Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Orville London (R) welcomes Canadian High Commissioner Gerard Latulippe to his office for a courtesy call on Thursday 10th April 2014. Photo: Department of Information OCS/THA
SCARBOROUGH, Tobago -- The Canadian high commissioner and his staff visited Tobago last week to review opportunities for enhanced Canadian presence and cooperation on the island of Tobago. They met on Thursday morning with chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, Orville London.
The high commissioner offered his condolence on the passing of former prime minister and Tobagonian ANR Robinson. The high commissioner underscored Robinson’s contribution not only to Tobago, Trinidad and the Caribbean, but to the international community as a whole, with reference in particular to his role in the establishment of the International Court of Justice.
The Canadian delegation focused on two areas of cooperation. The first is local economic development, where Canada is supporting a project implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This regional project is aimed at fostering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by unleashing the potential of cooperation between local government, community groups and the private sector around specific initiatives that generate economic development locally.
In cooperation with THA officials, two areas of Tobago’s Comprehensive Economic Development Plan have been identified for MSME development: agro-processing and community-based eco-tourism.
Public-private partnerships were also discussed, as Tobago is considering such arrangements for investments in housing, industrial port, schools and office building. Canada has a long standing expertise in this area and invited Tobago to avail itself of Canada’s experience, as well as assistance from Canada’s Caribbean Regional Program.
Canada is delivering on a commitment made by Prime Minister Harper in 2007 to provide CDN$600 million in assistance to the Caribbean region. The Caribbean regional program is focused on enhancing sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region. The program seeks to advance regional integration and cooperation. Cooperation on local economic development and PPPs may be facilitated through this program.