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Canada and Iraq have a strong relationship, as shown by Canada's commitment to Iraq's security, stability and prosperity. Canada supports the Government of Iraq's efforts to restore stability, heal sectarian divisions, build inclusive and effective governance, and encourage economic growth. We are an active member of the Global Coalition against Daesh and contribute to all of the Coalition lines of effort.
Canada commanded the NATO training and capacity-building mission in Iraq for 2 years (2018 to 2020).
In 2016, Canada announced a Middle East engagement strategy to respond to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impact on the region. Canada has committed more than $4 billion over 6 years from 2016 to 2022 toward security, stabilization, and humanitarian and development assistance. A significant portion of this funding was focused on Iraq, with a strong focus on promoting the role of women and on governance.
Canada has committed over $483 million in non-military assistance for Iraq and increased its diplomatic presence, including through the appointment in 2018 of Canada's first resident Ambassador since 1991. The Canadian embassy in Baghdad and its office in Erbil work with the Iraqi government and other local and international partners to:
- Advance Canada's interests and priorities;
- Promote good governance, gender equality, democracy, pluralism, respect for human rights and the protection of civilians;
- Monitor Canada-funded assistance projects and;
- Expand Canadian-Iraqi commercial relations.
Trade between Canada and Iraq amounted to approximately $88 million in 2020. Top Canadian exports to Iraq include:
- Cereals (wheat) pulse,
- Pharmaceutical products,
- Machinery and;
- Electronic equipment.
Iraq represents a potential emerging market with significant commercial opportunities in all sectors, most notably in:
- Energy sector, including oil and gas, electricity, cleantech and petrochemicals;
- Higher education;
- Health care, including pharmaceutical products and;
- Banking and Finance.
Under Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy, Canada is supporting the efforts of the Government and people of Iraq to meet their urgent needs, stabilize their institutions and communities, and put the country back on the path to peace and prosperity by addressing on-going political instability and economic turmoil. Canada is helping build the country’s capacity to chart its own path forward, including by establishing inclusive systems and institutions that represent the whole population. For more information, see Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy.
The Canadian Armed Forces is continuing to work with the Iraqi Security Forces and other partners in the region to help set the conditions for stability and security through Operation IMPACT.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Iraq work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
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