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Canada-Spain relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Spain are partners and allies that enjoy a strong relationship based on shared interests and values. Both countries, which have decentralized political structures, share an abiding belief in the fundamental values of respect for human rights, democracy, the empowerment of women and diverse and inclusive societies.

Canada and Spain are committed to fight against climate change and to work for a sustainable management of the environment. They believe in progressive and open economic and trade relations as a source of prosperity for all. Canada and Spain trust that these values must be preserved in a rules-based international order. A Canada-Spain Cooperation Agenda was established by the Canadian and Spanish Prime Ministers when they met in Montreal in 2018, and it was accompanied by a Declaration in Favour of Gender Equality. The two Prime Minsters also met in Madrid in June 2022 following the NATO Summit hosted by Spain. They issued a Joint Statement on opportunities to enhance cooperation on shared priorities including taking ambitious climate action, advancing gender equality, and building strong economies that benefit people in both countries and create good middle-class jobs.

Youth mobility, education and culture

Spain and Canada enjoy strong academic relations with more than 100 agreements between Canadian and Spanish universities. Spanish students increasingly choose Canada as a destination for their studies and the multiple agreements between Canadian and Spanish universities attest to the excellent collaboration between the two academic communities. Thanks to the bilateral Youth Mobility Agreement (2009), young Spaniards and Canadians have increasingly taken the opportunity to work and study in Canada and Spain respectively.

Spain also has Memorandums of Understanding with several provinces, including Alberta (2006), Manitoba (2014) and British Columbia (2016), to support Spanish-English bilingual education opportunities.

Spaniards have shown great interest in Canadian art and culture. Spanish editors translate and publish Canadian authors in Spain. Canadian visual and performing artists are regulars on the Spanish cultural scene. The Spanish film market is highly receptive to Canadian cinema. Collaboration in the audio-visual field between both countries is facilitated by the coproduction agreement between Canada and Spain in cinema, television and other audio-visual formats.

Trade relations

Canada and Spain enjoy a stable trading relationship. This relationship entered into a new chapter with the provisional application of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which Spain ratified in December 2017. CETA has led to the elimination of tariffs on important Canadian exports to Spain and increased the awareness of business opportunities in Canada.

Canada and Spain’s trading relationship has grown steadily during the last decade and holds significant potential for further growth.  

In 2023, two-way good and services trade between Canada and Spain totalled $8 billion. Mineral fuels and oils, cereals, and ores rank among the top 3 products Canada exported to Spain in 2023.

Bilateral innovation and technological cooperation are facilitated through Horizon Europe and the international Eureka program, where organizations such as the National Research Council of Canada and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology, in Spain, support market-oriented joint projects.

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Spain and Canada are committed to defending international peace and global security. They are excellent partners at the multilateral level and work together within several institutions such as the United Nations (UN). Spain and Canada are active members of NATO and the two countries are active participants in a variety of multilateral peace and security operations, especially in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Latvia, led by Canada, and in the International Coalition against Daesh in Iraq.

Partnerships and organizations

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

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