The Ministry of Trade and the Trinidad and Tobago manufacturers' Association (TTMA) will be seeking to expand and promote trade relations, and pursue investment opportunities during a three-day trade mission trip to the Dominican Republic (DR) on Wednesday.
It is hoped that the mission will further strengthen the existing relationships between the two countries while reinforcing the Trade Ministry's commitment to public-private sector partnerships to grow and facilitate non-energy exports. Both the TTMA and the Ministry of Trade are of the view that this mission is critical to opening new markets having successfully collaborated on similar visits, the last being to Cuba in 2016.
T&T's delegation to the DR will be lead by acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Frances Seignoret, and will include TTMA's chief executive officer Dr Ramesh Ramdeen as well as a contingent of local manufacturers. The delegation will aim to identify business opportunities, strengthen relationships with distributors, agents and enterprises, source materials and products, explore investment opportunities and establish alliances with trade and economic agencies.
The ministry's participation in this mission is based on current trade agreements including CARICOM’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the DR, which provides access to over 10 million consumers for trade in goods and future trade in services. T&T has enjoyed a favourable trade balance with the DR. Exports to the DR in 2016 totalled TT$487.2m while imports amounted to TT$180.6M. T&T’s main exports to the DR are liquefied natural gas, urea, ammonia, glass bottles, toilet and facial tissues, nitrogen, plastic bottles and cereal, while the main imports include gypsum, resins, lubricating oils, carton boxes and cases, plastic boxes, tobacco as well as soups and broths.
The mission, which concludes on Friday, is a collaborative exercise supported by the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic.