Canada-Latin America Trade: Dom.Rep. Leads Growth

Thanks to growing mining exports, the Dominican Republic has become the fastest-growing Canadian trade partner in Latin America. Here the Pueblo Viejo gold mine operated by Barrick Gold. (Photo: Barrick Gold)

Mexican President Enrique Peña-Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Photo: Canadian Prime Minister's Office)

Overall, trade between Canada and Latin America fell last year.


The Dominican Republic is the growth champion in Canadian trade with Latin America, according to a Latinvex analysis of data from Statistics Canada.

The news comes as the Dominican government is pressuring Canada-based Barrick Gold, the largest foreign investor in the Caribbean country, to renegotiate a 2009 contract in a move strongly criticized by local business group CONEP and the American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic. “Dominican President Medina’s high stakes game with Barrick is damaging the country’s investor-friendly image,” Latinvex warns in an editorial.

In the latest move, Dominican customs officials at Santo Domingo airport last week stopped a Barrick shipment headed to Canada, claiming that the mining company had not filled out the proper custom forms.

The growth in Canadian trade with the Dominican Republic contrasts with overall trade with Latin America, which fell by 0.4 percent last year to 64.2 billion Canadian dollars (US$64.0 billion). Canada’s exports to the region declined 2.5 percent to 18.3 billion Canadian dollars, while imports from Latin America grew 0.4 percent to 45.8 billion Canadian dollars.

Trade fell with half of Canada’s top trade partners in Latin America, including Brazil and Argentina, but grew slightly with Mexico, its top trade partner in the region. Canada’s trade deficit with Latin America grew 2.6 percent to 27.5 billion Canadian dollars.

Canada’s Latin America trade decline comes as both the United States and the European Union increased their trade with the region last year -- by 6.2 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

A free trade agreement between Canada and Panama is set to enter into force April 1, Canadian Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy announced yesterday at the sidelines of the annual assembly of the Inter-American Development Bank in Panama City.

“I am very pleased to mark this important step in Canada’s deepening partnership with Panama—a country that boasts one of the fastest-growing markets in our hemisphere and that serves as a strategic gateway to Latin America,” Ablonczy said. “This free trade agreement, a key part of our government’s plan to strengthen our relationships in the Americas, will cement the ties between our nations and help us build greater prosperity for the peoples of our hemisphere.”

In addition to Panama, Canada reached FTAs with Colombia, Honduras and Peru within the past six years.


Canadian trade with Mexico grew ...

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Keywords: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela


Canada-Latin America Trade (2012)

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Top Trade Partners

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Top Export Markets

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Top Latin American Exporters

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Trade Growth Winners & Losers

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Export Growth Winners & Losers

Canada-Latin America Trade (2012): Import Growth Winners & Losers


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