China and T&T to strengthen ties

Trinidad and Tobago and China are working to expand their trade and investment relations in the future by participating in a forum that aims to commemorate and further develop cooperation between the two countries. Paula Gopee-Scoon, Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade and Industry Minister, stated at the second Trinidad and Tobago-China Investment Cooperation Forum that, “this particular forum is a declaration of the strong relationship between our two countries and the many possibilities that lie ahead in terms of trade, investment and economic cooperation.”

The forum, held at the Chinese Embassy, provided an opportunity for both countries to share investment opportunities in areas of mutual interest and strategic importance, and to build on already existing commercial linkages. The sectors identified included distribution and logistics, manufacturing, nearshoring, agriculture, agro-processing, and agri-technology, as well as new industrial spaces being developed under the Ministry of Trade and Industry to facilitate such investments such as the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate and the Moruga Agro-processing and Light Industrial Park.

Gopee-Scoon met with China’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Analisa Low, to review the initiatives that the embassy in Beijing will engage in over the upcoming year to promote Trinidad and Tobago’s trade and investment opportunities in China, as well as South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. They agreed on a work plan of activities to increase Trinidad and Tobago exports in Asia as well as attract additional investments from the People’s Republic of China, particularly at the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, which is scheduled for completion at the end of this month.

China’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Fang Qiu, highlighted the strength of trade between the two countries, noting that over the last two years annual trade between them has exceeded one billion US dollars. The diplomat said that during the first 11 months of last year, trade increased by 29.6 percent on a year-on-year basis to US$1.1 billion.

In conclusion, the Trinidad and Tobago-China Investment Cooperation Forum is a reflection of the strong relationship between the two countries, and the potential for further cooperation in trade, investment, and economic development. Both countries are working to increase exports in Asia and attract more investments from China, particularly in areas such as distribution and logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, and agro-processing.

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