Above: Haiti President Michel Martelly and Canadian Minister Bernard Valcourt (Photo: Canada DFAIT)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Bernard Valcourt, Canada’s associate minister of national defence and minister of state, concluded a trade mission to Haiti and the Dominican Republic Friday.
The mission, which was conducted on behalf of Minister of International Trade Ed Fast, included members from 20 organizations, largely from the infratracture and agri-food sectors.
“The government of Canada is committed to promoting Canadian business abroad to create jobs, economic growth and prosperity for middle-class Canadian families,” Valcourt said in a statement. “We must deepen and broaden access to dynamic and high-growth markets around the world.”
The mission was aimed at matching Canadian capabilities with opportunities in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It included discussions with Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, Haiti President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.
Valcourt was on hand to see the lighting of new LED street lamps in the Dominican Republic built by a Canadian firm, along with Canadian businesses like Gildan Activewear that operate in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Valcourt stressed his commitment to Haiti, particularly as a fellow member of La Francophonie, the global community of French-speaking nations.
“Haiti remains a focus for La Francophonie and for Canada,” Valcourt said. “We aim to reinforce existing trade links and create new business opportunities between Canada and Haiti. The Haitian private sector and international investors have an important role to play in rebuilding and strengthening Haiti’s economy.”
Diane Ablonczky, Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, said the trade mission was part of Canada’s approach to deepen its ties with nations in the Americas.
“Canada is committed to the building and strengthening of economic partnerships to increase mutual prosperity in the Americas,” she said.