The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded a successful series of meetings with leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Over the past two days, Minister Champagne and CARICOM leaders discussed solutions to the impacts of climate change and ways to promote economic growth that works for everyone.
Canada is a long-time partner of Caribbean island countries. Canada and Caribbean island countries’ shared interest in protecting oceans and coastal communities will help address the economic and social costs of climate change.
Together, Minister Champagne and CARICOM leaders agreed to launch an annual Canada-CARICOM dialogue to discuss political, trade, development and security priorities specific to the almost 20 million people who call the Caribbean islands home.
While in Bridgetown, Minister Champagne highlighted new Canadian funding to support CARICOM efforts to counter the devastating impacts of climate change. These efforts range from emergency response and preparedness, to climate smart agriculture and the blue economy. He also offered to expand the scope of Canadian technical expert assistance in areas prioritized by CARICOM countries.
In bilateral and group discussions at the CARICOM Inter-sessional Meeting, the Minister also underscored Canada as a vital partner in advancing shared regional and global interests, as it continues to pursue its candidacy for the United Nations Security Council in 2021-2022.
“Canada understands the challenges that Caribbean countries face when it comes to protecting our oceans and the environment. Climate change is a global problem, and finding solutions that grow our economies and protect our citizens, is the responsibility of all of us. Canada and CARICOM will work together to deepen our relationship while seeking solutions to the climate crisis and creating economic growth. Canada will continue to invest in the special and historic relationship that unites the peoples of Canada and the Caribbean.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Almost 1 million people of Caribbean descent call Canada home.
Over 2 million Canadians travel to CARICOM countries annually.
Canada has long-standing ties with many CARICOM countries on a wide range of issues, including trade, security and defence, education and governance.
CARICOM is composed of 15 Member States and 5 Associate Members, together representing close to 20 million people.
Canadian companies are active in CARICOM’s financial services, natural resources, clean technology, tourism, energy and education sectors.
Canada’s 2-way merchandise trade with CARICOM members rose by 14% over 2017 to reach $2.3 billion in 2018. CARICOM markets offer opportunities for growth in infrastructure, renewable energy, climate resilience, financial services, extractives, tourism and education.