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Even though negotiations for a renewed CaribCan agreement have not been completed, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath told manufacturers yesterday that there was need to offer improved quality to export markets including Canada. Bharath said that it was important for the CaribCan negotiations to be fruitful so that local manufacturers exporting to Canada can continue to benefit from low taxes and other incentives. The existing CaribCan agreement expired in December 2013.
“At the Ministry, we have been leading a very aggressive charge with regard to making T&T more investor-friendly both for local investors as well as foreign direct investors. A key component of maximising that is the ability to create quality products in T&T.”
He was speaking at the ceremony to open the T&T Bureau of Standards (TTBS) three-day workshop which includes a project to promote the establishment of a regionally harmonised infrastructure. The T&T project examines the poultry industry. The ceremony was held at the Kapok hotel, Cotton Hill Road, Port-of-Spain.
Bharath anticipated that the renewed agreement would be signed by the end of June which “will give us access to 30 million people but to be able to continue to supply those markets with product and to be able to remain competitive. we’ve got to understand that quality is what we have to offer.”
He added that quality is a must when producing any product and this means that the TTBS needs to be a more proactive when it comes to disseminating information to the public. Bharath, who is a former board member of the TTBS, said the entity needed to be more “visible” like the Consumer Affairs division which has become more proactive since the move from Legal Affairs Ministry to the Trade Ministry.