Canada supports local economic development in the Caribbean

February 10, 2012 - Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced Canada's support for local economic development in the Caribbean. Through a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded project, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will assist local Caribbean municipalities build and strengthen their local economies.

 © CP Images/Patrick DoyleMinister Oda poses with High Commissioner of the Bahamas Michael D. Smith (left) and Berry Vrbanovic (right), President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) after announcing the CIDA funded project for Caribbean Local Economic Development, CARILED at The Westin Hotel in Ottawa on Friday, February 10, 2012.

The Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) project will help to improve local communities and establish business environments to support small and medium-sized enterprises.

"Canada's local municipalities not only work to provide Canadians with safe, vibrant and prosperous communities, for 25 years they also shared their expertise with other in developing countries around the world," said Minister Oda. "Canadians can take pride in the membership of the FCM and in the work they will undertake to help local Caribbean communities strengthen their local economic development and increase business opportunities in 6 different countries."

The Caribbean Local Economic Development project will support up to 50 local governments and agencies, who, in turn, will reach up to 500 small enterprises in six countries. By working directly with local governments, local authorities, and a wide range of stakeholders, this project will use local resources and create new jobs, stimulating local economic growth.

The announcement took place at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' annual Sustainable Communities Conference, with the participation of the FCM President, Berry Vrbanovic, and the High Commissioner of the Bahamas and Dean of the CARICOM Diplomats, His Excellency Michael D. Smith.

"Since 1987, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has successfully delivered high-quality international programming through the involvement of Canadian municipal experts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Middle East," said Berry Vrbanovic, president of the FCM. "This has been possible with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency and the contribution of municipalities from across Canada that shared and continue to share their expertise in municipal services, public participation, local governance, gender issues, disaster relief, and sustainable local economic development."

The Canadian International Development Agency is committing $20 million dollars to this project. For more information on the CARILED and other projects, please visit the Canadian International Development Agency's project browser.

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For more information, media should contact:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

For 25 years, Canadian municipalities have been helping cities and local communities around the world become stronger and better able to serve their communities. Members of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency, have shared their experience and expertise in the developing world to improve the quality of life for millions.

Today, the Minister of International Cooperation announced the latest Federation of Canadian Municipalities project that will assist up to 50 local governments and local agencies in the Caribbean improve their local economies. Local economic development (LED) initiatives will benefit up to 500 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in six Caribbean countries.

"Local enterprises and businesses are key to strong vibrant communities that support their local people and families and provide a better quality of life," said Minister Oda. "By supporting the work of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities internationally means that the very skills and expertise used to make Canadian municipalities the best in the world in which to live, work and play is being shared to help those living in developing countries."

The Caribbean Local Economic Development project will help local government authorities strengthen their competencies to support the growth and viability of existing enterprises, attract new ventures, and put in place services, plans and strategies that meet their business needs.

This project will result in increased sustainable economic growth that will benefit men, women and youth in the Caribbean. It is part of the Canadian International Development Agency's Caribbean programming strategy for economic growth in the region.

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