Canada’s PM Harper meet with Caribbean leaders on G20 support

Prime Minister the Hon. Stephen Harper of Canada

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 17TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continued to lobby for the G20 to focus on the plight of small vulnerable economies and highly indebted middle income countries during a meeting with their Canadian counterpart, the Honourable Stephen Harper in Cartagena, Colombia on Saturday.

The Leaders, among them St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, met with Harper while attending the Sixth Summit of the Americas early Saturday.

It was the second for CARICOM Heads of Government with a member of the G20, having met with Mexico on Friday evening.

The Georgetown-based CARICOM Secretariat said the discussions with Canada centred on economic issues, the ongoing negotiations for a trade and development agreement between the two sides and security cooperation.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas

The CARICOM leaders acknowledged the Special Relationship that Canada and CARICOM had enjoyed for almost a century and emphasised it was a “dynamic and evolving one which was based on mutual respect and shared interests, from which we have both benefitted.”

They thanked Canada for its assistance in advocating CARICOM’s views in fora such as the G20 and urge that the advocacy should be pursued with even greater urgency given that the seemingly endless global economic and financial woes continued to wreak havoc on the small, vulnerable economies in the Community.

The leaders advised the Prime Minister of CARICOM’s efforts to use its collective strengths to combat the challenges and secure the future through measures such as the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and initiatives such as the Establishment of CARICOM Enterprises.

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