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Ja-Canada trade relations to improve

Published:Friday | March 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM


JAMAICA AND Canada may soon have increased opportunities to improve trade and commerce relations, following a business reception for the Canadian Trade Commis-sioner Service (CTCS) in Montego Bay, St James, last week.

Rick McElrae, senior trade commissioner for the CTCS, noted that there are several potential aspects of trade between the two countries that both sides could make use of for further development.

"Quite literally, the idea is to promote trade and investment between Canada and Jamaica; there's huge potential," said McElrae. "One of the things I've underscored is the proximity of, for example, Toronto to MoBay or Kingston. In fact, the distance to Toronto from MoBay or Kingston is the same amount of time as it is to get between the two Jamaican cities - it takes four hours to get to Canada from here or Kingston."

Exchanging ideas

The reception, which was held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa last week, saw members of the CTCS meeting and exchanging commerce ideas with business and tourism interests from the Second City.

McElrae added that among the specific opportunities Jamaica and Canada could take advantage of are energy conservation, technology development, and medical and agricultural tourism.

"There are huge opportunities in the energy field; Canada is a world leader in energy conservation, and we're a world leader in alternative energy sources. Jamaica has a huge energy challenge, and I think there's great opportunity for business there," he stressed.

In the meantime, State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, observed that Jamaica and Canada have had long relations dating back to the 1800s, and that Jamaica has had many investment opportunities with its North American neighbour.

"What I think we would like to do is to see more investment coming in from Canada to Jamaica and more trade between the two countries, and so we're here to facilitate that along with business people in the Montego Bay region," she remarked.