Jamaica's Deputy Prime Minister Visits Canada

(No. 76 - March 25, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday met with the Honourable Kenneth Baugh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, who is visiting Canada from March 23 to 26, 2009. Dr. Baugh also met with the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, the Honourable Beverley Oda, Minister for International Cooperation, and the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas).

"I was pleased to welcome Dr. Baugh to Canada," said Minister Cannon. "The visit was an important opportunity to discuss Canada's multi-faceted relationship with Jamaica—a long-standing relationship based on common values and encompassing important political, commercial, and people-to-people aspects."

"Canada and Jamaica share a commercial history that spans centuries," said Minister Day. "Minister Baugh and I discussed how we can strengthen our economic partnership with Jamaica and with the entire Caribbean Community [CARICOM] region. It's important to work with CARICOM to help open doors for Canadian companies in the growing and dynamic Caribbean market."

"Canada has a long history of providing development assistance to Jamaica and the Caribbean," said Minister Oda. "Our development programs build on the region's priorities to create opportunities for social and economic advancement, through institutional strengthening, private sector development, youth opportunities, and natural disaster preparedness and response."

"Canada's engagement in the Americas, one of our foreign policy priorities, has highlighted the importance of our relationship with Jamaica and the Caribbean," said Minister Kent. "Canada enjoys warm relations with Jamaica and with the Caribbean region as a whole, and we are happy to see the relationships maturing with increased commercial and political cooperation. Canada is committed to strengthening its relationship with the Caribbean."

Dr. Baugh is in Canada to discuss relations between the two countries with Canadian officials. During his visit to Ottawa and Toronto, he also met with the chair of the Canada-Caribbean Parliamentary Friendship Group, Ms. Raymonde Folco, Member of Parliament for Laval-Les Îles. He also met with members of the Jamaican community in both cities; the Jamaican community is the largest from the Caribbean in Canada, numbering over 230,000.

For more information on Canada-Jamaica bilateral relations, please consult web site Jamaica.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874