Prime Minister strengthens trade and investment with Caribbean countries and concludes the Canada-CARICOM Summit

OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 19, 2023 /CNW/ – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today concluded the Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit in Ottawa. During the Summit, the Prime Minister and Caribbean leaders advanced shared priorities to fight climate change, grow strong economies for the middle class, and strengthen regional security.

Today, during the second day of the Summit, the Prime Minister convened a trade and investment roundtable with CARICOM leaders and Canadian investors to deepen business ties and create new opportunities for workers. The leaders discussed ways to diversify trade and expand investment in key sectors like financial services, resilient infrastructure, clean tech, information and communications technologies, and natural resources management. They also discussed shared work to build sustainable economies that work for everyone, as Caribbean countries continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To create new opportunities for businesses and workers, the Prime Minister announced that Canada is expanding the Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff program (CCCT), which gives countries in the region duty-free trade access to the Canadian market for the vast majority of goods, to include textiles and apparel. Canada is also helping businesses take advantage of our preferential tariff programs by simplifying rules of origin and shipping documentation requirements. For businesses in Canada and Caribbean workers, the Prime Minister reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement a new foreign labour program for agriculture and fish processing under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Leaders also discussed their shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and the rules-based international order. Canada will continue to work with Caribbean partners to build a more secure, stable, and prosperous future – including for people in Haiti, Venezuela, and the Middle East.  

The ties between Canadian and Caribbean communities, businesses, and people run deep. With progress made at this Summit, and the new Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership, Canada and the CARICOM will continue working together to create jobs, fight climate change, and keep people safe.


“In an uncertain world, it is by working together as friends and partners that we will build economies that work for the middle class, keep our air and water clean, and keep people safe. Over the last two days, as Canada has hosted Caribbean leaders for this Summit, we have done just that. I’m looking forward to everything we can do next to grow and deepen our longstanding partnership.”

— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts
  • On the first day of the Canada-CARICOM Summit, the Prime Minister announced new funding initiatives to help address shared priorities on climate change and economic growth, respond to gender-based violence, and build a more secure, stable, and prosperous hemisphere, including in response to the ongoing crises in Haiti.
  • On the second day of the Summit, the leaders focused on trade and investment.
  • The Prime Minister was accompanied at the Summit by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, the Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen, the Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, Mary Ng, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault.
  • Through the Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau has engaged directly with: the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, current Chair of CARICOM; the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley; the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry; and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness.
  • 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.
  • The chairmanship of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Board of Governors was handed to Canada from Saint Lucia in June 2023. 
  • The Commonwealth Caribbean Countries Tariff program (CCCT) is a non-reciprocal tariff preference program, established under the 1986 CARIBCAN agreement, that provides 18 Commonwealth Caribbean countries with duty-free trade access to the Canadian market for the vast majority of their goods.

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