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Canada-Germany relations

Canada’s areas of action

Bilateral relationship

Canada and Germany enjoy a close and friendly partnership, reflected in our active cooperation on the international stage as well as our healthy economic 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.

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, Hamburg with Manitoba, 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 10% of Canadians claim at least partial German ancestry and about 500,000 Canadians travel to Germany each year. Almost as many 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 2020, Canada will be Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In the year leading up to it, the German arts and cultural scenes is showcasing Canadian creativity through an extensive cultural program.

Trade relationship

Germany, with the largest economy in the EU and the fourth largest in the world, is a key economic partner for Canada.

Canada and Germany enjoy a strong and diverse commercial relationship that covers trade, investment, and science and technology.

Germany is Canada’s largest export market in the EU, and our sixth-largest trading partner globally, with two-way merchandise trade totalling $23.8 billion in 2018.  Canadian exports to Germany were worth $4.8 billion in 2018 while Canada’s imports from Germany were $19 billion. Sectors of interest include aerospace, advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, information and communications technologies, and agri-food. Canada’s top merchandise exports include machinery, mineral ores, scientific and precision instruments, electrical and electronic machinery and equipment, mineral fuels and oils.

Germany-Canada services trade (which includes travel and tourism) was more than $5 billion in 2018.

Germany is the eighth-largest foreign investor in Canada, and fifth among European countries, with a stock of direct investment valued at $17.1 billion at the end of 2017. Germany is an important market for Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA).  Canadian firms held a stock of assets in Germany worth $12.3 billion at the end of 2017, making Germany the fourth-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.

Further information:

Trade and investment agreements

Trade and investment agreements involving Canada and Germany:

For more information, consult trade and investment agreements.


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