Canadian ambassador to Czechia eyes closer bond between both countries

Although 7,000 kilometers apart, Czechia and Canada can cooperate in energy security, arms manufacturing, and within the IT sector, the ambassador says. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 04.04.2024 10:34:00 (updated on 04.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Canadian Ambassador to Prague Emily McLaughlin has expressed interest in closer cooperation between Canada and the Czech Republic in various sectors, including energy security and clean energy, IT, the automotive industry, and financial services. McLaughlin also emphasized the values shared by both countries and decades-long support.

A history of support and common values

According to McLaughlin, the positive relations between Canada and Czechia are evident in the strong people-to-people ties dating back to 1948 and 1968, when Canada accepted hundreds of refugees and political dissidents from Czechoslovakia.

The two countries share common values in foreign policy, human rights, democracy, and the rules-based international order. McLaughlin highlighted their close collaboration in multilateral organizations like NATO.

The ambassador also noted that around 100,000 Canadians of Czech origin live in Canada. According to the latest data from the Czech Statistical Office, around 1,200 Canadian citizens live in Czechia on a long-term basis.

During her mission in the Czech Republic, McLaughlin said she has received a warm welcome and had the opportunity to meet with government officials, academics, students, researchers, and civil society representatives. She also praised Canada's reputation in Czechia.

Strong trade links

McLaughlin stated that the bilateral trade between Canada and Czechia is already strong, with a value of CAD 1.2 billion (about CZK 20.6 billion) in 2023. She also sees potential for Czech companies to access the North American market through Canada, citing examples such as Czech arms maker Colt CZ and GZ Media, a leading producer of gramophone records.

One area of interest for Canada is nuclear energy – the country is a world leader in this field. After the Czech government's decision not to consider the North American nuclear power company Westinghouse for constructing new nuclear units, Canada sees potential in small modular reactors based in Czechia.

McLaughlin also mentioned that Czechia was one of the first EU countries to ratify the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which entered into force in 2017. She stressed the importance of CETA in increasing trade between Canada and the EU, even during the pandemic and ongoing conflicts.

In a nod to the shared love of ice hockey in both countries, McLaughlin expressed excitement for the upcoming 2024 Ice Hockey World Championships in Czechia next month. She highlighted the success of both Canada and Czechia in the sport and the potential for further collaboration in this area.

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