• 29 MAY 2017

More Business Opportunities for TT in Chile

Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley began his first of a two-day official visit to Chile this morning (Monday 29th May 2017) with a wreath laying ceremony at the Monument to Bernardo O’Higgins, considered to be the liberator of Chile.

Immediately thereafter, the Honourable Prime Minister and his delegation made its way to the La Moneda Palace and were greeted by the President of Chile, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet. After the official ceremonial welcome the two leaders met with their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The leaders then led their delegations in a bilateral meeting.

During the bilateral discussions the two leaders recalled their meeting at the 37th inter-sessional meeting of CARICOM heads of Government. On that occasion they addressed issues of defence, security and further cooperation on other matters.  It was noted that there have been over 50 years of bilateral relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Chile.

They also articulated their shared views on the importance of democracy, respect for human rights, the Rule of Law, the Principals of International Law, social progress, economic development, transparency as well as the common interests of promoting the well-being of their citizens.

Both leaders pledged to grow and deepen relations in the areas of trade, technical cooperation, energy and culture.

In relation to trade it was highlighted that Trinidad and Tobago supplies 92 per cent of Chile’s LNG imports valued at approximately USD$650 million while Trinidad and Tobago accounts for 38 per cent of exports from Chile to CARICOM.

The trade ministers discussed bringing business leaders from both countries together to explore mutually beneficial and joint business ventures.

The leaders are considering undertaking a study on the benefits of the insertion of Trinidad and Tobago together with Chile into the global value chain, so that Trinidad and Tobago might be able to reap the benefits offered by Chile through its extensive network of free trade agreements.

Trinidad and Tobago remains focused on maintaining its position as a main supplier for fertilizer and other agri-products to Chile.

Chile has embraced solar energy and other forms of renewable energy and as such Trinidad and Tobago is hoping to learn from Chile so as to assist in reducing our carbon footprint. Prime Minister Rowley held out Trinidad and Tobago as a prime tourist destination for the people of Chile.

Both leaders expressed concern about climate change as especially since Chile has an extensive coastal border and Trinidad and Tobago is very concerned with improving and preserving the waters surrounding the twin island Republic..

The President of Chile expressed satisfaction with the level and importance of technical cooperation between the two countries and Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in programmes developed by Chilean agencies such as the Chilean Agency for International Cooperation for Development as well as collaborative efforts between the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency and the Academy of Fire Fighters in Chile.

In the area of culture the two leaders expressed an interest in learning and appreciating each other’s language and culture.  In this regard they are exploring the possibility of a language learning exchange programme through a partnership between the University of Chile and the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Prime Minister Rowley thanked President Bachelet for her assistance with the issue of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations for Caribbean financial institutes.

After the bilateral talks a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of the Republic of Chile to formalize its cooperation and development of intellectual property

The agreement realises the importance of intellectual property and its relation to the economic, social and cultural development of both countries. The countries will work with a view to develop cooperation on matters relating to the creation, utilization, promotion, protection and administration of intellectual property rights.

Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley and President Bachelet also signed a joint statement after the bilateral talks.

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation include: Senator the Honourable Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs; Senator the Honourable Franklin Khan, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries; Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry; the Honourable Stuart Young, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs; His Excellency Amery Browne, Ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the Republic of Chile; Captain Douglas Archer, Defence Attaché Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Caracas; Candice N. Shade Deputy Director Americas Division and Desk Officer for Chile.

The Chilean delegation includes: Heraldo Munoz, Minister of External Relations, Andres Rebolledo, Minister of Energy, Nicolas Eyzaguirre, Minister Secretary General to the President, Ambassador Paulina Nazal, Director of International Economic Relations, Juan Pablo Lira, Director of the Agency International Cooperation, Fernando Schmidt, Chilean Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago and Ambassador Javier Becker Marshall Director of North America and the Caribbean.