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Canada-Panama relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Panama established diplomatic relations in 1961 and have strong bilateral ties.

Canada and Panama enjoy a positive relationship with open political dialogue, a strong and evolving trade and investment ties. Canadian and Panamanian shared values are reflected in cooperation in many areas, including human rights, democracy, security, the rule of law, climate change mitigation and adaptation, migration issues and trade.

Canada is represented by the embassy in Panama City (the chancery opened in 1995), and offers trade, investment and consular services, while visa applications are directed to the Embassy of Canada in Bogota, Colombia.

Panama’s embassy in Canada is supplemented by consulates in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.


Canada and Panama also engage on shared educational priorities through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP), which offers short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean to study or conduct research in Canada. Academic agreements such as ELAP help grow research relationships and student exchanges. In addition to the ELAP scholarships, Panamanian students are encouraged to apply for other Canadian awards open to all international students, including the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Post-doctoral Fellowships. For a complete list of available scholarships, visit International scholarships.

Trade relations

Panama is Canada’s third-largest trading partner in Central America. Two-way trade between Canada and Panama in 2022 was valued at $595.3 million, an increase of 254% since 2013. Canadian goods exported to Panama included energy products, consumer goods and industrial machinery and equipment. Imports from Panama are mainly made up of metals and non-metallic minerals, farm fishing and intermediate food products, and consumer goods. Canadian foreign direct investment is mainly concentrated in the mining sector.

The bilateral free trade agreement between Canada and Panama has been in force since 2013. The Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement eliminated tariffs on Canadian goods exported to Panama and improved access for Canadian service providers. In recent years, Panama has become the largest Central American market for Canadian exports and sales by Canadian subsidiaries. Total assets of Canadian majority-owned affiliates in Panama amounted to C$21 billion in 2020, the latest year available.

Canada is committed to working with Panama to diversify trade and reinforce global supply chains, enhance public-private partnerships and promote responsible business conduct principles.

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Development and technical assistance

Though Panama is not a recipient of a bilateral assistance program, Canada's embassy manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, which provides financial assistance for small to medium-sized projects in Panama. Recently, Canada has supported projects focused on:

Current embassy projects include providing support for Indigenous and other rural communities to implement environmentally sustainable agricultural practices, support for women and girls engaging in paid and unpaid care work at home and in their communities, addressing online harassment and violence directed against women in politics, and promoting LGBTQI+ rights and inclusion in the workplace and society at large.

Canada is committed to promoting gender equality and is doing so by ensuring that a gender analysis is integrated and applied to all projects. This is in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

In 2020, the Gender Equality Coordination Roundtable was created in collaboration with UN Women. This unique mechanism, co-led by the Government of Panama and a rotating presidency of diplomatic missions in Panama, coordinates national and international efforts and joint advocacy to advance Gender Equality. Canada’s embassy in Panama plays a central role in the Roundtable and regularly organizes related events.

Canada advances its security priorities through its support of the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP), in collaboration with various international partners such as United Nations entities and the Organization of American States (OAS), non-governmental organizations, and other Canadian government departments such as the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to support the building of stable and secure societies in Central America and the Caribbean, which is done through the provision of training, equipment, and technical and legal assistance to beneficiary states.

Partners and organizations

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

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