Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry signed the General Framework Agreement for the negotiation of a Partial Scope Trade Agreement between the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Republic of Chile on Tuesday.
This signing signals the commitment of the Governments of Chile and Trinidad and Tobago towards strengthening bilateral ties and the initiation of a new era in our trading relationship.
With this arrangement, Trinidad and Tobago aims to diversify exports to the Chilean market, which have primarily been dominated by energy products and also to increase export values.
T&T exported on average $2.1 billion worth of goods per year to Chile, with annual imports averaging approximately $144 million.
Gopee-Scoon said “Imports of selected inputs into manufacturing and consumer goods will have reduced duty. This agreement will also seek to eliminate non-tariff barriers and foster co-operation between the countries in mutual areas of interest, including trade facilitation and electronic trade.”
Caricom and Foreign Affairs minister Dr Amery Browne, who was also a part of the signing, said the agreement “symbolises a pledge on the part of both countries to continue working assiduously towards the finalisation of the substantive partial scope trade agreement. From my time as TT’s chief negotiator in the discussions leading up to where we are today, I am personally aware of the concerted efforts made by all parties to bring us to this stage of the process.”
Chilean Ambassador Juan Anibal Barria Garcia, said TT and Chile have an excellent bilateral relationship as “our political dialogue is frank, honest and transparent, our convergences are much. We appreciate the same values and principles, particularly our common belief in democracy and the respect of the rule of law.”
“Our purpose is to expand and find new niches for playing. Your country faces a relevant challenge such as how to diversify your exporting offer and your energy matrix or how you can use solar energy, and Chile is willing and available to contribute and co-operate with TT in those areas.”