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Canada-Italy relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Italy are like-minded on key global and regional issues and work closely together in a range of multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, the G7, G20 and NATO. Canada’s large and dynamic Italo-Canadian community is engaged in all aspects—cultural, social, economic and political—of bilateral relations. Important business and science and technology delegations exchanged by Canada and Italy have given new momentum to innovative commercial opportunities and partnerships. Cultural and academic exchanges and people-to-people ties are strong.

Cultural, academic and youth exchanges

Canada and Italy have a strong and long-standing academic relationship, reinforced by inter-university and private-public academic agreements that generate new ideas and research projects, build relationships and encourage youth mobility. Canadian studies programs throughout Italy, and the Italian Association for Canadian Studies, further contribute to these important people-to-people ties.

In December 2020, Canada and Italy signed a new youth mobility agreement. This new agreement will improve labour market access for Canadian and Italian youth between 18 and 35 years old by allowing them to work and travel for 12 months; candidates can participate twice for a total of 24 months. Youth will also be able to gain professional work experience with the addition of 2 streams: International Co-op and Young Professionals. Canada and Italy are longstanding youth mobility partners, having first signed a youth mobility arrangement in 2006. The new agreement will be implemented following ratification in Canada and in Italy.

There are two cultural agreements in force between Canada and Italy:

  1. Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Italian Republic on Film Co-Productions
  2. Agreement on Cultural Co-operation between the Government of Canada and the Government of Italy 

Bilateral instruments

In recent years, Canada and Italy have adopted new instruments or amended existing instruments to promote enhanced bilateral contacts, travel and business and to facilitate official relations between the two governments. These bilateral instruments cover a variety of issues, from double taxation to airworthiness and judicial cooperation. All bilateral treaties between Canada and Italy are available on the Government of Canada’s treaty web portal.

An updated extradition treaty entered into force in 2010. A new convention on double taxation entered into force in 2011, and its provisions are retroactive to January 1, 2011. In 2017, Canada and Italy signed an agreement for reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licences. Drivers’ licence exchanges will start taking place as Italy finalizes memorandums of understanding with individual provinces and territories.

The social security agreement (SSA) between Canada and Italy, which entered into force in 1979, was revised in 2017. It helps individuals who have lived or worked in Canada and Italy to qualify for pension benefits based on their affiliation with each country’s pension system. The SSA also permits continuity of social security coverage when people are sent by their employer to work temporarily in the other country and prevents dual coverage for the same work by both countries’ social security programs.

Trade relations

Canada and Italy have a strong commercial relationship. The relationship’s greatest potential lies in two-way investment as well as in innovation and technology-based partnerships. Canada-Italy trade is underpinned by the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which has been provisionally applied since September 21, 2017.

In 2023, two-way goods and services trade between Canada and Italy totalled $15.3 billion. Cereals, pharmaceutical products, and aircraft and parts rank among the top 3 products Canada exported to Italy in 2023.

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Defence relations

The Canadian Defence Attaché (CDA) is the designated point of contact between the Canadian Ministry of National Defence and Governments and Armed Forces of accredited countries - Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Greece and Malta. The CDA enhances local engagement on a range of issues related to security and defence, and provides support to Canadian Foreign policy and trade priorities on defence matters. More importantly, the CDA promotes interoperability and relationships that facilitate operational cooperation and communication.

Contact information

Canadian Defence Attaché Office (CDAO)

Telephone: 39 06 85444 3551

Fax: 39 06 85444 3918


Web: Canadian Armed Forces

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Partnerships and organizations

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

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