Canadian trade with a development focus and partner countries

Canadian trade has been following a pronounced diversification trend away from the U.S. and to emerging and developing countries.

An important dimension of this diversification is trade with a development focus and partner countriesFootnote 1. Canada’s merchandise exports to these countries have increased from about $4 billion in 2004 (1 percent of total merchandise exports) to $9 billion in 2013 (2 percent of total merchandise exports), while imports have risen even more, from nearly $7.5 billion (2 percent of total merchandise imports) to over $18 billion (4 percent of total merchandise imports). Canada’s trade has increased in all five regions, but particularly with countries in Asia and the Americas.

Canadian Trade with Development Focus and Partner Countries

Percentage of total merchandise exports and imports from 2004 to 2013

Data: Statistics Canada
Source: Office of the Chief Economist, DFATD

There are, however, some differences in terms of regional performance of exports and imports. In Asia, Indonesia accounts for most of the rise in exports, while imports have increased mostly from Bangladesh and Vietnam. In the Americas, Peru and Columbia account for the bulk of the increase in both exports and imports. In particular, imports from Peru, which entered into a Free Trade Agreement with Canada in 2009, have risen from about $500 million in 2004 to a recent high of $4.4 billion in 2011, before retreating somewhat in the following two years. In Africa, Nigeria accounts for most of the trade, which has steadily increased in recent years, followed by South Africa. In the Middle East, imports are significantly higher than exports (in 2013 $4 billion versus $1.1 billion) with nearly 80 percent of imports coming from Iraq. The increase in trade with a development focus and partner countries are largely with those that are in Canada’s Global Market Action Plan.

The Upshot

The significant diversification of Canadian trade towards developing countries is also reflected in increasing trade with a development focus and partner countries, creating important synergies between trade and development.

For more information, visit Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s Office of the Chief Economist.


Footnote 1

Countries of focus consists of 25 countries where Canada is a key development actor, is making a significant long-term bilateral commitment, and gives the program significant public profile. In addition, there are 13 development partner countries, where Canada is involved with development activities. For details, visit Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada's Where we work in International Development website.

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