Canada reaffirms support for Colombia

News Release

October 31, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Canada-Colombia relationship is built on close economic ties, dialogue on human rights, long-standing development assistance, support for Colombia’s peacebuilding efforts, growing defence and security cooperation and collaboration on other key regional issues. We are also committed to tackling climate change and helping our country, and the world, create a cleaner global economy.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, today announced new initiatives in support of Colombia’s peace efforts and an investment to address climate change. This announcement follows yesterday’s state visit to Canada by Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, President of Colombia.

Minister Freeland announced projects in the areas of transitional justice and security that will help to address important needs in Colombia’s peace plan as it progresses.

Minister Bibeau also announced funding to provide nearly 8,000 Colombian youth from 55 schools with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, to help reduce gender-based violence and early pregnancy rates in Colombia.

During the President’s visit, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, discussed the conclusion of the first round of trade negotiations between Canada and the Pacific Alliance, which was held from October 23 to 27, 2017, in Cali, Colombia. The Pacific Alliance is a regional initiative established in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.  Canada recognizes the importance and growing influence of the Pacific Alliance and continues to seek out opportunities to strengthen its trading relationships. In so doing, it is creating more jobs for the middle class.

Furthermore, Minister Champagne welcomed the signing of the Canada-Colombia Air Transport Agreement (ATA) by the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and María Ángela Holguín, Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. The ATA was negotiated in 2012 and supports people-to-people ties and the growth of education, tourism and trade linkages between the two countries.

Minister McKenna also announced during the President’s visit that the Government of Canada will provide $1.6 million to the four Pacific Alliance countries to address climate change. The $1.6-million project will help the Pacific Alliance reduce climate pollutants, attract investment to support climate change actions and help create a cleaner environment for the Pacific Alliance countries, Canada and the rest of the world.

Quotes

“The projects announced today demonstrate Canada’s continued support to Colombia as it strives to build a lasting and just peace for the people of Colombia and carve out a new role for itself in the Americas and internationally.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canada is committed to protecting and promoting the health and rights of women and girls globally. By providing girls and boys with comprehensive education on their rights—including sexual and reproductive health—Canada will help to ensure a brighter future for Colombian youth, especially girls, by reducing gender-based violence and early pregnancies.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

“With its growing middle class, open, market-driven economy and shared goal of free, fair and progressive trade, Colombia is one of Canada’s key commercial partners in the Americas and the Pacific region. Together, we are committed to pursuing a progressive approach to trade that will build on this close and growing relationship and support growth, opportunities and middle-class jobs in both our countries.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

“Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. We must work together and help each other. Through this project, we are helping the Pacific Alliance nations improve their capacity to carry on the great work they’re doing.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • Canada and Colombia enjoy constructive cooperation and shared values at the Organization of American States, the United Nations and in other multilateral and international organizations and forums, such as the Lima Group of countries formed to address the crisis in Venezuela. Colombia is a founding member, and current pro tempore president, of the Pacific Alliance (Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru), of which Canada is an active observer.

  • The Pacific Alliance is a regional initiative founded in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to foster the free movement of goods, services, capital and people among member countries.

  • Canada’s bilateral trade with Colombia reached $1.6 billion in 2016; two-way foreign direct investment stood at $3.7 billion at the end of 2016.

  • Canada’s total merchandise trade with the Pacific Alliance exceeded $48 billion in 2016. The four member countries account for more than 75% of Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Latin America.

  • In 2016, Canada announced a total of $78.4 million in international assistance to support peace in Colombia.

  • The $1.6-million investment to help the four Pacific Alliance countries address climate change is part of Canada’s pledge of $2.65 billion to support developing countries in transitioning to low carbon economies that are both greener and more climate resilient.

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