Dominica’s President, His Excellency Eliud Williams D.A.H. FCMI., welcomed Canada’s new Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Richard Hanley last Friday.
The new Ambassador, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, presented his letter of credence to the President citing a continuation of friendly relations between the two countries.
His Excellency President Williams D.A.H. FCMI., in his speech highlighted a few ways by which Dominica has benefit from its relationship with Canada.
“Dominica has benefitted from assistance offered by your government through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and continues to benefit through the International Organisation for La Francophonie and the Canadian Francophone Scholarship Programme. I note too that our police officers have received specialised short term training through the Regional Security System utilising special funding from the Canadian Government.”
President Williams continued, “In 2007, Canada provided $17M over a ten year period under the Canada-CARICOM Leadership Scholarship Programme to CARICOM students as part of the Commonwealth Scholarship Programme. Canada is also negotiating a Trade Agreement with CARICOM countries as a group. In fact, two-way trade has more than doubled over the last decade from $936.2 million to $2.4 billion in 2010. In terms of Canadian direct investment in the region, this has grown significantly though most of these investments are in financial services. Indeed Dominica would welcome some of these investments.”
According to Ambassador Hanley, Canada and Dominica enjoy cultural, commercial and economic ties while Canada continues to promote regional integration within the Caribbean community in security and economic areas.
The Ambassador made special mention of a new programme set up to help small farmers reach larger markets.
He explained further that, “The Commonwealth of Dominica will participate in PROPEL (Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce Through Enterprise and Linkages), a project which contributes to economic growth in the Caribbean by increasing the sales of fresh produce by small scale local producers to high value markets. Small farmers will receive help to increase the quality and quantity of fresh, regionally grown fruits and vegetables and to link buyers such as regional grocery chains, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and restaurants. Canada is working through the Canadian hunger foundation and its local partner the Caribbean Farmers' network in this five-year, multi-country, $19m dollar project.”
The Ambassador expressed optimism about the future of the alliance.
“We are confident that Canada and the Commonwealth of Dominica will continue to work together as friends toward a more prosperous and secure hemisphere. It is a great honour for me to serve Canada in this beautiful country and I look forward to working with the people and Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the enhancement of a strong and productive relationship in the years ahead.“
Canada’s new Ambassador to Dominica His Excellency Richard Hanley replaces previous Ambassador Her Excellency Ruth Archibald.