Canada strengthens collaboration with Tunisia

News release

June 19, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada and Tunisia have a close relationship based on shared respect for democracy and the rule of law.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, today concluded a successful visit with Khemaies Jhinaoui, Tunisia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During this visit, ministers Freeland and Bibeau announced funding of $8.6 million to increase women’s participation in leadership roles in Tunisian municipalities and to protect Tunisia’s borders from threats of terrorism and illicit trafficking.

The Ministers discussed trade and announced their intention to sign a social security agreement between Canada and Tunisia in the near future. Minister Jhinaoui‎ also met with Minister Champagne to discuss ways to advance the current negotiations towards a Foreign Investment Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Canada and Tunisia.


“I was very pleased to welcome Minister Jhinaoui to Ottawa and explore ways of increasing collaboration between our two countries, whether in trade, security or women’s empowerment in Tunisia. I salute Tunisia’s important progress in recent years toward democratic reform, and I look forward to continuing to work together to promote democratic values in the Middle East and around the globe.”

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

“Collectively, everyone benefits when the delivery of municipal services is effective and diverse and inclusive for women and vulnerable populations. I am convinced that involving more women in local government decisions is the best way to make sure that their needs are taken into account.”

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

“Expanding our trade relationship with countries around the world is a cornerstone of our progressive trade agenda. Successful negotiations towards a FIPA will build on our people to people ties and provide for a more stable and predictable investment environment for our businesses in both Canada and Tunisia. ”

- Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick facts

  • During the Tunisia 2020 conference that took place in November 2016, Minister Bibeau announced a $24-million integrated support plan for Tunisia over a period of four years (from 2017 to 2021).

  • Through its Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program, Canada is providing a total of $7.6 million to Tunisia to support the country’s border security and to limit the movement of foreign terrorist fighters. The projects receiving the funding also focus on strengthening community resilience against violent extremism.

  • Tunisia presents notable commercial opportunities for Canada in the infrastructure, consulting engineering services, agriculture, education, information and communications technologies and green technology sectors.

  • Canada has international social security agreements with more than 50 countries that offer pension programs that are comparable to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). One of the objectives of these agreements is to eliminate cases where workers might have to contribute to the social security system of the other country for the same work; another is to make sure that workers’ coverage under the CPP will not be interrupted.

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Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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