Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Canada

General Information on Canadian development cooperation

Sustainable economic growth is a fundamental prerequisite for reducing poverty in the developing world, and there is overwhelming evidence that economic growth takes place when trade grows. Countries that have experienced sustained and rapid economic growth have done so by expanding trade with other countries.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy 3

Aid for Trade is defined as:

  • Technical assistance, where the aim is to help countries develop trade strategies, negotiate more effectively, and implement outcomes.
  • Economic infrastructure, which may entail building roads, ports, and telecommunications to link domestic and global markets; or measures to facilitate trade at the border.
  • Building productive capacity (in particular trade development), which entails supporting those sectors whose development will enable countries to diversify exports and build on comparative advantage.

The mission of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is to lead Canada’s international effort to help people living in poverty. The mandate of CIDA is to manage Canada’s support and resources effectively and accountably so as a) to achieve meaningful, sustainable results and b) to engage in policy development in Canada and internationally.

CIDA’s programming efforts in trade are guided by an overall Government of Canada approach that promotes global prosperity as a priority and supports international trade as a key tool for economic growth and development. The two key strategies guiding CIDA’s approach to Aid for Trade (AFT) – CIDA’s Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, and CIDA’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda – are now supported by a government-wide agenda, focussed on prosperity and international trade.

CIDA manages the bulk of Canada’s development assistance programme on behalf of the Government of Canada. CIDA pursues poverty reduction mainly through: stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, and securing a future for children and youth. Environmental sustainability, gender equality and good governance are integral to these themes. As part of its aid effectiveness agenda, CIDA concentrates 80% of its bilateral programming in 20 countries of focus. These and many other countries benefit from bilateral programming, partnerships with Canadian organizations, and programming by multilateral organizations funded by CIDA.

Canada maintains that a balanced, rules-based international trading system will support developing countries’ efforts to expand their economic opportunities. Aid for Trade (AFT) is based on the principle that trade is a key tool for growth and development. Canada’s AFT is guided by international undertakings, particularly those flowing from WTO Ministerial meetings, G8 and G20 commitments. In 2010-2011 the Government of Canada met its commitment to double its overall international assistance from 2001–2002 levels to reach $5 billion annually.

CIDA’s AFT reached $688.793 million in 2011/2012, an increase of 282.79 million from fiscal year 2000-2001. In 2011/2012 Africa received $369.83 million in AFT from all channels of disbursement. $242.45 million of total AFT was disbursed through bilateral channels in CIDA’s 20 countries of focus. CIDA AFT is heavily focused on building productive capacity in developing countries.

CIDA channels its AFT through several mechanisms – bilateral assistance, multilateral institutions, and partnerships with civil society:

Bilateral level: In 2011/12 Geographic Programs Branch (GPB) disbursed approximately 43.35% of AFT; most of it ($242.45 million) allocated to CIDA’s twenty countries of focus. The countries of focus in each region are:

  • The Americas (Bolivia, Caribbean Regional Programme; Colombia; Haiti; Honduras; Peru)
  • Asia (Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Indonesia; Pakistan; Vietnam)
  • Eastern Europe (Ukraine)
  • North Africa and Middle East (West Bank and Gaza)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia; Ghana; Mali; Mozambique; Senegal; Sudan and South Sudan; Tanzania)

Projects and programmes include: the Program for Building African Capacity to Trade; the Canada-Americas Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme; State Customs Capacity Building in Ukraine; Enhancing Trade Capacity Building in the Middle East and North Africa; support to the African Trade Policy Centre and the East African Community.

Multilateral level: Between FY2009/10 and FY2011/12, Multilateral and Global Programs Branch launched the Multilateral Aid for Trade program, with investments in the following initiatives: an Aid for Trade Fund at the African Development Bank, $15 million; the Aid for Trade Fund on Trade Facilitation and Standards at the Inter-American Development Bank, $10 million; the World Bank Trade Facilitation Facility, $5 million; the Advisory Centre on World Trade Organization Law, $2.5 million; the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, (DDGTF) and the WTO Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), $7.5 million. CIDA also supported the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Least Developed Countries’ Trade Development (EIF), $19.2 million.

Partnerships with Canadians: CIDA’s Partnerships with Canadians Branch works via the new Global Citizens Program to involve more Canadians in international development. The branch also works via the Partners for Development Program leveraging Canadian development expertise by funding the best proposals put forward by Canadian organizations. Examples of AFT programming by the Partnerships with Canadians Branch include: (i) Canada Market Access and Trade Capacity Building which supported the Trade Facilitation Office Canada’s work in Guyana, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Haiti, and Indonesia in building trade capacity; and (ii) the International Lawyers and Economists Against Poverty (ILEAP). ILEAP’s support is focussed on Africa and is intended to secure pro-development outcomes in trade negotiations.

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Canadian International Development Agency

200 Promenade du Portage

Gatineau, Quebec

K14 0G4 Canada

Tel: +1 819 997 5006

Fax: +1 819 953 6088




The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): CIDA was created in 1968. CIDA administers most of Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) and works in Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, the Americas, Asia, and emerging Europe. CIDA works in concert with its development partners in fragile states, countries in crisis, developing regions, and with Canadians. The Agency has concentrated its bilateral (country-to-country) aid in 20 countries of focus. The Government of Canada has established three priority themes to guide CIDA’s work: (i) increasing food security; (ii) securing the future of children and youth; and (iii) stimulating sustainable economic growth.

For more information; E-mail:


Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

125 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, ON,

Canada K1A 0G2

Tel: +1-800 267 8376 (toll-free in Canada),
+1 613 944 4000 (in the National Capital Region and outside Canada)

Fax: +1 613 996 9709


The mandate of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations and to encourage the country’s international trade. This includes:

  • Ensuring that Canada’s foreign policy reflects true Canadian values and advances Canada’s national interests;
  • Strengthening rules-based trading arrangements and expanding free and fair market access at bilateral, regional and global levels; and 
  • Working with a range of partners inside and outside government to achieve increased economic opportunity and enhanced security for Canada and for Canadians at home and abroad.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade leads international negotiations on international trade.

For more information:

Trade Facilitation Office

The Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFOC) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization founded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1980. Its purpose is a) to promote the development of mutually beneficial partnerships between Canadian and developing countries’ trade and investment-related institutions and enterprises; and b) to develop the capacity of export-oriented institutions and individual enterprises in developing countries to acquire the skill to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the new international trading rules.

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Agri-Food Trade Service (ATS): ATS provides centralized access to market information, trade counselling and export support activities, which will take the exporter from initial enquiry to foreign markets. By gathering and disseminating valuable trade and market information, ATS provides exporters, buyers and investors with centralized access to pertinent information that attends to clients at all stages of business.

For more information: Email and

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): CBSA is responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods, including animals and plants that meet all Canadian legislative requirements. The Agency’s legislative, regulatory and partnership responsibilities include a number of services aimed at commercial enterprises such as the smooth border clearance programme and Trade Facilitation Programme.

For more information: Email and

CANADAEXPORT: The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade provides an array of resources under the Canadian Trade Commissioner Services to help Canadian Business in the international market. Some of the services are the Trade Offices, EXPORTCANADA magazine, information on import and export control, Invest in Canada.

For more information:

Canada Office of Consumer Affairs: The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) works with both, the public and private sectors, using information, research and innovative policy instruments to complement and support consumer protection regulation. OCA focuses on a range of services such as conducting policy research and analysis on emerging consumer.

For more information: Email and

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO): CIPO is a Special Operating Agency (SOA) associated with Industry Canada. It is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada. CIPO’s areas of activities include Patents, Trade Marks, Copyrights, Industrial Design and Integrated Circuits.

For more information: Email and 

Competition Bureau: The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

For more information:

Copyright Board of Canada: The Board is an economic regulatory body empowered to establish, either mandatory or at the request of an interested party, the royalties to be paid for the use of copyrighted works, when the administration of such copyright is entrusted to a collective-administration society. The Board also has the right to supervise agreements between users and licensing bodies and issues licenses when the copyright owner cannot be located.

For more information: Email anod 

Export and Import Controls Bureau (TPI): TPI is responsible for administering the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA). TPI provides policy direction in most areas involving market access and trade policy.

For more information:

Export Development Canada (EDC): EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative financing, insurance and risk management solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC is a Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada. As one of its many services, it provides Financing Solutions for foreign companies through loans, guarantees and lines of credit.

For more information:

Measurement Canada: Measurement Canada is responsible for ensuring that businesses and consumers receive fair and accurate measure in financial transactions involving goods and services. The agency develops and administers the laws and requirements governing measurement; evaluates, approves and certifies measuring devices; and investigates complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement. Measurement Canada ensures the integrity and accuracy of trade measurement in Canada through the administration and enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and Regulations. Measurement Canada has sole jurisdiction with respect to the administration and enforcement of the statutes that regulate trade measurement.

For more information: Email MC-Info and

NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards (NRC-INMS): NRC-INMS is the primary centre of reference in Canada for the accuracy, validity and traceability of physical and chemical measurements. As Canada’s National Metrology Institute, it is the foundation of Canada’s national measurement system and is responsible for the realization and dissemination of primary measurement standards. These standards support the metrological needs of Canadian industry and help reduce measurement-related barriers to world trade.

For more information: Email and

Standards Council of Canada (SCC): SCC is a federal Crown corporation. Its mandate is to promote efficient and effective standardization in Canada. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) facilitates the development and use of national and international standards and accreditation services to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and social well-being. The SCC under the Standards Council of Canada Act is mandated with overseeing the National Standards System, which is the network of organizations and individuals involved in voluntary standards development, promotion and implementation in Canada. SCC is also the National Enquiry point for WTO Technical Barriers to Trade.

For more information Email and

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc (CALA): CALA is a non-profit Canadian laboratory accreditation body. CALA Accreditation Program conducts site audits and evaluates each laboratory’s performance at regular intervals, and grants accreditation to the laboratory based on a decision of the CALA Accreditation Council. To safeguard the quality of environmental data, CALA assesses participating laboratories to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17011 standard.

For more information:

Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC): The Council is a coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development. CCIC monitors and analyzes federal policies on foreign affairs, aid, trade, debt and defense and communicates its findings to members and the public. The Council brings to the Canadian foreign policy-making arena the unique experience and knowledge of Canadian development practitioners and their Southern partners.  Through its links with like-minded domestic organizations, and by participating in international networks, CCIC connects its members to civil society organizations working in common cause around the globe.  The Council also facilitates organizational learning and development among members by assisting their leaders and staff to adapt to a changing environment and changing expectations of their roles.

For more information: Email and

Canadian Standards Association (CSA): CSA is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. As a solutions-oriented organization, CSA works in Canada and around the world to develop standards that address real needs, such as enhancing public health and safety, advancing the quality of life and helping to preserve the environment and facilitating trade.

For more information:

Centre for Trade Policy and Law (CTPL): CTPL is a non-profit think tank specializing in trade capacity building and institutional support services for public and private sector clients and international organizations. It delivers training, advisory and research services to developing and transition economies around the world, enabling them to build both institutional and trade capacity.

For more Information: E-mail: and

Foundation for International Training (FIT): The FIT is a capacity building organization that works to develop the institutional frameworks, organizational capabilities and skills required to realize social and economic development. By building new skills and enhancing existing ones, FIT’s programs develop social capital to achieve positive social change and lasting economic development. FIT and its partners share responsibility for project planning and design, resource allocation, organization and implementation. Professional staff based in Toronto work with an international roster of training and development professionals to deliver effective programs. FIT is governed by a Board of leading internationalists.

For more information:

Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC): The IPIC is Canada’s pre-eminent association of professionals who specialize in intellectual property, patents for inventions, trademarks, copyright, and industrial designs. IPIC is committed to the protection and promotion of intellectual property in the Canadian economy. It is a national association comprised of over 1,700 members from Canada and abroad.

For more information E-mail: and

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD): IISD is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization, which champions sustainable development around the world through innovation, partnerships, research and communications. IISD is in the business of promoting change towards sustainable development and in the development and implementation of policies that are simultaneously beneficial to the global economy, the global environment and to social well-being.

For more Information: E-mail: and

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

150 Kent Street,
Ottawa, ON
Canada K1P OB2
Telephone: +1 613 236 6163
Fax: +1 613 238 7230

International Development Research Centre (IDRC): The IDRC is a Crown Corporation created by the Parliament of Canada to help researchers from the developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face. 

For more information: E-mail:


International Lawyers and Economist against Poverty (ILEAP): The ILEAP is incorporated as a non-profit organization in Canada.  Its main objective is to promote pro-development outcomes in international negotiations. ILEAP works with countries to assist in building their capacity to effectively participate in trade negotiations. ILEAP aims to help reduce the deficit in professional advice within developing countries in international negotiations by providing a non-governmental, multidisciplinary, capacity-building and advisory support service. To this end, ILEAP provides partner countries, amongst others with (i) analytical support to current negotiations in the form of practical research papers; (ii) assist in the formulation of negotiation positions; (iii) provide timely advice primarily through a network of Southern partners; (iv) facilitate access to information and analytical tools; and (v) build networks of trade experts for general support and issue-specific support, etc.

For more information: Email and Website:

North-South Institute (NSI): The NSI is a Canadian independent, non-governmental and non-partisan research institute, which focuses on international development. The NSI provides research and analysis on foreign policy and international development issues for policy-makers, educators, business, the media and the public. The North-South Institute’s research examines the role of the public and private sectors, and of civil society in Canada’s relationships with developing countries. Its research supports global efforts to increase aid effectiveness; strengthen governance and accountability; prevent conflicts; promote equitable trade and commercial relations; improve international financial systems and institutions; and enhance gender equality.

For more information: Email: and

The Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada): TFO Canada, an NGO, was founded in 1980 “to assist developing countries to export to the Canadian market.” TFO Canada is a main Canadian provider of information, advice and buyer contacts for exporters in developing and transition economies. Through its freely accessible web-based services, TFO Canada provides export information and market intelligence to SMEs from developing countries interested in accessing the Canadian market. Through agreements with organizations like CIDA, TFO Canada also provides capacity building projects within selected developing countries.

For more information: Email and

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

Canada has extensive TCB collaboration initiatives with UN and international agencies.

Selected examples:

World Trade Organization – Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) and Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF): $7.5 million, 2010-2012

The STDF is a joint initiative aimed at raising awareness of the importance of international sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), increasing coordination in the provision of SPS-related assistance, and mobilizing resources to assist developing countries enhance their capacity to meet SPS standards. The STDF is particularly effective in co-ordinating the delivery of SPS technical assistance among many actors. CIDA has promoted integrating gender equality; these are intended to ensure access of female producers/exporters (large and small) to training and information by (i) targeting programs and information for female producers/exporters, (ii) bringing training to producers to address mobility restrictions, and (iii) addressing education disparities.

The DDAGTF is a complementary initiative aimed at helping member states negotiate and participate effectively in multilateral trade agreements (details under Trade Policy Development).

Both of these initiatives are based at the WTO. Canada participates actively in the STDF Working Group, and in the WTO Committee on Trade and Development which monitors the DDAGTF.

International Trade Centre (ITC): $55.31 million, 2000-2012

The International Trade Centre (ITC) is the focal point in the United Nations system for technical cooperation with developing countries in trade promotion. It works with developing countries and the private sector to set up effective trade promotion programs for expanding their exports and improving their import operations. Canada makes an annual contribution of $950,000 to Window I of the ITC’s General Trust Fund. In addition to Canada’s long term institutional support, in the period 2000/2012, CIDA provided additional funding for $43.69 million to fund different programs. Some projects carried out by the ITC and funded by CIDA are the Program for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) and Enhancing Trade Capacity in the Middle East (Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco).

Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF): $19.2 million, 2009-2012

The original Integrated Framework (IF) initiative’s objectives were to “mainstream” (integrate) trade into development plans such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) of least-developed countries and to assist in the co-ordinated delivery of trade-related technical assistance. The IF was built on the principles of country ownership and partnership. The new EIF reflects agreements on three additional elements of the initiative. They are: to achieve increased, additional, predictable financial resources to implement Action Matrices; strengthen in-country capacities to manage, implement and monitor the IF process; and enhance IF governance.

Other selected examples of projects are outlined below (details provided under the Trade Capacity Building categories below):

  • Organization of American States Cooperation Plan: $19.5 million, 2012-2015
  • Regional Integration and Trade (Caribbean sub-region- CARICOM): $15.7 million, 2007-2015
  • African Development Bank (AfDB) - Aid for Trade - US$14.92 million, 2010-2014
  • Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF): US$19.1 million, 2009-2014
  • Canadian Market Access and Trade Capacity Building – ITC-(Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, Burkina-Faso, Indonesia): $3 million, 2009 - 2012
  • Programme for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) - ITC
  • African Development Bank (AfDB) - Aid for Trade: $15 million, 2011-2012
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): The Regional Infrastructure Integration Fund 2012: $10 million, 2012-2017
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) - Aid for Trade Strategic Fund: $10 million, 2009-2012
  • Aid for Trade Initiative - World Bank Trade Facilitation Facility: $5 million, 2011-2012

Canada has funded many projects with regional economic institutions, but has not engaged in TCB in the Aid for Trade field in South-South and triangular cooperation.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide


  • Africa Trade Policy Centre: $15.0 million, 2008-2013
  • CATRTA (Canada-Americas Trade-related Technical Assistance Program): $18 million, 2009-2015
  • Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF): $7.5 million, 2010-2012
  • Organization of American States Cooperation Plan: $19.5 million, 2012-2015
  • Regional Integration and Trade (Caribbean sub-region): $15.7 million, 2007-2015
  • The Investment Climate and Business Environment Research Fund (ICBE-RF) – Phase II: $2 million, 2009-2013 (IDRC Project)
  • Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) Core Grant - Phase IV: $1 million, 2010-2013 (IDRC Project)
  • Building Capacities for Trade Expansion (Africa, Americas): $1 million, 2009-2013
  • Confronting New Demands: Inclusive Growth, Inclusive Trade: $935,000, 2008-2012 (IDRC Project)
  • Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Investment Program: $2.25 million, 2008-2011
  • Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA): $100 million, 2005-2014
  • Vietnam Skills for Employment Project: $20.0 million, 2011-2017
  • Entrepreneurial Development of Cooperative Federations (Guatemala): $7 million, 2002-2011


  • Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL): US$2.49 million 2010-2014
  • International Program for Professional Labour Administration (Andean, Central American and Caribbean sub-region): $4.6 million, 2009-2013


  • Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean: $764,200, 2011-2014 (IDRC Project)
  • Promoting Private Sector Growth - Compete Caribbean: $20.0 million, 2010-2015
  • PROPEL: Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprise and Linkages (Caribbean) $19.4 million, 2012–2016
  • Agricultural Sector Supply Chains in Mali: $14 million, 2008-2015
  • Entrepreneurship Program Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC): $10.0 million, 2011-2017
  • Trade and Agriculture Production (Nile Basin): $9.7 million, 2007-2012
  • Canadian Market Access and Trade Capacity Building (Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, Burkina-Faso, Indonesia): $3 million, 2009-2012
  • Strengthening Haitian Artisans’ Marketing and Export Capacity: $1.3 million, 2011-2013
  • Trade Facilitation Office Canada. $4.08 million, 2009-2012


  • CANAMBER (Canada-Americas Business Environment Reform): $11 million, 2012-2017
  • Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL): $2.5 million, 2010-2012
  • State Customs Service Capacity Building (Ukraine): $2 million, 2009-2013
  • PROPEL: Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprise and Linkages (Caribbean) $19.4 million, 2012–2016
  • Food and Agriculture Products Quality Vietnam: $18 million, 2005-2014


  • Enhancing Trade Capacity (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia): $9.15 million, 2009-2013


  • Enhancing Trade Capacity (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia): $9.15 million, 2009-2013
  • Canadian Market Access and Trade Capacity Building (Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, Burkina-Faso, Indonesia): $3 million, 2009 - 2012


  • Capacity Development for Facilitating Palestinian Trade: $2.15 million, 2011-2015
  • Programme for Building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) : $19.8 million, 2008-2014
  • African Development Bank (AfDB) - Aid for Trade: $15 million, 2011-2012
  • Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): The Regional Infrastructure Integration Fund 2012: $10 million, 2012-2017 --Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) - Aid for Trade Strategic Fund: $10 million, 2009-2012
  • Aid for Trade Initiative - World Bank Trade Facilitation Facility: $5 million, 2011-2012
  • East African Community Partnership Fund: $3.3 million, 2009-2013


  • Les Cayes-Jérémie Road, Haiti $75 million.
  • NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility – Phase II (IPPF II) (Africa multiple countries): $15.25 million, 2012-2015 West Africa Regional Market Development: $3.1 million, 2005-2012


  • Fostering Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: $1.5 million, 2011-2015 (IDRC Project)