It was a reminiscent occasion yesterday when Plenipotentiary Representative Designate of Canada to Caricom, Mr Francois Montour, handed over his letter of credence to Secretary General of the Caricom Secretariat,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, Dr Edwin Carrington.Montour’s introduction marks the fourth such appointment since the Caribbean Community granted Canada the auspicious privilege in 2002.In accepting Montour’s letter of credence yesterday the Secretary General noted that “it is with special pleasure that I welcome you on this occasion to the Caricom Secretariat…This is the day that I am pleased to receive you for the presentation of your credentials…”Dr Carrington sought to extol the relationship between Canada and the English Speaking members of the Caribbean Community, describing it as a long standing, historical and special one. In fact, he noted that it is characterised by common values, mutual respect and quite often by support for each other’s view points on a number of issues.And this special relationship he disclosed has its roots as early as the late 17th century when Canadian flour and codfish and Caribbean Rum constituted the backbone of the trade between the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the West Indian colonies. These ties, Dr Carrington,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, underscored were formalised in 1912 with a trade arrangement that resulted in the movement of goods between Canada and most of the British West Indies at preferential tariff rates.The ties were further cemented in 1925 through the Canada/West Indies trade agreement which provided for lower tariffs on an increased number of goods entering Canada from the Anglophone Caribbean. That 1925 agreement also included a protocol establishing a Commonwealth/Caribbean/Canada trade and economic committee to consult on trade, financial and related manner.Dr Carrington noted that “this was the forerunner to the 1979 Caricom/Canada Trade and Economic Agreement which among other things established the Caricom/Canada Joint Trade and Economic Committee (JTEC); an institutional arrangement which has served to bolster and deepen our relations.”According to the Secretary General, Canada’s direct support of the Caribbean Community’s integration and the economic development of the region has been substantive and significant.In brief remarks, Ambassador Montour noted that “I am honoured to take on this responsibility” even as he revealed that Canada values the long friendly relationship it has with the member states of Caricom.“The Caricom states are not only countries of refuge for our thousands of tourists who are escaping our harsh winters every year…They are also economic partners with Canada since as far back as they 19th century with the rum and molasses trade, the long standing presence of Canadian Banks in the Region, the insurance and other investments and more recently, the Canadian investments in the extra sectors in several of the member states.”Caricom States, according to him, are also important partners in terms of political cooperation and people-to-people links. In addition, he noted that several generations of Caricom students have studied in Canada over the years.And it was due to the intense collaboration,NFL Jerseys Wholesale From China, Montour revealed, that during the fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had declared that the Americas are, and will remain, a foreign policy priority for Canada.In addition,China Jerseys, he revealed that Prime Minister Harper has since committed to a new focus on Canada’s role in the Americas,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, with a concentration on the Caribbean. In support of this commitment, the government of Canada has doubled its provision for development assistance to Cdn$600M over a ten-year period via a Caribbean Regional programme being developed through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Montour added.According to the Ambassador, the new programme will help institutional capacity of the Caribbean Regional Institutions and encourage greater regional integration.“More concretely, CIDA’s Caribbean Trade and Competitiveness Programme (valued at $15M) is supporting newly acceding states to participate fully in the Common Single Market and Economy. My government has recently supported the re-capitalisation of the Caribbean Development Bank at a level of 150 percent of its current capital level. This re-capitalisation will provide the resources required by the Bank while allowing the institution’s absorption capacity to grow at a reasonable pace,” Montour asserted.According to Montour, the Government of Canada remains committed to working with partners in the region to build the best possible future for the Caribbean.“As I begin my mission as Canada’s representative to Caricom, I am well aware of the importance of the task at hand and I look forward to working with you and your staff to further deepen the Canada/Caricom relationship for the benefit of our citizens,Wholesale Jerseys From China, Montour noted.