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Canada-Germany relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Germany enjoy a close and friendly partnership, reflected in our active cooperation on the international stage as well as our healthy trade and investment relations. Canada and Germany are like-minded global partners with a shared commitment to bolstering multilateralism and the rules-based international order, including most recently through the Alliance for Multilateralism. Long-standing partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), we cooperate closely on security and defence issues, and are also both members of the G7 and G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). In these, and other international organizations, we champion common values and interests in areas such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law, international peace and security, global trade, and the environment and combatting climate change.

To further enhance the already strong bilateral Canadian-German relations, the German-Canadian High Level Steering Group on Bilateral Cooperation was established in September 2021. The Steering group brings together senior officials from the German and Canadian federal governments to strengthen cooperation in a wide range of fields, including peace and security; climate change, energy and natural resources; and, innovation, digitalization and the economy. The Steering Group meets annually and held its third meeting in May 2024.

The Embassy of Canada to Germany Is situated in the heart of Berlin where the Berlin Wall used to divide the eastern and western parts of the city. Canada has consulates in the cities of Munich and Düsseldorf as well as an Honorary Consul in Stuttgart. Those consulates focus on assistance to Canadians as well as trade promotion and investment relations

Germany is well represented in Canada. In addition to the embassy in Ottawa, Germany maintains consulates in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Goethe Institut also maintain offices in Canada.

There is also cooperation between Canadian provinces and German federal states, such as Alberta with Saxony, Manitoba with Hamburg, Ontario with Baden-Württemberg, and Quebec with Bavaria, Saxony and Brandenburg. Ontario maintains an office in the Munich consulate, while Quebec maintains offices in both Berlin and Munich.

Cultural relations

Both countries benefit from their strong cultural connections and people-to-people contacts. Almost 3 million Canadians claim at least partial German ancestry and about 400,000 Canadians travel to Germany each year. A similar number of Germans travel to Canada annually.

Academic links are also vibrant. Every year, several thousand German students spend a term or full year at a Canadian college, university or high school. Thousands more young Germans and Canadians travel in each direction for short-term study and research or work as part of the International Experience Canada program.

Canada and Germany cultivate an active cultural exchange. Many Canadian artists became an integral part of German cultural life and German artists are active in Canada. A cultural agreement between Canada and Germany was signed in 1975.

In October 2021, Governor General Mary Simon visited Germany on her first State Visit, where she led the official delegation under Canada's "Guest of Honour" designation at the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair.

We are currently working with our industry partners and our federal, provincial and territorial partners to create a dynamic and engaging presence this year.

In addition, the Canadian publishing industry is collaborating closely with German publishers to secure the sale of rights of Canadian books as well as the sale of translated titles in Germany.

Trade relations

Germany, which in 2023 had the largest economy in the EU and the third largest in the world, is a key economic partner for Canada.

Germany is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the EU, and its fifth-largest trading partner globally, with two-way merchandise trade totaling $32.1 billion in 2023.

Canadian exports to Germany were worth $7.1 billion in 2023 while Canada’s imports from Germany were $25.1 billion. Sectors of interest include aerospace, advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, information and communications technologies, and agri-food. Canada’s top merchandise exports in 2023 included machinery, motor vehicles & parts, pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery & equipment, and precision & technical instruments.

Germany-Canada services trade (which includes travel and tourism) totaled $8.2 billion in 2023.

Germany is the fourth-largest foreign investor in Canada, and second among European countries, with a stock of direct investment by ultimate investor country valued at $41.5 billion in 2023. Germany is an important market for Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA). The stock of investment in Germany held by Canadian-based firms was worth $14.5 billion in 2023, making Germany the sixth-largest recipient of CDIA in Europe.

Beyond trade and investment, Canada and Germany enjoy a dynamic relationship in science, technology and innovation (STI). Since the 1971 signing of the bilateral S&T Agreement there have been more than 1,000 joint research projects across the whole spectrum of research. These projects bring together multiple stakeholders: governments, research institutes, universities, non-profits and private sector entities.  Several German national research institutes (e.g. Max Planck, Helmholtz, Leibniz and Fraunhofer) have established research partnerships with Canadian institutions that address the commercialization of research and development (R&D).

Since September 2017, Canadian and German businesses and citizens have benefitted from the provisional entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), between Canada and the European Union. Germany formally ratified CETA on January 20, 2023.

CETA generates new economic opportunities for both Canada and Germany. Bilateral merchandise trade in 2023 was nearly 44% higher than pre-CETA (2016).

Further information

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Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Germany work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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