Prime Minister talks access to US Markets and IDB Funding for T&T Projects
May 16. 2016: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley hosted a media conference in the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport upon his return from his official overseas trip on Saturday 14th May 2016. At the conference, the Prime Minister provided a recap of the twelve (12) day trip.
Prime Minister Rowley recalled the Washington leg of the trip where the Trinidad and Tobago delegation participated in the US-Caribbean-Central American Energy Security. At the summit matters of energy security for the Caribbean as well as regional security were on the agenda.
Prime Minister Rowley noted that the United States has begun exporting cargos of LNG, thus effectively making them competitors with Trinidad and Tobago on this level. Jamaica also announced the completion of a LNG plant and that plans to construct another plant are already in motion. Also discussed was access to the US market for Caribbean products. Prime Minister Rowley indicated that these meetings and several others were quite profitable.
Additionally, the Prime Minister met with the head of the Carlyle group of companies, an investment conglomerate. As a result of that meeting, it was agreed that their technical team will evaluate Trinidad and Tobago as a place for investment.
Prime Minister Rowley also met with the President and senior executives of the International Development Bank (IDB) where he expressed that Trinidad and Tobago will accept funding for major infrastructural projects such as the highway from Valencia to Toco and the improvement of port facilities in Tobago. The IDB also encouraged cooperation between Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana and stated that they would be willing to fund such endeavours.
In New York, the Prime Minister delivered the feature address at the Medgar Evers College Inaugural International Education Awards Presentation Ceremony. During his visit to the college, an education pipeline to the Caribbean was discussed. This would facilitate student and staff interchange so that parties involved can benefit from each other’s strengths. At present, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is already exploring such a programme and the proposal will be extended to the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Later on in London, the delegation met with executives of BP where the focus was on Trinidad and Tobago’s reserves of natural gas. Follow up discussions on this matter will continue in the upcoming weeks.
Prime Minister Rowley also noted that the delegation was well received in Ghana where further discussions on foreign relations and energy were held leading to the signing of MOUs.
During this time, two (2) delegations from Nigeria visited the Trinidad and Tobago delegation. They presented proposals which centred on cooperation in key industries, namely energy as well as skill training and education. Prime Minister Rowley highlighted that Trinidad and Tobago must look beyond our borders for additional economic opportunities.
Prime Minister Rowley also recalled the Anti-corruption Summit hosted by the Prime Minister of Great Britain David Cameron. At this summit, one of the main objectives was to establish international cooperation to treat with and eliminate corruption so as to ensure that there are no safe havens around the world.
Prime Minster Rowley once again emphasised that we cannot accept corruption as a way of life as it deprives citizens from benefiting from national resources.
Prime Minister Rowley also held extensive discussions with members of the British Cabinet Office as well as the National Crime Agency on matters of national security during this final leg of the overseas trip.
Photo Caption: At the media conference were (from left) the Hon. Faris Al Rawi, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Office of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, the Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Senator Dennis Moses and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Colm Imbert.
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