Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has praised Solomon Islands growing relations with Canada, saying he looks forward to further strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and also fully utilising the labour mobility opportunities which Canada presents.
The Prime Minister said the recent success of two Guadalcanal – CITREC graduates in Canada as seasonal workers further present opportunities for the Solomon Islands Government to consider Canada as a labour mobility partner in areas of tourism and hospitality.
The two graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly have returned home after ‘successfully’ completing their four months employment in the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. They were employed as kitchen helpers.
Prime Minister Sogavare made the remarks during his meeting with the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, Excellency Ashwant Dwivedi, at the Prime Minister’s Office last week.
The Prime Minister is of the view that he would seriously consider and pursue these opportunities with the help of the Honorary Consul General to Canada in his capacity as the as Chairman of CITREC.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sogavare also praised the Premier of Guadalcanal Hon Anthony Veke and his provincial government for their commitment to aggressively pursue labour mobility opportunities with Canada.
“I must congratulate Guadalcanal Provincial government and Premier Veke for this labour mobility arrangement with Canada. This partnership has surely started to yield results and I feel that there are many others who can take advantage of this opportunity at the national level.”
“I am indeed very encouraged by the earnings of the two workers from Guadalcanal Province during their seasonal employment in Canada,” Prime Minister Sogavare added.
The Prime Minister said should the earnings be consistent, Solomon Islands like other countries in the world can place itself as an exporter of seasonal workers to Canada.
Solomon Islands sends its workers to Australia and New Zealand as part of its seasonal employment arrangements with these two countries. This year Canada became the third country to provide seasonal employment for Solomon Islanders when Guadalcanal Province sent two of its people for seasonal jobs in Canada.
Consul General Dwivedi told Prime Minister Sogavare that Canada presents great opportunities for Solomon Islands seasonal workers.
“Based on immigration reports in 2014, a total of 278,980 foreign workers were employed in Canada. I’m sure in future, Solomon Islands can add to these numbers,” Consul General Dwivedi said.
He further said the foreign remittances foreign workers in Canada send to their home countries are calculated at over Can$24- Billion annually.
“Mr Prime Minister I hope you will find these numbers compelling to engage with Canada’s labour mobility sector. I look forward to working to strengthen labour mobility partnership for the benefit of people of Solomon Islands,” Consul General Dwivedi said.
Consul General Dwivedi also discussed with Prime Minister Sogavare the various opportunities that Solomon Islands can seek in the agriculture sector with Canada, saying that Canadian businesses consider Solomon Islands as a country that can become a supply source for fruits and vegetables.
Consul General Dwivedi who is Canadian International Training & Education Corp (CITREC) board chairman met with the Prime Minister whilst on a three- day visit to the country.