Minister Carr concludes successful visits to Israel and West Bank

News release

September 7, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, today concluded visits to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Canada and Israel are connected through the bonds of friendship and family since the very founding of the state 70 years ago. The visit this week was an opportunity to renew those bonds, specifically the economic links that continue to deepen with each passing year, creating new opportunities for businesses of all sizes. The more we create opportunities for partnerships, the more we tap into the dynamism of our innovative and entrepreneurial people to produce more well-paying jobs for middle-class Canadians and Israelis alike.

In Tel Aviv, the Minister met with Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry, to discuss new partnerships between Canadian and Israeli companies made possible by the modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), renewed and expanded just this year. He addressed the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, as well as the LGBTech and Lesbians Who Tech organizations, to promote Canadian expertise in the digital media sector. There was also a tremendous opportunity to meet Albert Lincoln, a former secretary-general of the Baha'i International Community, and see first-hand the Bahá'í Gardens, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and a holy destination for followers of the Bahá’í faith.

Minister Carr also attended 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 officially launched the Palestinian-Canadian Business Council, which aims to build stronger trade ties between the communities, and announced a new project with the Palestinian Business Women Forum to enhance the economic empowerment of women from the region. In addition, the Minister also announced a project with the Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada), to help small and medium-sized enterprise entrepreneurs in the West Bank and Gaza ‎become trade ready. TFO Canada is a leader in teaching entrepreneurs in the developing world how to be more successful exporters. 


“Canada and Israel continue to build strong partnerships in the fields of science, technology and innovation. Renewing and expanding our existing trade agreement was the first step, but this visit is about helping translate an agreement into real connections to the Israeli market. There has never been a better time to diversify, and we are determined to create the best conditions possible for more Canadian businesses to succeed in the high-tech, clean energy and digital economy of the future.”

- 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. 

  • 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 as an update to the agreement that came into force over 20 years ago.

  • Canada provides financial and training assistance to Palestinians, focusing on growth, inclusive governance and humanitarian assistance while also advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

  • TFO Canada is a small Canadian non-governmental organization headquartered in Ottawa with regional offices in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. It offers information similar to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, but to foreign entrepreneurs and exporters.

  • The inaugural meeting of the Canada-Israel bilateral directorate for science, technology and innovation cooperation will be held on October 29 to 30, 2018, in Ottawa. This event will provide the opportunity to discuss and explore potential new opportunities for joint science, technology and innovation activities.

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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