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Canada and Paraguay established diplomatic relations in 1961. Paraguay is represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa and has appointed honorary consuls in Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Canada’s embassy to Argentina, in Buenos Aires, is also accredited to Paraguay, and Canada maintains an honorary consulate in Asunción, Paraguay.
Canada and Paraguay both value respect for human rights, peacekeeping efforts and effective multilateralism within the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS). Canada and Paraguay have a robust bilateral relationship, reinforced by strong people-to-people ties. This is reflected in the 15,000 to 20,000 Canadians in Paraguay, most of them members of the Mennonite community.
Paraguay is an associate member of Canada’s Military Training Cooperation Program; through this program, Canada makes military training available to Paraguay, improving defence relations between the two countries. In the past, both countries engaged in reconstruction and peacekeeping efforts in Haiti, with both contributing personnel to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.
There are a number of programs and scholarships that help strengthen educational ties between Canada and Paraguay. The Paraguayan Center of Canadian Studies helps sustain links between universities, NGOs and government agencies and has worked with the Canadian embassy to facilitate visits to Paraguay by Canadian and regional experts to discuss common priorities, promote educational exchanges and fellowships and showcase Canada’s values. The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program provides short-term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Paraguay, to study or conduct research in Canada. Between 2010 and 2021, 18 people participated in this program. In 2016, the Canadian university consortium CALDO signed a memorandum of understanding (in Spanish only) with Paraguay’s Programa Nacional de Becas de Posgrado en el Exterior “Don Carlos Antonio López” [Don Carlos Antonio López national foreign postgraduate scholarship program], which provides funding to attend CALDO member universities.
In 2022, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Paraguay was valued at $53.7 million. The value of Canadian exports to Paraguay totalled $25.6 million, with top exports being machinery, electrical and electronic machinery and equipment, paper articles, precious metals and pharmaceutical products. Canadian imports from Paraguay were valued at $28.1 million and included iron and steel, oilseeds and fruits, sugar, milling products, and wood products. Canadian companies’ involvement in the Paraguayan market is modest and marked particularly by investments in sectors such as mining, infrastructure, and energy.
Canada does not have a bilateral development assistance program in Paraguay but does provide support through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) and multilateral organizations including the Organization of American States (OAS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Since 2007, over 75 CFLI projects, worth over $1.2 million, have been implemented. In the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year, CFLI funding focused on gender equality, women’s empowerment, inclusive governance and climate change measures. Canada’s IDRC supports projects in Paraguay such as using data to improve gender equality, fight climate change, and tackle corruption in public procurement with the National Procurement Agency in Paraguay. The IDRC also works with the International Institute for Sustainable Development to generating lessons about how to connect Indigenous knowledge and worldviews about justice to national adaptation plans and empowering local groups and communities to advocate for just and inclusive climate action.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Paraguay work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- The Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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