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Canada and Türkiye have longstanding diplomatic relations. In 1944, Türkiye opened an Embassy in Ottawa and in 1947, Canada appointed its first Ambassador to Türkiye. In recent years, as friends and allies, Canada and Türkiye have expanded the depth and variety of their bilateral links as valued political, commercial, strategic, and security partners. Canada welcomes a vibrant Turkish diaspora community of over 65,000, the majority of whom are concentrated in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary and Edmonton. There were 4,915 Turkish students studying in Canada for 6 months or more in 2022, a 124% growth in relation to 2015 numbers.
Türkiye is an emerging market of broad interest to Canada, with a total balance of $4.46 billion in 2022. It is also a priority market in the Government of Canada’s strategies for international education, and for infrastructure. Canadian merchandise exports reached $1.279 billion, while imports from Türkiye amounted to $3.176 billion in the same year. Canada's top 4 exports to Türkiye in 2022 were lentils ($521.2 million), iron & steel waste and scrap ($228.9 million), and coal ($155.5 million). The top imports from Türkiye to Canada included iron and steel bars and rods ($226.0 million), iron and steel pipes ($128.0 million), zinc-coated flat rolled iron and steel ($119.2 million), carpets ($93.4 million), and motor vehicle parts ($86.3 million). Additionally, the stock of Canadian direct investment in Türkiye, mainly in the mining sector, amounted to $1.3 billion in 2021, reflecting a 35% decrease compared to the $2.0 billion in 2020. As of December 31, 2022, there were 6,885 Turkish students in Canada, making Türkiye one of 11 priority markets in the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy.
Opportunities exist for Canadian companies, particularly in the agriculture, energy, information and communication technologies, life science, transportation, cleantech, mining, education and infrastructure sectors. In 2019, Canada and Türkiye held the first annual Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in Istanbul. The Canada-Türkiye JETCO is an annual forum (though postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19) that aims to enhance economic relations, strengthen cooperation in trade and investment, increase commercial cooperation and promote a favourable environment for private sector investment between our countries.
Türkiye and Canada's Armed Forces have enjoyed a longstanding cooperation. They are both committed to defending democratic values and global security within the framework of international law and global security. Both military forces are excellent partners in the multilateral sphere and work together well within NATO.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Türkiye work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
- Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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