The two countries penned the agreement via a virtual ceremony to strengthen their defence relationship.
Canada and Qatar have signed a bilateral agreement to strengthen joint defence relations between the two countries, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
The Canada-Qatar Defence Cooperation Arrangement (DCA) was signed by Qatar’s Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah and his Canadian counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.
The move is the latest step between the two states to bolster defence and outlines a framework for coordinating various defence cooperation activities, peace operations, humanitarian operations as well as training of human cadres.
In a statement to Doha News, Canada’s Ambassador to Qatar Stefanie McCollum said the signing is a “reflection of the strength and continuous growth of our decades-long bilateral relations.
“The presence of Canadian Armed Forces personnel stationed in Qatar in support of multinational counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia under Operation FOUNDATION and Operation IMPACT is a good example of our shared commitment in the promotion of global and regional security,” McCollum said.
“Our countries are in regular discussion about collaboration on additional initiatives and files of shared interest, with the goal of making our relations stronger each year,” the envoy added.
Canada and Qatar have enjoyed uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1974 and Doha has maintained its position as a major partner in the Gulf region. Trade and investment ties are remain strong and in 2019, the volume of bilateral trade exchanges between the allies amounted to about $311 million.
In 2020, Qatar was Canada’s third largest merchandise trade partner in the Gulf, and eleventh most important partner in Middle East and North Africa, with a bilateral merchandise trade total of about $196.2 million.
Canada’s merchandise exports to Qatar in 2020 were valued at $113.5 million, and included mineral ores, aircraft and parts, machinery, cereals, and scientific instruments.
Similarly, its 2020 merchandise imports from Qatar, valued at $82.7 million, included mineral fuels and oils, aluminium, fertilisers, chemical products, and mineral ores.
The Gulf state is a source of significant potential Foreign Direct Investment, and an important security partner and diplomatic actor in the region for Canada.