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CARICOM Secretary General commends Canada as an exemplary global leader in development assistance

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)    Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday commended Canada for its role as an exemplary global leader in development assistance. Ambassador LaRocque was speaking during an accreditation ceremony where the newly appointed Ambassador to CARICOM from Canada Her Excellency Nicole Giles presented her credentials at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown Guyana.
Ambassador LaRocque said Canada’s excellent example was evidenced in its ranking of 8th out of 67 donor countries and donor organizations on the 2013 Aid Transparency Index. “This is an indication of the support provided not only bilaterally but also through multilateral organizations that offer development assistance to developing countries such as CARICOM Member States” Hi Excellency LaRocque said.
The Secretary General further iterated that it was important for CARICOM to continue to foster and maintain meaningful relationships with like-minded states such as Canada and every opportunity should be taken to nurture those relationships.
He said one important aspect of that relationship was the negotiations of the CARICOM/Canada Trade and Development Agreement.  “We seek a mutually beneficial arrangement which takes full account of the differences in size and development between CARICOM and Canada and which would support CARICOM’s efforts to adjust to further liberalization” said Ambassador LaRocque.
Secretary General LaRocque also used the opportunity to highlight Canada’s involvement in providing support to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) through the Canada International Development Agency. He said CARICOM was also appreciative of other CIDA funded activities which support the Community through private sector development, strengthening regional economic infrastructure as well as reinforce good governance, security and justice sector reform.
In her remarks, the newly appointed Canadian Ambassador said it was her wish to further solidify the CARICOM/Canada relationship by building upon the strength of mutually shared traditions and values, multilateral cooperation, robust trade and investment links, development cooperation and close people-to-people ties.
She said Canada’s economic partnerships with CARICOM Member States were robust and led by significant Canadian investment in the extractive, financial and energy sectors. 
“I look forward to augmenting the investment climate by facilitating increased flows of Canadian investment into the region, and similarly, from the Caribbean to Canada.”
Regarding the Canada-CARICOM Trade Agreement negotiations Ambassador Giles said Canada was pursuing a high quality, ambitious free trade model.  She said it was essential for Canada that, as a part of the agreement labor and environment provisions would be negotiated.
Speaking to a number of the challenges being faced by CARICOM countries such as organised crime, drug trafficking and the proliferation of arms, the Ambassador said Canada remained committed to assisting and cooperating with the Caribbean on addressing these problems. She said this would be done by providing support on capacity building in the areas of countering illicit trafficking, crime prevention, and security and justice sector reforms.

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