Sunday, January 21, 2018

Persad-Bissessar holds talks with Abe


Meeting the ‘Steel’: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar greets members of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel team, at right, before yesterday’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 match at Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair. This was around the same time as the arrival in Trinidad of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was greeted at Piarco International Airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran. Persad-Bissessar later hosted the Japanese Prime Minister at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. —Photo: ANISTO ALVES


Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday welcomed her counterpart, Shinzo Abe, the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

Both prime ministers met in a round of bilateral discussions at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

High on the agenda was the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which establishes international standards for the movement of conventional arms and ammunition across borders.

Both Japan and Trinidad and Tobago signed the treaty in 2013.

During the meeting, Persad-Bissessar sought the Japa­nese government’s support of Trinidad and Tobago’s bid to host the ATT Secretariat. Persad-Bissessar also recog­nised Japan’s and Trini­dad and Tobago’s bid for non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

Abe expressed his gratitude to the T&T Government for its decision to waive entry visa requirements for Japanese nationals entering the country for business and tourism purposes for a maximum period of 90 days.

The Japan Prime Minister raised the matter of deepening bilateral relations and requested the T&T Prime Minister consider opening a Trinidad and Tobago Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

The Prime Minister promised to hold discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this issue.

Discussions also focused on Trinidad and Tobago as an attractive destination for trade and investment—in particular, the recent launch of Tamana Intech Park, the first science and technology park in the Caribbean.

Persad-Bissessar encou­raged Japanese firms to take up residency.

Abe agreed to consider further areas of cooperation in such ventures.