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T&T, Florida seek to strengthen trade ties
Florida’s Lt Governor, Trinidad-born Jennifer Carroll, leading a delegation of 27 Florida companies, met several government ministers and members of the business community during a week-long stay in T&T. Carroll told the media at a conference at the US Embassy yesterday that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen trade ties and to talk about the upcoming US presidential elections.
Carroll, a Republican, disclosed that there are 40,000 Trinidadians living in Florida. Last year, 75,000 nationals visited the US State, she said. She said she was invited by the US State Department to talk about the US national elections in T&T. The main issue in the US election campaign is about jobs in America, she said. Further, T&T is Florida’s largest trading partner in the English-speaking Caribbean, she noted.
Florida companies in the delegation have already met with local companies and made deals, she said. Some companies are staying behind to cement these deals. Carroll, noting that Florida’s economy is moving up and that unemployment there has declined from double-digit to single-digit figures, said both countries will mutually benefit from these deals. The mission was an initiative of the Florida government
She said T&T imports a lot of products from Florida and they are looking for a win/win situation. There was demand for peppers and cocoa from T&T, she said. Carroll also disclosed that there was shortage of fertilisers worldwide and suggested that local companies can manufacture the product and export it. She said she met with National Security Minister Jack Warner and they spoke about crime and national diversification. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran was very interested in Florida’s space programme and talks were held about sending aspiring T&T scientists on a science symposium there.
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