News Releases

Canada Caribbean Institute says Canada-CARICOM Relations are strong and are poised to get stronger

For Release Upon Receipt - April 8, 2022



The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Friday, April 8, 2022. — The Canada Caribbean Institute (CCI) congratulates the Governments of Canada and CARICOM Member States for their recent efforts to advance mutual relations and development.  The April 1 meeting of Foreign Ministers saw a discussion focused on strengthened collaboration on security, multilateral cooperation, and building a sustainable #COVID19 recovery.  The Ministers also called for the establishment of a joint commission to serve as a permanent mechanism that will formally deepen the partnership while advancing collaboration and cooperation. This will be launched by Leaders at the inaugural Canada-CARICOM Summit in the coming months.

“This is exactly the agenda that will help secure the positive, future relationship between Canada and the Caribbean and the commitment to advance this agenda in the context of a permanent coordination mechanism, and under the full guidance of leaders will promote success,” said Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies and Co-Chair of the CCI. The idea for the establishment of the CCI was conceptualized by Vice-Chancellor Beckles and former President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University, Gervan Fearon, (the first Caribbean descendant to head a Canadian University Canada).

Lynn Wells, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Brock University, and Co-chair of the CCI, further noted that beyond government-to-government efforts, work is also underway to deepen the longstanding trade and economic links between businesses and organizations in Canada and the Caribbean.  Wells observed that Trade Minister Ng will soon be leading a Canadian trade mission to the Caribbean (April 12-14) and said, “There are many synergies in the areas of financial services, natural resources, clean technology tourism and the education sectors that can be looked to for commercial arrangements and partnerships.  In the education sector alone, we can look to areas such as encouraging research collaboration, student exchanges and scholarship administration.”

The Co-Chairs committed the CCI to assist governments to help harness the work of its member institutions to identify impediments and opportunities for advancing this future agenda.  They disclosed, by way of example, that the CCI, in collaboration with CARICOM and the Canada International Council will be hosting a virtual CARICOM-Canada Policy Forum “Canada-CARICOM: Shaping an Evolving Partnership for Sustainable Development” on May 25, 2022.  More information on this event will be available in due course at the CCI website and on social media.


Quick Facts: Canada-Caribbean

−          In 2019, the value of Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with CARICOM members reached $1.9 billion. Trade in services in 2019         

reached $4.4 billion.

−          CARICOM markets offer opportunities for growth in the infrastructure, renewable energy, climate resilience, financial services, tourism and education sectors.

−          Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2 million Canadians travelled to CARICOM countries every year.

−          Almost a million people of Caribbean descent call Canada home.


About the Canada Caribbean Institute 

A collaboration of universities and colleges in Caribbean and Canada, the mission of the Institute is to provide a forum to connect academic institutions, scholars, the business and public sectors, civil society, the cultural and diaspora communities; to inform and encourage collaboration across Canada and the Caribbean to advance important social, environmental, and economic issues that are vital to the shared prosperity and advancement of both regions; and to identify impediments and opportunities related to such progress. Co-founded by The University of the West Indies and Brock University, Canada, its wider membership includes: George Brown College, Canada; McMaster University, Canada; Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica; Ryerson University, Canada; Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Saint Lucia; The University of Belize; University of Guyana; University of Trinidad and Tobago and York University, Centre for Research on Latin and the Caribbean, Canada. Website:  Canada-Caribbean Institute (; Twitter: @CNDCaribBrock


About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)