Last update: 07-Dec-2013 1:06 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T’s crime level a concern, says Diop
Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in T&T Margaret Diop is concerned about the level of crime in the country. “We all know, even if we don’t read the newspaper in this country, crime is not only an impediment to business, but certainly an impediment to the quality of life,” said Diop. “We are working also with law enforcement officers with investigative techniques to address the problems of crime through computer literacy programmes,” she said on Friday at the launch of the Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation (CRNF) in Port-of-Spain. “We work together, as well, on regional security through our Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). We fund programmes devoted to citizen security empowerment, of youth, as well as the promotion of social justice. We trust that CRNF and its members will share our role in improving security through the region and creating new avenues of economic growth and prosperity.”
On the issue of commerce, she pointed to the fact that the US remains this country’s largest trading partner, taking in roughly 44 per cent of local exports, while providing approximately 33 per cent of imports. In the area of foreign direct investment to T&T, Diop said it was approximately US$574 million in 2011. “We are also working closely with our Caribbean partners on the Caribbean Basin initiative which facilitates the economic growth. T&T, not surprisingly has been a beneficiary of this initiative. In May, this year, we signed a trade investment agreement to promote both areas to work with our partners to promote long-term development, as well as, the diversification of trade in products and services, as well as, the all-important attractive investment climate.
The (US) Council of Trade and Investment works with Caricom members on issues such as intellectual property rights, worker’s rights, and the environment, all to the benefit of the broader region,” she said.
Apart from commerce, the official said US ties with T&T were also “very personal.” “Only just last year, the US Embassy issued approximately 30,000 visas for Trinbagonians travelling to the US, as well as several thousand travel documents for legal permanent residents and American citizens—a testament to those personal ties that bind the people of our two countries.” She also said the embassy intends to upgrade its reception area, as part of the renovation of its consular facilities on Marli Street, Port-of-Spain.
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