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Canada and Morocco maintain positive bilateral relations, including in the areas of trade, culture, and the promotion of women's rights, as well as in joint efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. Formal diplomatic relations were established in 1962, with 2022 marking the 60th year of official diplomatic relations.
According to the 2016 census, the Moroccan diaspora in Canada is almost 104,000, residing primarily in the Montreal area. Moroccan statistics indicate that their diaspora in Canada is closer to 300,000. Each year, more than 5,000 young Moroccans travel to Canada to study at colleges and universities, traditionally heading to Quebec, but increasingly to other provinces and territories.
In addition to long-term partnership with Canada through La Francophonie, Morocco has emerged in recent years as an important ally in the efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The two countries co-chaired the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) for the period 2019 to September 2022. Canada also contributes to Morocco's counterterrorism efforts through the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP). Since 2017, the CTCBP has disbursed over $9.1 million in bilateral and regional programming in Morocco, mainly through technical assistance and training. These efforts aim to support and complement Morocco's strategy to counter evolving terrorist threats such as responses to terrorist financing, the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, the enhancement of border and airport security, as well as efforts to curtail the influence of violent extremist organizations.
Morocco is an engaged actor and an important ally on migration and climate change issues, and is the host of several international conferences on its territory.
Canada is represented in Morocco by the Embassy of Canada in Rabat. In Canada, Morocco is represented by an embassy in Ottawa, as well as a consulate general in Montreal and in Toronto. Montreal and Casablanca are connected by year-round direct flights operated by both Air Canada and Royal Air Maroc.
In 2021, Morocco was Canada's 4th largest bilateral merchandise trading partner in Africa. Canada's commercial activities in Morocco are diversified and focus not only on the export of goods and mining assets, but also on the establishment of franchises, numerous partnerships with educational institutions, and other activities within global value chains. Morocco presents business opportunities of interest to Canada in education, agri-food, mining, aerospace, automotive, defense, information technology and green technology. In 2021, our bilateral merchandise trade with Morocco reached over $1.14 billion, an increase of 14.1% from 2020. Canadian exports to Morocco mostly consist of cereals, vegetables, medical instruments, machinery and equipment, salt, aircraft & spacecraft parts, and vehicles. Canada's main imports consist of fertilizers, fruit and edible nuts, inorganic chemicals and machinery and equipment. In 2020, the value of Canadian direct investments in Morocco was $75 million and the stock of Moroccan direct investment in Canada was $2 million. There is a growing presence of Canadian companies in Morocco.
The overall objective of Canada's international development program in Morocco is to reduce inequality and poverty among the most vulnerable people, especially women and girls. The international development program focuses on:
- Enterprise development and livelihood support with a focus on the inclusion of women in agricultural value chains;
- Improving the quality of education and vocational training, particularly among young people in order to increase their employability and meet the needs of the labor market;
- Economic empowerment of women through open markets and green economy;
- Human dignity by improving the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls, in addition to gender awareness and the fight against gender-based violence.
At the institutional level, Canada supports the Moroccan government in its fight against violence against women through the integration of women's rights at all levels. This support translates into the strengthening of women's leadership, particularly in political representation and in advocacy for the promotion of women's rights. These contributions reflect Canada's commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights by strengthening women's right to control their own bodies. The goal is to curb violence against women, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe deliveries.
Canadian program work with implementing agencies is complemented by public relations work, representation and advocacy with government and civil society on issues of gender equality and the promotion of women's and girls' rights and empowerment. Projects to strengthen women's economic power aim to improve the performance of certain sectors where women are in the majority (argan, handicrafts, agriculture, forests), increase the added value that accrues to women in these sectors and increase women's participation in decision-making in the organizations in which they are involved.
The programming is aligned with Morocco’s priority reforms and the Government of Canada’s priorities in relation to development assistance. Gender equality is a major theme, and all projects must directly address issues related to women’s rights.
To find out what Canada is doing to support Morocco’s development, please visit the Project Browser.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Morocco work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- La Francophonie
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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