TRINIDAD and Tobago may soon exchange anti-crime strategies with Florida, that State's Lt Governor Jennifer Carroll said yesterday.
Carroll has for the past week led a delegation of Florida-based companies on a trade missions locally, which she has described as a success.
The first Trinidadian-American to be elected to that office, Carroll said yesterday she sat down with National Security Minister Jack Warner, who was also at the time acting prime minister in the absence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to talk about crime.
Florida is today experiencing a 41-year low in crime, after a peak over the past few years and Carroll said community participation has been key.
The Lt Governor was speaking at a press conference at the US Embassy Public Affairs Section at Briar Place, Sweet Briar Road, Maraval.
While the meeting also included talks about economic diversification, Carroll said Warner and herself discussed crime-fighting strategies from the basics to the criminal investigation level.
Carroll said the so-called Sunshine State, which relies heavily on tourism, has been able to bring its crime rate through the appointments of task forces and commissions drawn from communities.
She said Warner spoke about the economic impact of crime on T&T's economy, emphasising the fact that investors will be come increasingly wary of settling in a place with a high crime rate.
Carrol said, however, her delegation was able to make promising links with local businesses.
This country is perfectly poised to fall into businesses with a place like Florida, she said, owing to such assets as a high literacy rate, English as its native language and a keen interested in technology.
Manufacturers who have traditionally traded more with the Eastern Hemisphere and the Caribbean can also look to Florida for more business.
Demand was growing for such agricultural products as T&T's hot peppers, citrus and copra, a by-product of the coconut industry.
A worldwide shortage of fertilizer could also work in T&T's favour, she said, referring to an impressive visit to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, where urea, the basis for most fertilizers, was being produced in massive amounts.
Carroll said Florida's economy was on the upswing, though it can be negatively affected by global trends. See Page 16.