Mission from India, Bangladesh and Singapore capitalises on progress, natural ties to further economic opportunity.
Trinidad and Tobago shows why “We Are Next”
PORT OF SPAIN – More than 60 delegates from India, Bangladesh and Singapore seeking to deepen relations and discuss joint opportunities for trade and investment visited Trinidad and Tobago on June 1-8.
The mission was organized by the High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago, New Delhi, with the support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (e TecK), and the Tourism Development Company, in addition to other ministries and the private sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
The delegates, from companies interested in doing business in the twin-island nation, represented investors and merchants/suppliers in health, ICT, tourism, pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals, petrochemicals, steel and other industries. During their visit to both Trinidad and Tobago, delegates met one-on-one and in small groups with business and government leaders and learned about the business environment in the country.
“A delegation from Trinidad and Tobago participated in a very fruitful mission to India in March 2007,” said H.E. Pundit Maniedeo Persad, High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in India with concurrent accreditation to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan for the last four and one-half years. “That mission gave added impetus to the emerging business relations between Trinidad and Tobago and India and generated widespread interest upon which we will build with this trip.”
Trinidad and Tobago is already experiencing the benefits of stronger ties and active promotion by the High Commission during the past few years, including:
- ESSAR Steel’s USD $1.8 billion investment in Trinidad and Tobago
- Bank of Baroda establishment of offices in October 2007
- The first ever Bollywood film shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago in 2007
- Increase in business travel to Trinidad and Tobago by more than 400 percent in the last four and one-half years.
“Forty percent of our population is of East Indian background and although ‘Trini to the bone’ they retain strong cultural, religious and harmonious links,” said Khalid Hassanali, President of e TecK, the enterprise development company working in close partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. “Couple those facts with the reality that South Asia continues to boom and very quickly you understand that this region is critically important to the expansion and diversification of our economy.”
After more than 30 years of success in the petroleum and natural gas sectors, Trinidad and Tobago is now working to expand and diversify its already stable, booming economy by reaching out to a select number of ambitious nations and companies around the world – those looking to invest in the next economic hotspot in the Caribbean.
With 12 percent economic growth in 2006, Trinidad and Tobago offers an investment and business friendly environment. The country is focused on encouraging investment in sectors where it has unique advantages, including ICT, downstream from energy production, food and beverage, merchant marine, film, music and entertainment, printing and packaging, yachting and fish and fish processing.
Trinidad and Tobago’s “We Are Next” initiative is an extension of the country’s “Vision 2020” economic development plan, dedicated to earning TT developed nation status by 2020. “Every place has a moment when promise can become reality,” Hassanali added. “In Trinidad and Tobago, we believe we are at that moment – that ‘We Are Next’ – because there is such great harmony between what we have worked hard to offer global and local investors and what those investors are looking for.”
Delegates who participated in the mission also met and heard from a wide range of business people and agencies such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers, M. Hamel-Smith and Company, UTT, UWI, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association, Greater Chaguanas and other Chambers of Industry and Commerce from across the country, Tobago House of Assembly and others.
There was also an opportunity for one-on-one business meetings with the delegates on set dates.