BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday February 12, 2020 – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Barbados next week to participate in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 31st Intersessional Heads of Government Conference, as his country seeks to build even stronger ties with the region.
A statement issued by the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office yesterday said the region and individual Caribbean states are important political, economic and cultural partners of Canada, and his attendance at the February 18-19 meeting “will serve as an opportunity to further strengthen its partnership with this regional grouping of 20 Caribbean member states and Associate Members, and nearly 20 million people”.
“Canada and Caribbean countries have always had strong relationships and almost one million people of Caribbean descent live in Canada. These relationships are based on shared values and partnerships in the fight against climate change, the promotion of democracy, trade, economic growth, and security. I look forward to meeting the leaders of CARICOM to discuss how we can work together to strengthen the Caribbean, and build a better world,” the Prime Minister said.
Trudeau will discuss with the regional leaders, challenges of mutual interest, including protecting oceans and the environment in the fight against climate change in a region that is particularly vulnerable to its impacts, as well as creating good jobs for the middle class and sustainable economic growth. He will participate in group discussions and bilateral meetings with CARICOM leaders.
Canada has long-standing ties with many CARICOM countries on a wide range of issues, including trade, security and defence, and governance.
In 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s $100 million Pledge for Caribbean Reconstruction and Climate Resilience to support regional and country-specific activities that address all the stages of the disaster management cycle. The following year, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting, he announced $20 million for technical assistance in support of public financial management for Small Island Developing States, including in the Caribbean.