Tunisia quick facts

  • Population in Canada: 9,520
  • Canadian exports to Tunisia: $102.6 million (2009)
  • Canadian imports from Tunisia: $45.7 million (2009)
  • GDP per capita: $9,400 (2010, estimated)
  • Unemployment: 14 per cent (2010, estimated)

Canada's relationship with Tunisia has been characterized as largely friendly, and goes back almost 45 years. In 1966, Canada opened its first embassy in the North African region in the country’s capital city, Tunis.

Both countries also share ties in La Francophonie, an international organization made of French-speaking nations.

Almost 70 per cent of exports to Tunisia are cereals and predominantly durum wheat, used to make bread, pasta and couscous.

The largest groups of Tunisians in Canada, many of who speak French, live in Quebec.

Following the surprise ouster of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after a month of unrest, many of his family members were reported to have fled to Canada, including his brother-in-law Belhassen Trabelsi.

Tunisia issued arrest warrants for some from the regime, including Trabelsi, and some groups in Canada have called on the government to freeze his assets and to initiate extradition proceedings. On Jan. 28, 2011, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Canada would comply with the new Tunisian government's request to extradite Trabelsi.

(Sources: Statistics Canada and CIA World Factbook)


With files from Jonathan Hembry