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Spanning 79 years, Canada and Mexico share a vibrant, multi-faceted relationship that is characterized by deep people-to-people ties, rich cultural connections and growing trade and investment. In recognition of this important relationship, the Government of Canada has committed to enhancing and expanding relations with Mexico, both bilaterally and within the North American partnership.
Canada and Mexico have also focused on collaboration within North America, working closely with our common neighbour, the United States. Through mechanisms such as the North American Leaders’ Summit, our countries work together in areas such as security, competitiveness and the environment to create a more integrated, sustainable, and globally-competitive North American economy. Mexico hosted the last North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City in January 2023.
Our people-to-people connections are undeniable. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada continues to be Mexico's second biggest source country for visitors after the United States with over 1.8 million Canadians having traveled to Mexico in 2022. A post-pandemic progressive recovery is expected to eventually return the number of visitors to reach the record of over 2.3 million Canadian visitors in Mexico in 2019. A significant number of Canadians, particularly retirees, have purchased property in Mexico and spend extended periods of time there.
Northbound, the number of Mexicans visiting Canada is showing sign of recovery as well with over 400,000 Mexicans visiting Canada in 2022. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada had seen a significant increase in visitors from Mexico. Around 510,000 Mexicans visited Canada during 2019.
Mexico continues to be the top source country under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, often cited as a model for international labour-mobility arrangements. In 2021, a record 32,975 temporary foreign workers (TFWs) were welcomed to Canada despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This recognizes the foundational role Mexican nationals play as a source of labour for Canada specifically in sustaining the domestic agricultural sector. The number of Mexican nationals participating in the TFW program has increased by 17.6% over the past 5 years.
Academic and cultural ties are essential components of our relationship. Canada hosted 14,435 Mexican students in 2021, an increase from over 10,000 students in 2020, in addition to over 4,600 Mexican students taking part in short-term language courses which do not require a student permit. There is a significant amount of ongoing academic collaboration and exchange. There are over 300 MOUs between Canadian and Mexican higher education institutions, which mainly facilitate academic exchanges, as well as a number of MOUs between Canadian education associations and Mexican government bodies.
Canada and Mexico have become important strategic partners that share ongoing dialogue and engagement. Our collaborative efforts are pursued through a variety of means, ranging from periodic high-level consultations and inter-parliamentary meetings to more institutionalized mechanisms such as the Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP).
During the 18th Annual Meeting of the CMP in 2022, Canada and Mexico presented the Canada-Mexico Action Plan that is set to guide and identify priorities for the future of the bilateral relationship. The Plan was announced by PM Trudeau and President AMLO in January 2023, at their bilateral meeting on the margins of the NALS.
Strategic programming on security through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program complements annual discussions involving security consultations and defense dialogues. At the same time, Canada works closely with Mexico to advance common interests through international and regional forums such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
Our trade and investment relationship has seen strong growth since the entry into force of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 and continues with the most recent Canada-US-Mexico Free Trade Agreement (CUSMA). Canadian trade and investment with Mexico is steadily growing, with over $41.7 billion in two-way merchandise trade in 2021. Mexico is Canada's third largest single-country merchandise trading partner (after U.S. and China). Canada was Mexico's sixth-largest merchandise trading partner in 2021. Canadian Direct Investment in Mexico was $25B in 2021, which is Canada's ninth largest direct investment destination. Mexico's stability, growing consumer class and competitive labour continue to make it an attractive market for Canadian exports and investments. As a result, Mexico has been identified as a priority market for Export Development Canada (EDC), which has operated a regional office in Mexico since 2000, providing extensive financial services related to Canadian exports and investments in the country.
Canadians may wish to provide humanitarian aid to Mexico through the donation of used goods and other materials. Given current Mexican customs and health regulations, which make the importation of goods - particularly used clothing and vehicles - very difficult, the Embassy of Canada to Mexico strongly recommends against this practice. Should Canadians wish to contribute to humanitarian aid projects in Mexico, we recommend you do so through a cash donation to reputable Canadian and/or Mexican NGO’s and international organizations (i.e. Red Cross).
For more information on Mexican NGO’s and/or humanitarian organizations, you may wish to contact the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives Coordinator at the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Mexico work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- La Francophonie
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- The Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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