Integrating Trinidad &Tobago‘s Economy into Latin America

TRINIDAD – One of Government‘s key medium term strategies is to integrate Trinidad and Tobago‘s economy into Latin America, as a platform to aggressively launch our twin island state into the global economy by positioning the country as the regional hub for business, trade, finance and manufacturing.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry hosted a media conference at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre to highlight some of the latest achievements under this initiative. These included:-

• Agreement between CARICOM and Central American countries to extend the CARICOM/Costa Rica Trade Agreement to include other Central American nations.

• Launch of the Cuba Trade Facilitation Office- The establishment of a Trade Facilitation Office in Cuba is a critical mechanism to promote greater trade between Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba, especially in light of upcoming negotiations surrounding the CARICOM/Cuba Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.

• Improved connectivity between Trinidad and Tobago and Central America-effective transportation links between Central America and Trinidad and Tobago are critical to future trade relations and the two nations have moved one step closer with the inauguration of Constellation Airways twice-weekly flight to Panama, from Piarco.

• Trinidad and Tobago has agreed to be the co-host, along with our local AMCHAM and the Association of AMCHAMs in Latin America, of the Caribbean Mid-Year Meeting and the Business Future of the America Conference (BFA) in June 2008.

According to Trade and Industry Minster, the Honorable Kenneth Valley, “While we are grateful for the revenues generated by the energy sector, Government recognizes that in order to achieve long term, sustainable economic development, we must develop aggressively other sectors of the economy and maximize our strategic geographic location so that eventually, we will indeed be the hub for business in the region.”

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