Jamaica PM holds bilateral talks with Canadian counterpart

OTTAWA, Canada (CMC) — Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has held talks with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, according to a statement issued here by the Canadian Government.

“The prime ministers underscored the launch of the Canada-Caricom Strategic Partnership and how it will help build on the already strong, long-standing relationship between Canada and Caricom members,” the statement said, adding that Trudeau was accompanied by his Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly and Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development Mary Ng.

Holness was part of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders who attended the three-day first-ever Canada-Caricom summit that ended here on Thursday, and the statement said that the deliberations between the two leaders took place on the sidelines of the summit.

“The two leaders highlighted their collaboration on shared priorities, such as advancing climate resilience and sustainable ocean management, growing clean energy capacity, building inclusive and sustainable economies, defending the rules-based international order, and strengthening regional security and stability.”

The statement said Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to working with Caricom, the United Nations, and other international partners to re-establish peace and security in Haiti, including by coordinating international security assistance, advancing Haitian-led solutions, and bolstering the Haitian National Police’s capacity and resources.

Trudeau also thanked Jamaica for hosting Canadian training of the Haitian National Police.

“Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Holness looked forward to making progress on shared priorities and remaining in regular contact,” the statement said, adding that Canada and Jamaica have shared “strong bilateral relations” since Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962.

“Beyond a deep friendship, Canada and Jamaica benefit from a rich and diverse bilateral relationship, founded on our shared democratic heritage, common values, and strong people-to-people ties, including a large and vibrant Canadian-Jamaican Diaspora community of over 300,000 people,” the statement said.

It said the strength of Canada and Jamaica’s ties is also manifested in the education and tourism sectors and that many Jamaicans come to Canada every year as students, while thousands of Canadians visit Jamaica annually, representing Jamaica’s second-largest source of foreign tourists.

The statement said the Canadian-Jamaican bilateral relationship also encompasses trade and investment, security and defence, and development cooperation.

Additionally, Canadian farms employ about 10,000 Jamaicans annually as part of Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme.

“Canada and Jamaica are mostly like-minded partners on the international stage, as both are strongly committed to advancing progressive and democratic values as well as a rules-based international order.

“Our countries work together to co-chair the Group of Friends of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing at the United Nations, an innovative platform to discuss and promote ideas to finance the implementation of the SDGs.”