Just last week, 11 representatives from various services industries participated in a pioneer Services Trade Mission to Guadeloupe and Martinique. The mission included 4 firms and 5 Associations and was led by Mr. Lawrence Placide, Director of the TTCSI. Caribbean Export Development Agency supported the project under its Grant assistance Scheme program. The Funding was provided by the Caribbean Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (CTPSDP) funded by the European Union, 9th European Development Fund for CARIFORUM Countries.
The TTCSI partnered with the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Pointre a Pitre for the execution of the mission in Guadeloupe and the firm La Tibu was contracted to provide the matchmaking services. In Martinique, The Chambre de Commerce et D’Industrie de la Martinique facilitated the business meetings and other arrangements. The recruitment of businesses and organizations that could easily be paired with the participating firms and associations was a key factor to the success of this mission. Over 85 business-to-business meetings were arranged between the Trinidadian delegates and their French Caribbean counterparts.
The relations between the French Caribbean Outmost Regions (FCORs) and CARICOM are about to move to another level with the numerous efforts that are occurring at all levels. The recently signed CARIFORUM –EU Economic Partnership Agreement can be seen as an indispensable platform for deepening Trinidad and Tobago’s trade integration with its French Neighbours and the wider European Market for a certain variety of niche services. It now allows Caribbean business people to join forces and offer their indigenous and valued services to niche European markets.
In the two islands the presence of the Services Trade Mission generated a great degree of media interest and was carried extensively in both printed and electronic media (TV and Radio). The local business communities and relevant government agencies very warmly welcomed the group and the desire to deepen business ties with Trinidad and Tobago was very apparent.
Undeniably our trade mission to Guadeloupe and Martinique succeeded in contributing to the creation of a bridge between Trinidad and Tobago and its French Neighbours. The importance of the mission and its ultimate benefit to the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago is demonstrated by the fact that the trade mission has already resulted in tangible success for several of the participants. A number of member companies were able to secure direct and immediate business opportunities through these meetings while others developed potential relationships to pursue exchange and trading opportunities. Most advanced projects relate to the tourism, education and entertainment sectors. The TTCSI intends to actively collaborate with the participants to ensure that the discussions be translated in successful projects.