Canada has begun deepening its trade relationships with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as the North American country looks for ways to diversify its economy away from the United States.
Canada’s Trade Minister Mary Ng recently concluded a trade mission to the Caribbean, where she held extensive talks with regional business leaders and government ministers.
During the trade mission, the Canadian Commercial Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Guyana, agreeing to invest in the country’s infrastructure, ICT, aerospace and clean technology.
In Jamaica, Ng held discussions with government ministers and entrepreneurs, expressing Canada’s desire to invest in Jamaica’s food industry.
“The United States has become a less reliable trading partner in recent years,” said Canadian news magazine Financial Post, adding that “both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have developed protectionist streaks.”
In 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed that, by 2025, exports to countries other than the US would increase by 50%.
Home to almost 1 million Caribbean descendents, Canada is the second largest source of tourists for the Caribbean. The bilateral trade in goods between Canada and CARICOM members reached $1.9 billion (US$14 billion) in 2019, while trade in services was valued at $4.4 billion (US$3.4 billion), according to the Canadian government.
Many Canadian entrepreneurs have interest in the Caribbean’s financial services, natural resources, clean technology, tourism, energy and education sectors.