Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T envoy talks trade in Germany
In his capacity as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador Garvin Nicholas embarked on a three-day official visit to the German cities of Berlin and Hamburg from September 11 to 13.
In Berlin, Nicholas met with the head of Section for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Federal Foreign Office. He also visited the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology where he met with Knut Brunjes, deputy director general with responsibility for Trade Policy and Latin America, as well as Dr Malte Hauschild, the deputy head of Division for Latin America.
Nicholas continued his visit in the city of Hamburg where he met with the Judge Shunji Yanai, president of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, who gave an overview of the operations of the tribunal and also made an appeal for the work of the tribunal to be more widely publicised throughout the Caribbean. During a tour of the facilities, Nicholas remarked on the multiple benefits that could accrue to countries using the tribunal to adjudicate on maritime matters. Justice Anthony Lucky of T&T sits as a member of the tribunal.
At a reception hosted by Howard Kroch, Honorary Consul for T&T in Hamburg, Germany, Nicholas offered a presentation to the 80-plus audience, which included 34 consuls general and honorary consuls. Nicholas described T&T as a promising state with opportunities for trade and tourism investment. He highlighted the interest of the Government in diversifying the economy and introducing new incentives and programmes to attract investment in new industry.
Nicholas met with executive directors of Helm AG who discussed the current increase of their stake in Consolidated Energy Ltd (CEL) T&T from 10.57 per cent to 25 per cent. Helm said T&T is currently their largest methanol source with an export rate of 4.1 million tonnes per annum to the US, and Europe. Nicholas mentioned the potential for the development of the pharmaceuticals manufacture in T&T and the Helm executives acknowledged that this would be an avenue to explore.
Nicholas also met with executives of Ferrostaal GmbH and its new owner Dr John Schroeder of the MPC Holding Company. A request was made regarding development of the port and dry-docking facilities and the potential for recycling facilities. Nicholas also met with senior executives of RWE Dea, including the CEO, Thomas Rappuhn.
A brief overview of their operations in T&T was provided with RWE confirming their interest in expanding their portfolio primarily in near shore opportunities and the redevelopment of existing fields where they can apply their EOR expertise. Nicholas and Rappuhn further discussed the role of renewables and its introduction to T&T.
The ambassador was treated to a guided tour of the 72 kilometre port of Hamburg where its advanced terminal logistic and cargo management systems were evident. The port currently handles approximately nine million TEUs per annum. In addition to its significant contribution from transshipment operations, the port of Hamburg also welcomes cruise ships, ushering 500,000 people to Hamburg each year with an average spend of 100 Euros per visitor.
Nicholas paid a courtesy call on Lord Mayor Dr Dorothee Stapelfeldt, second mayor of the Parliament of Hamburg and head of the department of science and research in Hamburg. He promoted T&T as a capital for trade and investment, highlighting diverse areas for investment and partnership.
The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce provided a platform for the ambassador to share specific opportunities for investment directed to a business investment audience including Dr Wisskirchen, regional CEO Northern Germany for Deuche Bank, and His Excellency Stefan Schlüter, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to T&T. Nicholas presented several opportunities for development of the western peninsula in collaboration with the Chaguaramas Development Authority.
Other initiatives proposed include maximising the use of T&T’s Technology Park, manufacturing of niche and high end products and tourism related investments including high end hotel, medical and golfing facilities. He also addressed questions of national security, food security, conferencing facilities and conference management, economic stability and the stability of the T&T dollar on the world market.
Jϋrgen Gevers, general manager of AVIA Reps Tourism GmbH, the Tourism Development Company’s overseas representative for Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, had an opportunity to meet with the ambassador. Issues of performance and the identification of future plans to ensure the capitalisation of all investments made by the Ministry of Tourism and the THA were discussed.
An offer was made by the ambassador to assist in the promotion of T&T in the German speaking territories of Europe with the intention of increasing the arrival numbers of German tourists to our shores each year.
Against the backdrop of strong and longstanding friendly relations between both countries, there was one clear message emanating from these meetings—there a real opportunity for increased German investment in T&T. Nicholas used the occasion to review potential areas of new investment in the fields of tourism, including medical tourism, and trade, as well as to expound on the attributes which make T&T a sound choice for long-term German investment.
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