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Canada pledges more help to Jamaica

BY CONRAD HAMILTON Senior staff reporter hamiltonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2012    

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OTTAWA, Canada — Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper says his country will continue to pursue efforts to boost trade and investments in order to help Jamaica get out of its current economic hardships.

Harper made the disclosure yesterday morning while addressing a joint press briefing with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who is on a five-day official visit to Canada.

Following an impressive welcome ceremony, featuring a military parade, at the Parliament building in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, Simpson Miller and Harper met for close to 30 minutes before facing journalists.

Harper emphasised that Jamaica's best strategy is to grow its way out of the prevailing challenges and pledged to assist the country through trade, agriculture and investments in order to boost Jamaica's recovery.

Meanwhile, Simpson Miller, who is on her first visit to Canada as Jamaica's prime minister, thanked Harper and the people of Canada for their continued support to Jamaica.

In addition, she thanked Harper and the Government of Canada for using their position on the board of the International Monetary Fund to speak on Jamaica's behalf and to articulate the flaws and consequences of the decision by global financial powerhouses to continue their classification of Jamaica as a middle-income country.

That designation prevents Jamaica from accessing many benefits available to lower income countries.

Simpson Miller also spoke to the success of the employment programme, under which many Jamaican farm workers and artisans benefit from work in Canada.

After the press conference, both prime ministers met again, following which Simpson Miller was scheduled to travel to Toronto for a series of engagements with other Government representatives, members of the Canadian private sector and the 300,000-strong Jamaican diaspora.

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