OTTAWA, Canada – Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced that he will welcome leaders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to Ottawa for the first Canada-CARICOM Summit on Canadian soil. Canada will co-chair the Summit, which will run from October 17 to 19, 2023, alongside the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, the current chair of CARICOM.
“I look forward to welcoming leaders from the Caribbean Community to Ottawa this month. Canada and the Caribbean Community have built an enduring partnership over the last 50 years, based on ties between our people and our shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. At this Summit and beyond, we will keep working together to take climate action, build strong economies, and keep people safe, now and into the future,” said prime minister Trudeau.
“As CARICOM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the Summit will highlight Canada’s strong ties with the Caribbean and provide an opportunity for leaders to continue to strengthen cooperation and chart a better future for people in both regions.
“Under the Summit’s theme of “Strategic Partners for a Resilient Future”, the Prime Minister and CARICOM leaders will advance shared priorities, including building inclusive and sustainable economies, increasing trade and investment, and promoting multilateral collaboration. The leaders will also work to fight climate change and address its impacts in the Caribbean, including by exploring ways to improve access to financing for Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean,” said the prime minister’s office – communications, in a press release.
During the Summit, prime minister Trudeau will highlight the importance of reinforcing democratic values, promoting human rights and the rules-based international order, and strengthening coordination on regional security, including responding to the ongoing security, political, and humanitarian crises in Haiti. The leaders will engage with Canadian business leaders and investors to further commercial opportunities in the region.
“As co-chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocates group, prime minister Trudeau will take the opportunity to advance the SDGs – the pathway for the world to build a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for everyone.”
Canada has long-standing ties with many CARICOM countries on a wide range of shared priorities, including trade, security and defence, international assistance and governance.
This Summit builds on the work Canada is doing to strengthen ties with the region, including the prime minister’s visit to Nassau, The Bahamas earlier this year to participate in the 4th conference of heads of government of CARICOM.
More than two million Canadians travel to CARICOM countries annually and over 10,000 students from CARICOM study in Canada every year.
CARICOM is a regional organization that was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973. It is comprised of 15 Full Members and five Associate Members. The Full Members are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The overseas territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Turks & Caicos Islands are Associate Members.
In 2022, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with CARICOM countries reached $1.8 billion. In 2021, bilateral trade in services reached $3.9 billion.