Chancellor Merkel Visiting Canada, a Close Partner
Enlarge image Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Harper talk during a bilateral meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on the morning of Thursday, August 16. (© picture alliance / empics)
Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Ottawa Wednesday for a two-day itinerary that marks her first bilateral visit to the country. Along with political talks economic and scientific cooperation represent the focus of the visit. The international financial and debt crisis and its economic consequences, as well as security policy challenges, including Syria, the Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan and the situation in the Middle East, will be on the agenda for discussion.
She joined Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper for an informal dinner at his summer residence at Lake Harrington (Lac Moursseau) near Ottawa on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, after a meeting with Governor General of Canada David Lloyd Johnston she was formally welcomed to Ottawa by Prime Minister Harper with military honors. After her meeting with Harper, Chancellor Merkel will join him and business representatives for lunch. She will then fly to Halifax, where she will visit Dalhousie University, an institution that works closely with German research institutions.
Enlarge image Canadian Premier Stephen Harper talks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his summer residence at Lake Harrington (Lac Moursseau) near Ottawa on August 15, 2012. (© picture alliance / dpa) There are a number of important topics in the economic realm. In the forefront is the EU-Canada free trade agreement, which has been under negotiation since 2009 and is to be concluded later this year. It is not only a free trade agreement but also a framework for investment, for regulatory cooperation and public contracts. Raw materials are a significant area in which Germany and Canada cooperate. This cooperation is to be expanded. Cooperation in the renewable energy sector is also to be expanded as German companies would like to build on their exports in this sector.
The bilateral economic relationship with Canada is close and developing dynamically. In 2011, German exports to Canada grew by 14 percent to 7.8 billion euros. Correspondingly, Canadian exports to Germany grew by 27 percent to 5.3 million euros in 2011.
In Halifax, the topic will be scientific cooperation as the Chancellor visits an ocean and fresh water laboratory and talks with researchers and students about areas of joint ocean and polar research. A new German-Canadian partnership in ocean research is to be founded there.
Enlarge image Parliament Hill / Ottawa (© picture alliance / Arco Images G) Canada and Germany share common values and convictions, as is evident in Afghanistan and the Balkans, in policies on the Third World, in disarmament and arms control issues as well as in the United Nations. Germany and Canada are linked by their active involvement in international bodies and organizations, above all on issues of security and disarmament, human rights, humanitarian activities and peacekeeping operations.
The partition of Germany, the Berlin blockade and the division of Europe by the Iron Curtain during the Cold War forged strong ties between Europe and North America. In the defense of shared Western values, Canada has demonstrated its solidarity with the Federal Republic of Germany. Up to 1993, a total of more than 300,000 members of the Canadian armed forces served in bases in Germany.