Trinidad sign agreement with China Harbour for transshipment port
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday signed an agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) of the People’s Republic of China for the development of an economic zone and a transshipment port and dry-docking facilities.
“The People’s Republic of China has great potential for opening new markets for Trinidad and Tobago’s manufacturers and service providers, providing foreign direct investments and technology and we are therefore determined to ensure that our economic horizon expands to the Far East,” said Trinidad Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Vasant Bharath at the opening of the first Business Forum held at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
“We believe that joint ventures and strategic alliances will be important modes of engagement for our firms for increasing their competitiveness and developing new products,” Bharath added.
The Business Forum, the first of three to be held China this week, attracted some 140 Chinese businessmen and investors, according to reports out of Trinidad.
Bharath identified the benefits of investing in Trinidad and Tobago to investors stating that twin island republic has experienced an annual average growth rate of approximately 3.0 per cent over the last ten years. “Our gross domestic product was approximately $83.6 billion Yuan and by the end of 2013, that figure increased to $165 billion Yuan. The economic and financial buffers of the country have also remained strong and resilient,” said Bharath. “Foreign exchange reserves remain healthy and our Heritage and Stabilization Fund continues to grow and currently stand in excess of US$5 billion. Unemployment remains low at just over five per cent, and only just recently, both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s reaffirmed the country’s international credit ratings,” he said.
“As you know, the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015 will bring about significant changes in trade routes and size and number of container vessels, as well as an increased demand for transshipment and dry docking services from the Caribbean,” Bharath added
Two more Business Forums are scheduled, one to be held in Shanghai on Thursday, February 27, and another in Guangzhou on Friday, February 28.