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Canada-Estonia relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Estonia enjoy strong bilateral relations, owing in part to the fact that Canada did not recognize the Soviet occupation of Estonia after the Second World War and was one of the first countries to recognize Estonia’s restored de facto independence in 1991. Canada accepted thousands of Estonian refugees in the post-1945 period, and there are now approximately 24,000 Canadians of Estonian origin, representing one of the largest Estonian diasporas.

Canada has had a diplomatic mission in Tallinn since 1991. In July 2023, Canada upgraded this to a full Embassy and appointed a first resident Ambassador to Estonia. Estonia has an Embassy and Ambassador in Ottawa and seven Honorary Consuls in five provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Trade relations

Estonia is a global leader on e-government and supports a vibrant start-up culture. Canada enjoys preferential market access in Estonia due to the provisional application of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which Estonia ratified in 2017. 

Exports to Estonia were $42.8 million in 2023, up 48.4% from 2022.

Canada’s imports from Estonia were $148.3 million in 2023, down 6.3% from 2022.

The stock of Canadian direct investment in Estonia was valued at $35.0 million at the end of 2023.

The stock of Estonian direct investment in Canada was valued at $1.0 million at the end of 2023.

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Defence operations

Canada was one of the first countries to ratify Estonia’s accession to NATO in 2004, and Canada and Estonia enjoy positive and constructive defence relations mainly through NATO. Canada has provided Estonian military officers with English and/or French language training, peacekeeping skills and other types of professional development support. Canada has been sending officers to attend the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia, and has been providing that institution with lecturers and course development assistance since 2001.

Canada’s engagement in the Baltic region has been increasing, in line with NATO’s strengthened assurance and deterrence measures in the region. The most visible element are NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups in the countries of the NATO eastern flank, including the three Baltic countries . Canada has taken a leading role as the “Framework Nation” for the battlegroup in Latvia under Operation REASSURANCE. Canada also contributes Canadian Armed Forces personnel to the NATO Force Integration Unit in Estonia. Canada joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn in 2022.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Estonia work closely in international forums, such as:

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