersessional Meeting in February 2020, Canada announced an additional, $61.5 million in new commitments for resilience, technical assistance and education exchanges for the Caribbean. This includes, for example, the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism, which provides technical assistance to CARICOM governments, including The Bahamas, to diversify and strengthen the economy, build climate resilient communities, and reduce inequality.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Canada redirected programming to respond to the need of The Bahamas and the Caribbean including to address gender-based violence, income support and essential services, training and technical assistance for health professionals, as well as supplies and protective equipment.
The Bahamas also benefits from Canada’s partnerships with non-governmental and regional organizations, such as the Caribbean Development Bank.
Canada and The Bahamas enjoy a strong and cooperative relationship in the area of security and defence, primarily under Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP). Security initiatives include training opportunities for Bahamian law enforcement personnel, crime prevention in tourist destinations, and projects to counter money-laundering.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and the Bahamas work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
- The Commonwealth
- Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
- United Nations (UN)
- World Bank (WB)
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