Premier Veke lauds Canada-GP relations
GUADALCANAL Premier Anthony Veke says that Canada has praised the people to people engagement of Labour mobility between his province and Canadian businesses who hire GP-CITREC graduates as seasonal workers.
Premier Veke, who met with Canada’s newly appointed High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Paul Maddison, in Honiara, says the people of Guadalcanal regard Canada as a close friend.
“During my meeting with His Excellency Maddison we discussed the labour mobility arrangement we presently share with CITREC and Canadian businesses and the positive impact it is having on the lives of our people. My people learn and earn and we cannot thank the Canadian people and its government for its support of this partnership,” Premier Veke said.
Premier Veke said that the Labour Mobility partnership has helped established very strong and cordial relations between Guadalcanal and Canada.
“There is no doubt that we continue to experience the friendly and cooperative attitude of the Canadian government towards our education and labour mobility partnership. This relationship will only grow to help further contribute towards Canada’s relationship with Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands,” Premier Veke said.
Guadalcanal Province’s Canadian Education Partnership with CITREC Canada has seen GP-CITREC graduates being sent to Canada for 4-month seasonal employment late last year.
The graduates were employed as kitchen helpers and had their salary and benefits matched to the same as that of Canadian residents.
The two graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Voli have successfully returned home from their Canadian job experience.
The two have been selected to help Guadalcanal understand Canada’s labour mobility sector and also helped the Province prepare road map for its future graduates travel to the Canadian job market.
Last week Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Canada, Robert Sisilo commented on the great importance of further engaging with Canada to strengthen labour mobility arrangement.
High Commissioner Sisilo said Canada offers a lot of potential for trade and investment, and cited the Canada International Training and Education Corp (CITREC) partnership with Guadalcanal Province as opening up the seasonal employment scheme for youths, but reiterated that issues of taxes and longer work permits need to be sorted out to realise the full potential of the partnership.
“Canada is an important partner of Solomon Islands. This partnership goes a long way back as former colonies of Great Britain and as members of the Commonwealth.
“It is a country that continues to reach out to Solomon Islands on education, health, fisheries, adaptation to climate change, and recently, employment,” High Commissioner Sisilo said.
Premier Veke said that other areas of interest that were discussed included exports from Guadalcanal into the Canadian market.
“During our discussion High Commissioner H.E Maddison has further extended to the people of Guadalcanal Province opportunity in the area of agriculture export. I think we need to seriously consider this opportunity for the benefit of our people and farmers as most of Canada’s agriculture produce is imported and there is no doubt GP can be among the exporters,” Premier Veke said.
Premier Veke further said that Canada is ready to assist the people of Guadalcanal to gain market access into Canadian agriculture sector.
“My government would populate a list of products that GP can export to Canada and will provide it to the Canadian officials to validate the export requirements and market access details.
“His Excellency Maddison has welcomed GP’s objective to seek Canada as a agriculture trading partner and has also offered to have his trade officials find a market for our products,” Premier Veke said.
Premier Veke said that when he visited Canada last year there was discussion surrounding imports from Guadalcanal Province however for his government the important area to consider will be to ensure that supply chain and logistics of sending the produce in a timely manner to Canada is all taken into consideration.
“Therefore I will be asking the Canadian government to help my people and government establish a distribution center in Guadalcanal which becomes a receiving point for farmers to bring their products for further processing and export.”
Saskatchewan is Canada’s Oil and Grain rich province, which employs thousands of foreign workers.
The Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister responsible for Immigration, jobs, skills and Training signed on the dotted line on behalf of the Government witnessing the agreement between CITREC, Guadalcanal Government and Saskatchewan Hospitality sector in late 2015.