Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Mitsubishi chairman to discuss US$850m T&T investment
Chairman of the Mitsubishi company Yurihiko Kojima, among the Japanese Prime Minister’s delegation visiting T&T this weekend, will be discussing with Government its US$850 million petrochemical investment in T&T. Final decision on this is expected by year end, Foreign Affairs Minister WInston Dookeran added at yesterday’s weekly Government media briefing.
He outlined plans for Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s visit which takes place over July 27 to 28 and includes a Japan-Caricom summit next Monday. Dookeran said most of the Caricom leaders will be here this weekend for the summit.
Abe’s visit is part of a Latin American tour and will be the first time a Japanese leader will visit the English-speaking Caribbean and T&T. The visit is in the context of the T&T/ Japan’s diplomatic relations and also marks Caricom/Japan Friendship Year and the 20th anniversary of the Caricom-Japan convention on bilateral relations. Dookeran said Kojima will be among a large contingent of private sector officials accompanying Abe. He added Kojima will also be accompanied by 17 officials who will hold talks with government on investment. Dookeran said bilateral discussions include examining the possibility of having a major investment from Mitsubishi, one of the leading Japanese companies in the field of petrochemicals. In March 2013, Government entered into a project development agreement with the Mitsubishi Corporation and local partner Massy Holdings Limited, for a Methanol to Dimethyl Ether (DME) Plant.
He said the company has over the last 18 months been examining the feasibility of establishing a major investment in La Brea to expand on T&T’s petrochemical capability. “In this respect, discussions will continue, but don’t expect a final decision on this until perhaps the end of the year,” he added.
The petrochemical plant is expected to attract more than $850 million US dollars in foreign direct investment, provide 3,000 jobs during construction and 180 permanent jobs. The project will also act as a catalyst for industrial development of the south-western peninsula, and has potential to reduce the subsidy on diesel fuel. Also to be discussed during the upcoming Japanese visit is technical co-operation in science and technology, fisheries and water management. Much technical talk had already taken place on the issue in the last year and will be brought to the fore for final consideration. To be discussed also, will be trade between the global south and the world economy with new guidlelines to facilitate successful integration of this.