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Lorraine Williams

OECS High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency, Lorraine Williams

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - As the recently appointed OECS High Commissioner to Canada Her Excellency Lorraine Williams, prepares to assume her position, the need for states of the sub-region to maximize their longstanding relationship with their North American counterpart has been underscored.

Ambassador Williams in an exclusive interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) noted that more benefits could come to residents of the OECS if linkages in the areas of human resource training and development, financial services and offshore banking, tourism promotion and wider access to Canadian markets for locally produced goods, were further exploited.

According to her, “I believe we have not explored the Canadian market to its fullest. I got that sentiment from several of the Heads of Government that I met and held dialogue with following my appointment. We really have to do a lot more hemispheric co-operation. We need continued support in the areas of scholarships, higher education and health. Canada has always been a very important aid and trade partner for us and I think we should continue to strengthen that relationship.”

Ambassador Williams explained that high on her order of priorities would be to launch an investigation into the Farm Workers Programme, which has shown a steady decline in the quota of workers from various OECS member countries in recent years. The matter of boosting tourist arrivals from Canada is also being looked into. “Every island mentioned that as a serious concern for them,” said Ambassador Williams.  She continued, “I have met with some tourism officials from the region and I am going to meet very soon with our own tourism officials so that they can give me information that I can act on and seek to develop when I go up to the mission”

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