Trinidad & Tobago Express | Wednesday, August 12th 2009
T&T eyes Canada trade deal
DESPITE the controversies associated with the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Carl Francis, says Trinidad and Tobago will be better off in the area of trade once it joins forces with Canada.
"As trade barriers fall and the world moves more and more toward reciprocal trading arrangements, we have to ensure that we secure, up front, the best possible terms and conditions," he said while delivering an address at Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries seminar and workshop on the Caricom-Canada Free Trade Agreement at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, on Monday.
Francis said it has been part of the ministry’s mandate to seek the best market access for local manufacturers and service providers as this country pulls away from oil and gas in an attempt to diversity the economy.
Canadian High Commissioner Karen McDonald said the government of Canada was willing to do what was necessary because it was eager to create a "robust" trading agreement with the Americas.
"Canada is a country of the Americas, this is our neighbourhood, and this is where our interests lie and that is why the government and (Canadian) Prime Minister Stephen Harper have made this region a priority in global foreign policy," she said. -AA