Venezuela is expected to receive its first shipment of products from T&T manufacturers today, two days after the signing of bilateral commercial agreements witj the Corporacion Venezolana de Comercia Exterior (CORPOVEX)
Items to be exported over an intial three montn period are in 12 product ranges, including ketchup, mayonnaise, flour, white rice, margarine, chicken, powdered milk and spaghetti. The total value for food items alone, once all shipments are made, is approximately US$24 million and 12.6 tonnes in weight.
The products will be shipped to three cities in eastern Venezuela–Cumana, Carupano and Guiria–with the first shipment is scheduled to leave early today. Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon expects trade with Venezuela to "provide valuable opportunities for immediate and expanded market access which can be mutually beneficial to both countries and in particular, in boosting the output of the domestic manufacturing sector."
Miguel P�rez Abad, Venezuela's Vice President, Economic Affairs and Minister of Trade and Industry, who was in T&T for the signing of the agreement, underscored the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said: "This initiative presents the opportunity not only for Trinidad and Tobago's products to enter Venezuela but also for Venezuela's products to be traded. The finalization of the arrangements would redound benefits to not only the local production sector but would also create jobs and satisfy a demand in Venezuela."
Abed added: "The execution of these agreements was a clear demonstration that with political will and a firm vision, both countries can create a blueprint for trade and sustainable development."
Dr. Rolph Balgobin, president of the T&T Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) said the agreement "indicates what can be done and the speed in which it can be done when the Government and private sector work together,"
Local companies exporting products to Venezuela under the agreement include Vemco Limited, Trinidad Parboil Limited/Old Mac Agro Supplies Limited, Arawak and Company Limited, John Dickinson and Co. (W.I) Limited, National Canners Limited, National Flour Mills, Coconut Growers Association Limited and Nutrimix Feeds Limited.