(MENAFN- Caribbean News Global) By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO / BRUSSELS — In recognition of the vitality and potential of their francophone communities, Ontario and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation commit to official discussions to promote exchanges in the areas of culture, education, and economic development, the office of the minister of Francophone affairs announced. Belgium is Ontario's 14th largest export market and ranks 16th in terms of imports. In 2019, bilateral trade between Belgium and Ontario totaled approximately C$3 billion.
Inspired by the spirit of innovation and potential social and economic benefits, this declaration opens the way to an eventual expansion of cooperation, notably in the areas of higher education, digital media, youth, promotion of the French language, as well as the two jurisdictions' shared Francophonie.
“Our government is proud to be signing Ontario's first international joint declaration pertaining to the Francophonie, which falls in line with our vision to support the development and prosperity of the Franco-Ontarian community,” said minister of Francophone affairs Caroline Mulroney.“As members of the worldwide Francophone community, Ontario and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation share a vision of a strong and united Francophonie.”
“In a global context of significant turmoil, I am convinced that the international Francophonie must play its part. The signing of the joint declaration between the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Ontario fully reflects my desire to promote the French language and the values it embodies,” said Pierre-Yves Jeholet, minister-president of the government of the French Community of Belgium.“Allowing our respective governments to develop exchanges in the areas of culture, education and digital technology can only strengthen the Francophonie and the bond between our respective communities.”
The role of , and the within the is crucial in bi-lateral relations with Canada, the noted.“Prior to the institutional reforms in Belgium, which led to the creation of the French Community in 1970, numerous were signed in a wide variety of areas (cultural, administrative, fiscal, commercial, technical, etc.). Since 2007, the agreement on international youth mobility (working holiday program) enables and , to explore the country while having the possibility of working there. The French-speaking community is one of the commonalities between the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the Canadian provinces such as Quebec, New Brunswick, and some Canadian regions such as Acadia.”
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