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In receiving the credentials of the new Ambassador of Canada to CARICOM, Ambassador Devine, Caribbean Community Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque praised progress towards the CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement, and welcomed Canada's 'keen and earnest approach'.
LaRocque said that while there were some sensitive issues on both sides to be worked out, he expressed confidence that the “excellent CARICOM and Canadian negotiators, buoyed by the political goodwill which is driving this initiative, will find mutually-acceptable solutions, leading to the early conclusion of the Agreement.”
Noting the benefits of such an agreement to the Caribbean trade bloc and Canada, he said that political will on both sides to open up the economic potential of the trade deal would help settle areas yet to be agreed.
The Caribbean Community began negotiations on the Trade and Development Agreement with Canada in November 2009 in Barbados. The parties completed the third round in April 2011 in Ottawa, Canada.
He stated that the Community was “deeply appreciative” of Canada’s effort as an advocate of CARICOM’s interest in the G-20.
The members of the Caribbean Community are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are associate members.
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