Canada and Lebanon relations

Canada and Lebanon have strong ties. Canada’s Lebanese-Canadian community is the largest ethnic Arab group in Canada, and a large number of Canadians live in Lebanon. Our relationship is strengthened by close cultural ties and participation in La Francophonie.

Commerce and investment

Trade in merchandise between Lebanon and Canada totalled more than $142.1 million Canadian dollars in 2015. Canadian exports to Lebanon amounted to $114.1 million, and imports totalled around $28.0 million.

Canada’s top exports to Lebanon in 2015 were vehicles and parts, pharmaceutical products, aircraft and parts, vegetables, machinery, paper and wood. Lebanon’s main exports to Canada were preserved food, beverages, coffee and spices, olive oil and sugar and confectionary.

Canadian companies and institutions, either directly or through agents, franchises or partnerships, participate in numerous sectors of Lebanon’s economy:  information and communication technologies, consumer products, education, agrifood, building products, sustainable technologies, and life sciences.

A Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Canada and Lebanon came into force on 1999, and an Air Transport Agreement was signed in 2000. In 2013, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Lebanese Ministry of Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

Canada’s international assistance

Canada’s aid programs in Lebanon focus on helping those most affected by the crises in Syria and Iraq, particularly the many thousands of refugees living in Lebanon and the communities that host them.

Canada also supports a variety of developmental initiatives in Lebanon, including funding for the National Poverty Targeting Program and the Lebanese education system.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) supports projects proposed and implemented by local civil society organizations in Lebanon. In 2014-15 the CFLI funded initiatives that work to protect vulnerable groups and advocate for human rights, including preventing sex and gender-based violence and early and forced marriage.

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1757, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was established at the Hague to investigate the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other victims. Canada has contributed more than $6.5 million to the STL, including secondments of Canadian police officers. The STL’s first two prosecutors were Canadians, and Canada is the vice-chair of the STL Management Committee.

Resettlement of refugees        

Every year, Canada works closely with Lebanon to resettle people who flee to Lebanon from their nearby war torn countries. Lebanon offers a safe environment from which families can be processed for resettlement in Canada.

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