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Canada-Mexico relations

Bilateral relations 

Spanning 77 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. The United States hosted the last North American Leaders’ Summit in Washington D.C. in November 2021.

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 half a million Canadians having traveled to Mexico in 2021. 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 COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the number of visitors from Mexico. Over 87,000 Mexicans visited Canada in 2021. 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.  Additionally, in 2020, over 4,000 Mexican students took 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). A yearly security dialogue involving security consultations, as well as Defence Dialogues, is complemented by strategic security programming through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program. 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.

Trade relations

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.

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Development

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: fondocanadamexico@gmail.com.

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