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January 24, 2009 Weblog:

Metal is sweeter than sugar in Canada - Central America FTA

After a visit to Nicaragua, Peter Kent, Canada's junior foreign affairs minister continued on to Guatemala, Central America's most populous country, and the site of one of the most horrific wars in the Western Hemisphere.

Kent participated in a high profile ceremony with President Alvaro Colom, where he announced a $10 million donation from the Canadian International Development Agency destined for rural development in the Sololá region.

Getting down to business, Kent concentrated on expanding Canada's trade relations with Guatemala, through the Central America Four free trade deal.

Kent allegedly agreed that Canada would loosen some of the terms in the deal, long seen as having been killed by Canada's refusal to open up the sugar market.

Today, Canadian mining interests are of utmost importance in Guatemala, and it may be politically expedient for Canada to agree to up sugar quotas in order to guarantee that the mining sector has better investment conditions.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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