High Commission Philip Buxo signs the book of condolences at the High Commission of South  Africa in Ottawa on the passing of His Excellency Nelson Mandela former President and international icon.

The passing of His Excellency Nelson Mandela.

  High Commission Philip Buxo signs the book of condolences at the High Commission of South  Africa in Ottawa on the passing of His Excellency Nelson Mandela former President and international icon. More »

On December 10, 2013, H.E. Philip A. Buxo, High Commissioner delivers a presentation at the Economic Club, "Growing the Partnership: Encouraging Trade and Investment between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada."

Presentation at the Economic Club

On December 10, 2013, H.E. Philip A. Buxo, High Commissioner delivers a presentation at the Economic Club, “Growing the Partnership: Encouraging Trade and Investment between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.” More »

Image 9 - Website - April 2013

Official Visit Trinidad and Tobago to Canada 2013

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar and Prime Minister Harper walk down the Hall of Honour (Parliament Hill, Ottawa). Source: Prime Minister’s Office, Canada More »

Image 3 - Website - April 2013 (2)

Official Visit Trinidad and Tobago to Canada 2013

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar and The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, at the welcoming ceremony on Parliament Hill, April 25th 2013 (Ottawa). Source: Facebook, Kamla Persad-Bissessar More »

Image 2 - Website - April 2013 (2)

Official Visit Trinidad and Tobago to Canada 2013

Governor General David Johnston plays the Steelpan given to him during his State Visit to Trinidad and Tobago in May 2012. Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Prime Minister Persad – Bissessar and His More »

High Commission, Ottawa

The High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ottawa

The High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Ottawa, Canada’s Federal Capital, has the responsibility in Canada for the conduct of the relations between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of Canada. The High Commission is headed by a High Commissioner who is the official representative of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to Canada, and is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The High Commission promotes and protects Trinidad and Tobago’s national and foreign policy interests in Canada, particularly its foreign trade, investment and tourism interests. In this regard, the High Commission is directly responsible to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Port of Spain and, through it, to the Government.

The High Commission also provides services on behalf of the Ministry of National Security and the Registrar General’s Department of the Ministry of Legal Affairs through the provision of application forms and the issuance of visas, statutory documents and notarial services and certificates, such as birth and death certificates. Substantive immigration matters such as the issuance of Passports and the restoration of citizenship are handled at the Consulate General in Toronto.

The High Commission also responds to general information enquiries about Trinidad and Tobago, or refers such inquires to the relevant Ministry or agency in Trinidad and Tobago when more detailed information is required.

51st Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

 

Address to be delivered at the

Reception to celebrate the 51st Anniversary of the

Independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,

Hosted by the

High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada

———————————————————————————————————————–

Salutations:

 

  • Ms. Angela Bogdan, Chief of Protocol of Canada 
  • Mr. Neil Reeder, Director General Latin America & Caribbean Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
  • Members of the Diplomatic Core 
  • Nationals of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome and thank you for sharing in the celebration of the 51st Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Our relations with Canada are close and long-standing.  Canada was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Trinidad and Tobago after our Independence from Britain in 1962. Today, our countries share bilateral relations covering a wide spectrum of sectors trade, education, science and technology, security, culture, environment, sport and health. We also share common values including democracy, defense of human rights and freedom of press.

In this our 51st year of Independence, our nation has much to celebrate.  On February 15th, 2013 – Trinidad and Tobago elected His Excellency, Justice, Thomas Aquinas Carmona as its 5th President; our Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces.

Most recently, JayHue Gordon, a Trinidad and Tobago national, – won Gold in the 400 m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Russia.

In April 2013, our Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar, paid an official visit to Canada on an invitation of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

This visit by Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar was a marked success which renewed and strengthened the longstanding relationship between our two countries.

During the visit Prime Minister Harper noted “Canada shares a strong, historic relationship with Trinidad and Tobago as members of the Commonwealth.” He added that the initiatives announced during the visit would help strengthen the ties between the two countries for a more prosperous and secure hemisphere.

 

 

 

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar took the opportunity to thank Canada for its leadership role in the region; stating that “We very much appreciate Canada’s hemispheric engagement and the constructive role Canada plays in the Organization of American States and the Americas as a whole.”

During the Official visit, both Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of Memoranda of Understanding for education and security.

In Education, a MoU was signed between the University of Brock and the University of Trinidad and Tobago with the aim of encouraging research and co-operation in any discipline which is studied in both institutions. The agreement also focuses on promoting the exchange between the two institutions of academic and administrative staff and students

In Security, a MoU was signed to facilitate closer ties between the two countries through the provision by Canadian companies of technology and services to enhance the capacity of defense and security institutions in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that the newly redesigned Exhibition Area here in the High Commission was formally opened by Prime Minister Persad Bissessar.

The new exhibition area showcases the economic, social and cultural aspects of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and includes a more technologically advanced display which allows a visitor to interact and learn more about Trinidad and Tobago.

I invite you to visit this area. I assure you it would be a worthwhile experience.

Building on the momentum of the visit’s success, the Trinidad and Tobago Government and the Canadian Government co-hosted a CARICOM – Canada Public-Private Partnership seminar during the Caribbean Investment Forum held in Port of Spain in June of this year.

Over 50 companies from Canada attended and various representatives from across the CARICOM region benefitted from presentations on the Canadian model of PPPs.  I wish to offer my sincere gratitude to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development including Mr. Neil Reeder for their support and to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Ms. Gwen Wamsley for the significant contribution and funding to this initiative. Also, to all the Canadian presenters and especially Mr. Mark Ramoff, President of the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnership.

In the English speaking Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has the largest, most diversified and industrialized economy and has become Canada’s second largest trading partner in the Caribbean region.

 

 

 

In recent years, Canadian companies have significantly invested in Trinidad and Tobago, this includes major investments in the financial sector, through banking giants like the Royal Bank

 

of Canada, Scotiabank and now CIBC, as well as the downstream sector with companies like Methanex and PCS Nitrogen.

The balance of trade between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada is also fairly equal, at US$600 million either way, and the trade between the two countries has significantly increased between 25 – 35 per cent over the last five years.

Trinidad and Tobago also has a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with Canada, as well as a Double Taxation Agreement. In 2012, both a Technical Framework Arrangement (TFA) in the health sector and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the modernization of the public sector was signed between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Also in 2012, a MoU between Memorial University of New Foundland and the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education was signed for enhanced collaboration in the field of marine services training.

Ladies and gentlemen, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada are forever connected and strengthened by our diaspora.  I am proud to represent such a diverse and talented group of individuals.  They have added a unique Trini vibrancy to the multiculturalism of Canada, and have contributed, and continue to share their expertise, to the improvement of their communities, and to Canada.  Many who are present here tonight.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms. Ingrid Jean Baptiste, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Ottawa and the other members of the Executive Committee, for hosting Trinbago Gold Day last Saturday in celebration of our Independence and for showcasing the culture of Trinidad and Tobago in Ottawa.

Ladies and Gentlemen, join me in raising a toast….

 

To Trinidad and Tobago, with boundless faith in our destiny,

 

Congratulations on 51 years of Independence!

 

Thank you all for being here… please enjoy the rest of your evening.

His Excellency Philip A. Buxo, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada on the Occasion of the 51st Independence Anniversary

 

HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Message From

His Excellency Philip A. Buxo, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Canada on the Occasion of the 51st Independence Anniversary

……………………………………………………………………………

buxo

51st Anniversary of Independence greetings from the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Canada’s relations with Trinidad and Tobago are close and long-standing. Canada was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Trinidad and Tobago after we attained our Independence from Britain in 1962. Today, our countries share vibrant bilateral relations which cover a wide spectrum of sectors including trade, education, science and technology, security, culture, environment, sport and health.

Earlier this year the Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago visited Canada on an official invitation from the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada. The April visit was a marked success and was demonstrative of Trinidad and Tobago’s and Canada’s longstanding relationship.

“Canada shares a strong, historic relationship with Trinidad and Tobago as members of the Commonwealth,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The initiatives announced (during the visit) will help strengthen the ties between our countries as we work together towards a more prosperous and secure hemisphere.”

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar used the occasion to thank Canada for its leadership role in the region. “We very much appreciate Canada’s hemispheric engagement and the constructive role Canada plays in the Organization of American States and the Americas as a whole.”

We also share several common values including democracy, defense of human rights and press freedom.

Canadian investment in Trinidad and Tobago was even greater than their investments in other, bigger markets like India, Italy and Scandinavia.

In recent years, Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean’s largest, most diversified and industrialized economy has become Canada’s second largest trading partner in the Caribbean region.

Canadian companies have over US$1.3 billion worth of investment in this country, including dominating presences in the financial sector, through banking giants like the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and now CIBC. Canadian investment in Trinidad and Tobago was even greater than their investments in other, bigger markets like India, Italy and Scandinavia.

Trinidad and Tobago and Canada are forever connected and strengthened by our diaspora. Our diverse and talented people have added a unique Trini vibrancy to the multiculturalism of Canada, and are contributing and sharing their expertise to the betterment of their communities, and to Canada as a whole.

On this most momentous occasion, I offer my best wishes to all members of the Trinidad and Tobago Diaspora here in Canada. With boundless faith in our destiny, congratulations on 51 years of Independence!

H.E. Philip Buxo, High Commissioner Remarks at Reception in honour of Prime Minister’s Visit to Canada, April 24, 2013

 H.E. Philip Buxo, High Commissioner Remarks at Reception in honour of Prime Minister’s Visit to Canada, April 24, 2013

-          We have renewed economic interest in Trinidad and Tobago with the launching of our new exhibition room , by our trade delegation in Toronto and with Canada’s commitment to support the upcoming Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) in June.

Honourable Prime Minister, this visit will signal our interest to partner with Canada, not only to the mutual benefit of our people and our nation but to the benefit of the region as a whole.

It may interest some of you to note that the last official visit took place in 1966 with The Honourable Dr. Eric Williams, our country’s first Prime Minister, and we now again make history and make every Trinidadian and Tobagonian proud as we embark on our official proceedings tomorrow on Parliament Hill.

I hope by extension we here—the officers and the staff —have made the people of Trinidad and Tobago– and you –proud.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you again for coming and enjoy the rest of your evening.

PM’s speech at the TT-Canada Business Forum in Toronto, Canada

PM’s speech at the TT-Canada Business Forum in Toronto, Canada

26 April, 2013

 

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar at the TT-Canada Business Forum

April 25, 2013:

Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad- Bissessar delivered an address at the Trinidad and Tobago- Canada Business Forum during her four (4) day official visit to Toronto, Canada. The following are her speaking notes from the event:

Good Evening.
Introduction
I am honoured to address you this evening, and I take this opportunity to convey my deepest appreciation and thanks, to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper and the Government and people of Canada, for the courtesies that have been extended to me and to the members of my delegation, since our arrival on Tuesday.

As you may be aware, this official visit to Canada is the first by a Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, since the Honourable Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister, visited Canada in July 1966 and was received by Prime Minister the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, P.C.

Much has changed for both our countries in the intervening years, but what has remained constant is the dynamic and productive relationship between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.

An historical overview
Indeed our trade links date back to the 18th century, when the Maritime Provinces of Canada traded fish and lumber for West Indian rum, molasses and spices.
The relationship grew more personal in the late 19th century, when Presbyterian Minister, Reverend John Morton, arrived in Trinidad in 1868 with his family to set up the Canadian Mission. Reverend Morton and the Canadian Presbyterian missionaries worked tirelessly among the East Indian communities, especially in rural Trinidad. Dr. Morton and his colleagues founded schools alongside churches, providing a western education for children who had been deprived of opportunities to attend school because of the status of their parents as indentured labourers.
Thanks to the Presbyterian Church, which began its mission in Iere Village in Princes Town and later established high schools and teacher training colleges, our citizens were able to achieve upward mobility much quicker than if the Canadians had not lent a helping hand. The profound impact of the Presbyterian schools continues to resonate in the country today, as many of them are among the top performing schools in Trinidad. I, myself, am a proud alumnus of one of those schools, the Iere High School.

I am certain that among this esteemed gathering, are many nationals of Trinidad and Tobago now resident in Canada, who attained some or all of their early schooling at a Presbyterian-run school back in Trinidad.  Independence for Trinidad and Tobago in 1962 brought official diplomatic relations between our two countries, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The way forward – our economic strategy
Today I stand before you as the Prime Minister of a resource-rich, young Nation; intent on creating a more diversified, knowledge-intensive economy and open to the new technologies and thinking which are driving innovation and development.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we are very cognizant of today’s competitive global business environment, and the need to extend our reach beyond what may be termed our traditional trading partners.However as we know only too well long-held and well nurtured friendships are worth their weight in gold and are not easily broken.

Therefore, even as we acknowledge the changing patterns in world trade and investment flows, and look to embrace the new emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and the wider Latin American Region; we will also consolidate our longstanding relationships with our traditional partners, such as Canada.As you may agree, trade and investment have the potential not only to increase economic security, but also to strengthen the relationship between nations.

As a Government, we see ourselves as the facilitator of business and the creator of opportunities for the business sector rather than a competitor with the private sector. We are, however, quite open to public/private sector partnerships as we move steadily towards our goal of improving the quality of life and ensuring sustained prosperity for all our citizens. Our approach is to see those who knock at our doors as valued customers. We know that the knock is potential, which we must convert into investments.

In fact, may I say that the entire approach of my Government is one that is customer centred and service driven.

We welcome both local and foreign direct investment.
To this end we are revolutionizing the way we do business in Trinidad and Tobago.
From the establishment of invesTT, our frontline investment promotion agency, which is aligned to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment; to the introduction of TTBizLink, a Single Electronic Window for Trade and Business Facilitation, we are creating an enabling environment that is business friendly and supportive.

TTBizLink became operational in February 2012 and links over 10 government departments to deliver key business related e-services such as e-fiscal incentives; e-import and export licences and permits; e-company registration and e-work permits.

InvesTT is mandated to act as the national ‘one-stop shop’ and point of access for potential investors in all sectors of the economy, as well as to facilitate all the relevant requirements and regulatory approvals required by investors.

As well, my Government has developed exporTT, to be the sole National Export Facilitation Organization of Trinidad and Tobago, with the objective of creating internationally competitive firms in the non-energy, manufacturing and services sectors; to grow and diversify trade and generate wealth through export led growth.  I am pleased to state that during this official visit, I am accompanied by several members of the Trinidad and Tobago business sector, who are interested in either expanding or establishing networking links with their Canadian counterparts.

InvesTT along with exporTT, organized several business to business meetings between these stakeholders and facilitated a Trade Mission here in Toronto, that I trust will result in mutual business opportunities. To say that Trinidad and Tobago is open for business is no idle boast.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to fostering sustainable growth through trade and investment.

For decades, our gas and oil sector has created and sustained our wealth. But we cannot continue to depend on finite, volatile resources. We have to look ahead, think innovatively and act decisively. Diversification is the key to our continued economic growth.

It is for this reason that my Government has identified several Priority Sectors for development and investment including:
• Information Communications Technology;
• Light manufacturing;
• Clean Technology – which includes renewable and alternative energy;
• Maritime Industries / Logistics;
• The Creative Industries – fashion, film, animation, music, carnival arts;
• Tourism;
• Agribusiness; and
• Financial Services

In Trinidad and Tobago you will find a legal environment that protects the interests of investors while also securing the interests of Trinidad and Tobago.

We strive for a win-win result.

We value good corporate social responsibility and reward it by our commitment to long-term relationships. If you had not previously considered Trinidad and Tobago as an investment option, I urge you to look again and if you are already doing business in Trinidad and Tobago, I invite you to increase your involvement in our dynamic economy. A world of opportunity awaits you on the shores of our beautiful twin-island Republic.

Initial Accomplishments of Official visit

Trade and investment

Prime Minister Harper and I are both agreed that Trade and investment is necessary in order to boost our respective economies.

And while my visit has been brief, it has sought to capitalize on the existing excellent relations enjoyed by our two countries, and to utilize this advantage to harness the potential offered by your country, particularly in the areas of Security, Health, Energy and Skills Development.
I am pleased to announce that today Prime Minister Harper and I witnessed the signing of key Memoranda of Understanding on Defence and Security between our two countries.

Allow me to take this opportunity to express my appreciation Prime Minister Harper for Canada’s hemispheric engagement and the constructive role Canada plays in the Organisation of the American States and the Americas as a whole.

Trinidad and Tobago through its membership of CARICOM, OAS and CELAC can serve as the nexus as we work with Canada to achieve hemispheric cooperation.

Canadian investments in Trinidad and Tobago

Ladies and gentlemen, at present over 175 Trinidad and Tobago companies, mainly in the manufacturing and energy sectors, have consistent export links with Canada.
As well, many popular Canadian firms in the Energy and Financial sectors have been enjoying the favourable business climate in Trinidad and Tobago.

In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the value of Canadian investments in Trinidad and Tobago. The value of that investment increased from 50 million Canadian dollars in 1992, to more than $1.2 billion Canadian dollars in 2010.
Certainly what we are witnessing is a growing confidence in Trinidad and Tobago, by the Canadian business community.

I assure you that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to strengthening business and commercial relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.
Caribbean Investment Forum

It is therefore my pleasure to invite you all to the third annual Caribbean Investment Forum which is scheduled to take place in Trinidad on 10th and 11th of June this year.
The theme for CIF 2013 is “Caribbean Competitiveness: the Nexus of Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. I first had the idea for such a Forum during my tenure as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth, and after speaking at a meeting of the Commonwealth Business Council in London.

I believed that tremendous benefits could be derived from encouraging business within the Commonwealth Countries with a population of almost two billion persons, and more so, if Trinidad and Tobago could become a strategic jump off point for businesses wishing to enter the Latin American market using the trade agreements which our country has negotiated with several Latin American countries.

It is called the Caribbean Investment Forum since I am of the firm view that our CARICOM partners must also be afforded the opportunity to benefit from investor dollars in their countries.

As a leader within the Region, I believe that Trinidad and Tobago has a special role to play in the economic growth of the Region as a whole – a focus I shall maintain when I assume the Chairmanship of CARICOM in July this year.

The Caribbean Investment Forum is followed later in the week from, 12th – 15th June, by the Trade and Investment Convention.

So what we have is a Caribbean Investment Week rich with opportunities to grow your business. Members of my delegation will be happy to discuss the details of these premier events with you following these formal proceedings.

Public-Private Partnerships Seminar

In addition, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago will co-host a CARICOM Public-Private Partnerships Seminar and business-to-business meetings in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago later this year. I welcome the expertise that Canada will bring to this sphere of business activity.

Conclusion

Honourable Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, to quote a line from a famous play, “parting is such sweet sorrow”, but I am thankful that you have afforded me the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this evening.

I also wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Canadian Council of the Americas for making possible this evening’s reception.
In 2012, Trinidad and Tobago simultaneously celebrated the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the achievement of independence and the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Canada. From our interactions and discussions during this visit, I easily envisage another 50 years of diplomatic relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada.

As members of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States and the United Nations, we remain largely united by a commonality of purpose and philosophy.

We value the benefits which engagement with Canada has brought to Trinidad and Tobago and look forward to the many new areas of co-operation between our two countries, following this visit.

Once again, I extend my sincere thanks to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada for his official invitation to Canada and to the people of Canada for their hospitality.

May God continue to bless you all and may God bless our great Nations

The Official Visit to Canada by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The Official Visit to Canada by the Prime Minister of the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago, the Honorable Kamla Persad Bissessar, April 2013

 

Canada-Trinidad and Tobago Joint Statement

Canada-Trinidad and Tobago

Joint Statement

25 April 2013
Ottawa, Ontario

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, is on an official visit to Canada from April 23-27.  Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, hemispheric and Commonwealth partners, share common values, multicultural societies, similar systems of government and a commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and human rights. These ties are strengthened by the contributions of almost 65,000 Canadian citizens and permanent residents with roots in Trinidad and Tobago, and 6,000 Canadians resident in Trinidad and Tobago.

Both leaders affirmed the importance of bilateral trade and investment, the centrality of free markets to mutual prosperity, and a keen desire to strengthen collaboration in the financial, oil and gas, and energy sectors. Canadian investment in Trinidad and Tobago has grown substantially, now exceeding $1.3 billion (CAD). Annual two-way merchandise trade grew by 45 per cent between 2005 and 2012, and is now approaching $600 million.

As Trinidad and Tobago takes up the rotating Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in July 2013, leaders also discussed the status of trade talks between Canada and CARICOM.  They also discussed their common vision for a more integrated Caribbean region.  Under Trinidad and Tobago’s Chairmanship of CARICOM, leaders expressed their wish to see regional integration and CARICOM reform advanced.

Demonstrating their commitment to share important lessons learned, Prime Ministers Harper and Persad-Bissessar announced that Canada and Trinidad and Tobago will co-host a CARICOM Public-Private Partnerships Seminar and business-to-business meetings in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago later this year. The seminar will bring together representatives from government, the private sector, international financial institutions and multilateral development banks from Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the broader CARICOM and international community to share best practices in this field and how they can be applied further in their jurisdictions.

Recognizing the importance of education for each country, leaders were pleased to witness the signature of an agreement between Brock University and the University of Trinidad and Tobago to expand cooperation between students and professors. Some 300 students from Trinidad and Tobago study in Canada each year.

Canada and Trinidad and Tobago share an interest in improving security throughout the Americas. To this end, leaders welcomed the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Between the Ministry of National Security of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Canadian Commercial Corporation Concerning the Development and Implementation of Projects in the Field of Defence, Security, and Related Infrastructure. The MoU will facilitate closer ties between the two countries, including through the provision by Canadian companies of technology and services to enhance the capacity of defence and security institutions in Trinidad and Tobago. To this end, both leaders expressed satisfaction with the launch of negotiations between the Air Guard of Trinidad and Tobago with Provincial Aerospace Limited of Canada with respect to two Long-Range Multi-Mission Aircraft.

The prime ministers also noted that Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program is supporting Trinidad and Tobago in modernizing criminal investigations. Further, Prime Ministers Harper and Persad-Bissessar are pleased to collaborate to improve the Caribbean region’s preparedness and ability to respond effectively to natural disasters by way of Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in the Caribbean Disaster Management Harmonised Implementation Program, which is led by the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency and supported by Canada.

Trinidad and Tobago has been part of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) since 1970. In support of their shared desire to expand defence relations, the prime ministers welcomed the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the two nations to help Trinidad and Tobago take on a greater role to provide regional military capacity building training. Leaders were also pleased to announce the appointment of the first Canadian Defence Attaché accredited to Trinidad and Tobago.

Prime Ministers Harper and Persad-Bissessar also affirmed their commitment to working together in regional and multilateral fora in pursuit of organizational reform, and respect for shared values. They agreed to work together to defend Commonwealth values, including human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Leaders also committed to strive for a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere, and to identify opportunities to work together more closely in the Organization of American States (OAS) and other hemispheric institutions.

In 2012, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago celebrated 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations. At that time, commemorations included the state visit of Canada’s Governor General to Trinidad and Tobago. Today, with the first official visit by a Prime Minister of Trinidad in Tobago to Canada in nearly half a century, the prime ministers laid the groundwork for another fifty years of growing ties.