How do Bulgaria’s and Estonia’s culture, geography, laws, politics, social issues, and current trade affect Canadian businesses and consumer spending?
Bulgaria was a Soviet satellite state from 1946 to 1989; it is now a member of the European Union (despite concerns over its high incidence of corruption) and NATO. The country has been criticized by the EU for its lack of high-profile cases cracking down on corruption. Its climate has produced a great deal of biodiversity. According to the Canadian government (see the link below), Canada and Bulgaria have good bilateral trading and cultural relations. Both countries are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), la Francophonie, and NATO allies. More than 30,000 Canadians who have Bulgarian origin live in Canada. In addition, in 2012, trade between the two countries totaled $369.3 million. Bulgarians have a developed mining industry that is interested in Canadian gas and oil, and Canadians have invested in Bulgarian telecommunications, airport services, and agriculture. Canadians are particularly interested in exporting electrical products, machinery and equipment, and chemicals and plastics to Bulgaria.
Canada and Estonia are both NATO members. Canada did not recognize Soviet control of Estonia, one of the Baltic states, and Canada was one of the first nations to recognize Estonia as an independent country in 1991 (following the collapse of the Soviet Union). Canada was also the first member of NATO to accept Estonia into the organization, and Canada is home to the second-largest Estonian community outside of Estonia (numbering 24,000 people). In 2010, the two nations signed a Youth Mobility Agreement that allows members of one country (of the ages 18–35) to work for a short time in the other country. In 2012, Canada exported $22.9 million in goods to Estonia, including lumber, seafood, and machinery, and Canada imported $48.4 million in goods from Estonia, including telephone sets, chemical products, and fishing articles. Therefore, consumers and businesses spend money on Estonian imports.