Canada and Romania: towards a century of cooperation


By   Joanne Lemay, Ambassador of Canada in Bucharest

Canada Day is a time when Canadians at home and abroad come together to celebrate our proud history, take stock of our shared blessings and look forward with hopeful resolve to a bright future.
Canada is a country of democracy and pluralism, a beacon of stability in an uncertain world. We work with our partners to advance the values and ideals that make our country great and serve as a model for the world. These include a pluralistic civil society that respects fundamental freedoms, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Canada protects the fundamental rights of all its citizens, defends the defenceless and gives a voice to the voiceless. It’s one of many reasons nearly 300,000 people will immigrate to Canada this year alone.
Today, Canada is also a country of prosperity, trade and opportunity. We continue to seek out new markets while deepening existing trade and investment ties. All of this is happening while we ensure that Canada remains one of the world’s best places in which to invest and do business.
Indeed, Canada has one of the world’s great economies, carved from a harsh land with relatively few people. Our country draws a quarter of its income from international commerce, driven by Canadian businesses. When Canadian businesses succeed abroad, they create jobs and prosperity, while promoting Canadian values and principles in the business they conduct.
In the past year, we undertook a record number of trade missions with business leaders all over the world, and we signed a record number of Foreign Investment Protection Agreements. We also concluded an agreement in principle with the European Union for a Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.
In the global context, Canada established itself as a world leader on several important issues, including freedom of religion. Another area of Canada’s leadership is maternal, newborn and child health. These remain Canada’s top international development priorities and the government of Canada is committed to working with Canadian and international partners toward the goal of ending the preventable deaths of mothers and children.
In May 2013, Canada began its two year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Our Government is committed to helping the North realize its true potential as a healthy, prosperous and secure region within a strong and sovereign Canada. To this end, Canada works closely with other Arctic states to promote and protect its international northern interests and to cooperate on a broader vision for the region.
In Ukraine, Canada has been among the strongest international supporters of its efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms since the crisis began in late 2013. Together with Romania and our other allies and partners, Canada will continue to speak out with a unified voice in support of the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people— and against those who wish to illegally redraw the borders of Europe.
This year marks the 95th anniversary of bilateral relations between Canada and Romania. Our countries enjoy strong political ties, having rich, diverse and expanding bilateral relations.
There is a wide range of exchanges between our countries, further enhanced by the Romanian community of about 200,000 living in Canada. Romanian-Canadians are making a valuable contribution to the development of Canadian society, acting as an important link between our two countries.
Romania continues to be Canada’s largest trading partner in southeast Europe. Trade and investment between our two countries has been steadily growing and I hope to see an even greater upward trend in the future.
We are vocal partners defending shared values – democracy, human rights and international security. In this regard, Canada highly appreciates Romania’s contribution to international and regional security efforts, including the operations in Afghanistan and Libya crisis.
Canada and Romania are active partners in NATO. Recognizing the need to enhance security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe, Canada has deployed six CF-18 fighter jets, along with 200 support staff, to Romania to train with NATO Allies. The Canadian Air Task Force is mandated to conduct training activities in support of NATO’s immediate reassurance measures.
In doing so, the Canadian Air Task Force cooperates closely with the Romanian military, participating in mutually-beneficial bilateral training and fostering closer ties with a valued NATO Ally.
Canadian CF-18 and Romanian MIG-21 have begun their joint training exercises and already displayed a high level of interoperability, a key component of NATO’s readiness.
These exercises help increase cooperation not only between Canadian and Romanian pilots, but also between our two Armed Forces.
This deployment represents an important chapter in the long and fruitful partnership between our two nations. It reflects the importance that Canada attaches to its relationship with Romania and security in the region.
The increased depth and breadth of our high-level dialogues and of our commercial exchanges, as well as our close partnership within NATO, OSCE and the Francophonie, where Romania is a regional leader, make me optimistic about the future of our relationship.
I look forward to continuing to work with our friends here in Romania to make our partnership even stronger!
Happy Canada Day!
Bonne fête du Canada!
La multi ani, Canada!

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