In their meeting, the leaders discussed a wide range of issues including the importance of furthering the Canada-CARICOM trade relationship. The importance of strong commercial and investment ties to increased prosperity and long-term development were underlined. In that context, leaders re-affirmed their commitment to conclude free trade negotiations.
On the issue of regional integration, a comprehensive update on efforts within CARICOM was provided. Prime Minister Harper re-iterated Canada's support to integration and that regional challenges need regional solutions.
The leaders also exchanged views on the regional security issues. CARICOM leaders reviewed priorities including crime prevention and security sector reform. They welcomed extensive Canadian contributions across the region which focus on capacity-building in the police and justice reform sectors. Canada's continuing commitment to cooperation in this priority area was reinforced by the Prime Minister.
Established in 1973, CARICOM has 15 members: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Montserrat. Prime Minister Harper last met CARICOM leaders as a group in Trinidad & Tobago in 2009.