Canada interested in bolstering Caricom public security – envoy

Newly installed Ambassador of Canada to the Caribbean Community David Devine says Canada has “strong interest” in strengthening public security across the region.

According to a Caricom press release Devine said that Canada was advancing security co-operation with Caricom countries through the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Programme (ACCBP) which spanned areas such as drugs, human trafficking interdiction, combating violent organized crime, and police and judicial reforms. He was speaking at the Caricom Secretariat on September 29 during the presentation of his letters of credence.

“Canada will continue to favour and support regional integration by ramping up of a CAN$600 Million ten-year development cooperation package that was announced by the country’s Prime Minister in 2007,” he added. In reaffirming his country’s commitment to the Region, the ambassador said that the Caribbean remained “a foreign policy priority for Canada.”

“We will continue to build on the historical, friendly partnership that our countries have sustained in both the economic as well as political and security arenas,” Devine noted. On the economic front, he said Canada is keen on continuing the advancement of trade and investment opportunities in the Region, as economic development was the key to prosperity. The ambassador also noted his government’s satisfaction with “the seriousness” demonstrated by Caricom negotiators in the third round of talks on the Caricom-Canada Trade and Development Agreement. Canada desired a conclusion on “this major regional issue,” he said.

According to Devine, “We anticipate the continuation of the fruitful nature and cordial spirit that has characterized the negotiations, which will eventually lead to an agreement that replaces the 20 year old CARIBCAN trade agreement.” He also pointed to substantial investments Canada had in Caricom member states, particularly in the mining and offshore financial sectors and said he was looking forward to promoting reciprocal trade linkages. “I look forward to working on promoting not only Canadian investment in regional markets, but also the expansion of trade linkages emerging from out of CARICOM towards Canada, for the mutual prosperity of our countries,” Devine said.

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