Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, met with Mr. Stephen de Gannes, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce on February 14, 2023. Discussions centred on strengthening collaboration between both parties with a focus on bolstering diversification and investment in key areas including agriculture, the environment, the creative industries and the maritime sector.
Minister Gopee-Scoon stressed the importance of growing Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and increasing exports. She highlighted that there were opportunities for businesses to diversify, expand and engage in the production of import substitution items, given the attractive return on such investments.
Mr de Gannes conveyed the Chamber’s interest in exploring areas in which the public and private sector can work together, with specific mention of agricultural projects to promote self-sufficiency and increase exports of agricultural commodities. The Minister indicated an increased interest in agri-investments evident by the high level of participation in the 2022 Agri Expo held in Trinidad and Tobago and drew attention to strides being made in the local production of strawberries and mushrooms, among other items, in the agriculture sector.
The Trade and Industry Minister and newly appointed CEO reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a business climate that encourages the creation of highly productive, innovative and internationally competitive enterprises.