Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry received a Courtesy Call on February 6, 2023, from Mr. Stephan Dubost, Head of the French Regional Economic Department, resident in Panama with responsibility for Panama, Costa Rica and the English-speaking Caribbean. His Excellency Didier Chabert, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Trinidad and Tobago accompanied Mr. Dubost.
The Honourable Minister expressed appreciation for Mr. Dubost’s first visit to Trinidad and Tobago following his appointment in September 2022, noting that “the focus on commercial diplomacy between Trinidad and Tobago and France was welcomed”. Throughout the discussions, it was acknowledged that Trinidad and Tobago and France continue to maintain good relations in trade, as demonstrated by Trinidad and Tobago’s favourable trade balance with France amounting to TT$1.96 Billion in 2022. Among the top exports to France include anhydrous ammonia, urea, methanol, LNG, rum, and food preparations. The top products imported from France include medicaments, brandy, and sparkling wine.
Minister Gopee-Scoon and the French delegation discussed several important issues affecting trade between both countries, such as market access for the Trinidad and Tobago food and beverage sector in France, with specific mention of spices, pepper sauces, alcohol and chocolates; market access to the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs), as well as maritime shipping options for the transport of goods from Trinidad and Tobago to the FCORs; and expanding cultural exchanges and investments in the creative industries, including the creation of appropriate platforms for the spread soca and steelpan music in France.
Both Parties agreed to further dialogue and joint efforts to expand trade and investment relations.