Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon has met with Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America in Trinidad and Tobago Shante Moore, to discuss trade relations between both countries and opportunities for non-energy investment in Trinidad and Tobago.

A statement by the Ministry noted that Trinidad and Tobago’s products currently benefit from preferential access to the US market under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and that Trinidad and Tobago has been the leading exporter under this arrangement since 2005. These arrangements have been extended to Caribbean countries until 2030.

Minister Gopee-Scoon welcomed the potential for closer collaborations within the area of investment in the non-energy sector. She highlighted Trinidad and Tobago as an ideal location for investment in the areas of manufacturing, agro-processing and maritime activities given its geographic location, skilled labour force, low electricity rates, market access through trade agreements and existing industrial parks.

Moore shared information on the upcoming 2021 Trade Americas, Caribbean Region Trade Mission and Business Conference to be held on October 24-29, 2021 in Miami.

The Mission aims to provide opportunities for US companies to find reputable business partners in the Caribbean Region. It will include region-specific sessions, market entry strategies, export compliance, legal, logistics, disaster resilience and recovery and trade financing resources. Following the Mission, interested companies will travel to markets of interest to pursue business deals.

Moore noted that there were currently six companies interested in travelling to Trinidad and Tobago to further explore collaborations in the Information Communications Technology (ICT), Food and Beverage and Energy sectors. Minister Gopee-Scoon welcomed the initiative, including the possibility for joint ventures with local companies.

Other areas discussed were intellectual property rights enforcement in Trinidad and Tobago, the potential for increased collaboration in the area of illicit trade and trade facilitation reforms being undertaken to improve the ease of doing business locally. Minister Gopee-Scoon shared information on the Government’s focus on the digital agenda, evident through the establishment of a separate Ministry of Digital Transformation.