Canadians and the Czech people share a long-standing and historic relationship. These close personal ties—including the shelter of Czech political refugees in 1948 and 1968—have grown to see Canada become a major investor in the Czech Republic’s economy, creating middle-class jobs in both countries.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, today announced that they will welcome Lubomír Zaorálek, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Ottawa on March 20 to 21, 2017. He will be accompanied by a delegation including several Czech business leaders and academics. Following the visit to Ottawa, Minister Zaorálek and his delegation will travel to Vancouver and Toronto for meetings with business leaders.
During their meetings in Ottawa, the ministers will discuss Canada-Czech Republic bilateral relations, defence and security, as well as ways to enhance multilateral cooperation. As a member of NATO since 1999 and the European Union since 2004, the Czech Republic is an important European partner for Canada.
Canada’s relationship with the EU was underscored in February 2017, when the European Parliament voted to approve the application of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA). Canada looks forward to the implementation of both CETA and the SPA this spring, while respecting the Canadian parliamentary process.
“I look forward to welcoming Minister Zaorálek on his first official visit to Canada. Together, we will discuss ways to further cooperation between our people, particularly in the area of international peace and security. Canada and the Czech Republic share over 75 years of friendship, enhanced by a dynamic Czech diaspora in Canada. I am confident that our strong relations will continue to flourish with the application of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement.”
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
“The Czech Republic is a robust commercial partner for Canada, and we enjoy a strong reputation in that country. We look forward to examining ways to increase cooperation across a broad range of areas, including trade and investment. The ratification and implementation of CETA will no doubt deepen our commercial relations with the EU, including the Czech Republic.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade
Photo from: www.mzv.cz