Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad- Bissessar
March March 13th 2012 :
Prime Minister Witnesses Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Panama
The lucrative Latin American market, Trinidad and Tobago’s strategic location and natural endowments are a recipe for increased national revenue. A fact that the Hon. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Stephen Cadiz, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, Minister of Energy Kevin Ramnarine, and the Ambassador for Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications Ambassador Mervyn Assam, will seek to capitalize upon in the future, with partner, Panama.
Continuing with the People's Partnership Administration’s goal of aggressively pursuing new markets for our nation’s manufactured goods and services, a Memorandum of Understanding Establishing Cooperation in the Energy Sector was signed today between Trinidad and Tobago and Panama which will facilitate mutually beneficial trade and export.
Panamanian Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Henriquez, along with Trade Minister Francisco Alvarez De Soto met with our nation’s delegation and were eager to strengthen ties between Caricom’s oil and industry powerhouse, and the Central American economy that has seen steady growth over the past five years, despite the global economic downturn.
This MOU will see propane, butane, bitumen, natural gas, cement, ceramic tiles, clay tiles, steel products and other goods manufactured here being exported with preferential tariff arrangements to Panama. In addition, a Partial Scope Trade Agreement which was over six months in the making, was initialled by the Vice Minister and Chief Trade Negotiator of the Republic of Panama, Diana Salazar and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communications, Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan.
The Prime Minister and her delegation then met with His Excellency, President Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal at the presidential palace for a luncheon and continued discussion. The day concluded with a visit to the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture where the Prime Minister extended an invitation to the members to attend the CIF and TIC.
The PM also extended an invitation to the President of Panama for a State visit which he accepted and which can be as early as May 2012. Both sides publicly stated that the visit and the meetings were extremely successful and will lead to beneficial outcomes for both countries.
In the meantime, following upon the signing of the MOU on Energy - Minister Ramnarine is due to hold several private sector meetings on Tuesday.
Communications and Media Relations Unit
Office of the Prime Minister
Contact 622-1625 Ext 4006/4007