Minister Carr to promote renewed trade agreement and Canadian leadership in innovative technologies during visits to Israel and West Bank

News release

August 30, 2018 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

Canada and Israel have long been connected through the power of people-to-people ties, a shared conviction in democracy and a legacy of friendship that started in lockstep 70 years ago and continues to grow with each passing year.

Deepening and strengthening those bonds depends on constant renewal and reaffirmation, which is why the government recently modernized the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). The agreement creates even more opportunities for Canadians and Israelis to partner in the growing fields of science, technology and innovation across the vibrant and growing markets. The agreement has the potential for more people to work together, creating well-paying jobs for hard-working Canadians as a result.

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, will visit Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Ramallah from September 2 to 6, 2018. Both Israel and the West Bank present opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes to expand trade and investment.

The Minister will kick off the visit in Tel Aviv, where he will meet with Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, to discuss how Canada can translate the modernized CIFTA into additional sales, partnerships and links between Canadian companies of all sizes and their counterparts in Israel. 

While in the region, Minister Carr will attend several meetings with business leaders from the transportation, clean energy, high-tech and financial sectors to discuss partnership opportunities for Canadian companies.

In the West Bank, Minister Carr will attend the launch of the Palestinian-Canadian Business Council in Ramallah and participate in a series of meetings with government officials and representatives of the business community, including woman entrepreneurs. 


“The economies of Canada and Israel are built on innovative and thriving business cultures that value the ingenuity and creativity of our entrepreneurs. Canada and the West Bank continue to grow their respective business links in what is also a dynamic and entrepreneurial business climate.  Our efforts to further enhance our trade ties in this region will help Canadians deepen their reach, build new partnerships and showcase their expertise in leading sectors of the new economy, particularly high-tech. Together, we will seize the opportunities to expand markets and create jobs for hard-working Canadians at home as a result.”

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Israel was valued at more than $1.7 billion in 2017.

  • Science and technology are significant drivers of the Israeli economy.

  • Canada’s exports to Israel reached $450 million in 2017, led by agriculture, fish and seafood products.

  • Canada and Israel signed the modernized CIFTA on May 28, 2018, in Montréal, an update to the agreement that came into force over 20 years ago.

  • The modernized CIFTA includes expanded market access for goods and forward-thinking policies on labour, environment and gender to continue growing trade and ensure benefits are widely shared.

  • Under the modernized CIFTA, a new gender chapter is now subject to the dispute settlement mechanism, leveraging meaningful access and adding more women to trade.

  • The original CIFTA came into effect over 20 years ago, on January 1, 1997.

Associated links


Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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