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The Ninth meeting of the CARICOM/Canada Joint Trade and Economic Committee (JTEC) begins in Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday 19 February, 1998.

This meeting takes place against the backdrop of the upcoming second Summit of the Americas scheduled for Santiago, Chile in April and the recent expansion of Caribbean Community/Canadian Technical Cooperation Agreement (CARIBCAN), the one way duty free trade arrangement, which allows CARICOM products to enter Canadian markets. Methanol and lubricating oils were added to the list of products under CARIBCAN.

Items on the agenda for discussion include the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) which arose out of the first Summit of the Americas which was held in December 1996; the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) programming; Developments in CARICOM/Institutional Reform; Political Issues; Security Issues and Major Hemispheric meetings.

Also for discussion are the Issues arising out of the Eighth Meeting of CARICOM-Canada Joint Trade and Economic Committee held November1996 and the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Scotland.

Chairman on the CARICOM side is Secretary General Edwin Carrington, and the delegation includes the High Commissioners to Canada from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Michael Kergin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Americas Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada will head the Canadian delegation which includes Mr. Stephen Free, Director, Americas Branch, Canadian International Development Agency, Mr. Simon Wade, Director, Caribbean and Central America Division, Foreign Affairs and International Trade (former High Commissioner to Guyana). The Canadian High Commissioners to Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, the OECS countries and Trinidad and Tobago are also part of the Canadian delegation.

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