Canada to strengthen trade and investment with Caribbean countries

From left: Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Trudeau, CARICOM Secretary General Carla Barnett

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) were reported to have “advanced shared priorities” to fight climate change, grow strong economies and strengthen regional security when they met last week at the Canada-CARICOM Summit.

On Thursday, Trudeau convened a trade and investment roundtable with CARICOM leaders and Canadian investors to deepen business ties and create new opportunities for workers.

According to a news release from the office of the Canadian Prime Minister, the leaders at the summit discussed ways to diversify trade and expand investment in key sectors such as financial services, resilient infrastructure, clean tech, information and communications technologies, and natural resources management. They also discussed “shared work to build sustainable economies that work for everyone, as Caribbean countries continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Trudeau has announced that Canada is expanding the Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff program (CCCT), which gives countries in the region duty-free trade access to the Canadian market for the vast majority of goods, including textiles and apparel.

Canada is also helping businesses take advantage of Canada’s preferential tariff programs by simplifying rules of origin and shipping documentation requirements. For businesses in Canada and Caribbean workers, Trudeau reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement a new foreign labour program for agriculture and fish processing under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

CARICOM leaders welcomed Canada’s new support of $64.5 million in new climate financing, and $10 million for resilient agriculture systems.

Leaders also discussed their shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the rules-based international order. Canada will continue to work with Caribbean partners “to build a more secure, stable, and prosperous future – including for people in Haiti, Venezuela, and the Middle East,” the news release said.