Trinidad and Tobago Signs MOU With AGI , Set To Explore Trade Exports/ Opportunities in Ghana

The Trinidadian Trade Mission, led by Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, is in Ghana to explore and determine business opportunities within the Ghanaian market for Trinidad and Tobago companies, as well as to source possible raw materials and finished products for local producers in their country.
During a courtesy call on Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond today in Accra, Mrs Paula Gopee-Scoon stated that the visit aims to identify potential investment opportunities in the Ghanaian markets and establish strategic business and logistical contacts such as distributors, market agents, and companies.
She emphasised that this approach would increase awareness of Ghana’s business contacts to Trinidad and Tobago’s manufactured products.

Trade balance
She also noted that between 2018 and 2022, Trinidad and Tobago had maintained a positive trade balance with Ghana. During this period, she mentioned that Trinidad and Tobago averaged $15.2 million in exports to Ghana and TT$0.6 million in imports annually.

In 2022, she pointed out that Trinidad and Tobago’s trade balance with Ghana increased by 24.7 percent, moving from a surplus of TT$23.6 million in 2018 to a surplus of TT$29.5 million in 2022.

Regarding specific trade items, she highlighted that Trinidad and Tobago’s top exports to Ghana in 2022 included liquefied butanes, mechanical appliances, petroleum oils, gaskets, and pipes. Trinidad and Tobago’s top imports from Ghana for 2022 mainly comprised non-energy products such as cocoa butter, clothing, makeup, soap, and cassava farine.
She further expressed keen interest in building on Trinidad and Tobago’s trade complementaries with Ghana, as well as exploring opportunities to export the national instrument, the steelpan, and niche products such as locally produced alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and chocolates.

Impactful visit.

For his part, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry indicated that the visit holds promise for both countries, particularly in light of Trinidad and Tobago’s developed economy driven by significant discoveries of natural resources such as petroleum, oil, and gas.
“I think they’ve the capacity to look outside of their locality, thus the Caribbean and step outside and take advantage of the particular interest in countries in terms of partnership,” the Minister stated.
He stated that the visit marks Trinidad and Tobago’s first venture into the African continent, with a delegation comprising about 50 members, including representatives from the economic team, the Association of Industries, Chamber of Commerce, and Manufacturers from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Trade Minister emphasised the positive impact of the visit, highlighting the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI). The Minister also expressed optimism about the potential collaborations and hoped for fruitful outcomes.
Areas of collaboration
Regarding areas of collaboration, Mr Hammond highlighted ten points agenda for industrial transformation and attractive incentives for investing in strategic sectors and growth poles during discussions on possible areas of cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Hammond emphasized the following key areas for collaboration include One-District One Factory Initiatives: Especially focusing on food processing, beverages, paper, and paper products.
He cited Development of Strategic Anchor Industries, including vehicle assembly, manufacturing of vehicle parts and machineries, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, textiles and garments, integrated aluminum industry, iron and steel, and industrial chemicals.
He mentioned SME Development through joint ventures, partnerships, and technical support. He also mentioned Development of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
He cited Export Diversification and Market Access Opportunities, where Ghana could serve as a strategic entry point for Trinidad and Tobago’s investments in the sub-region.
This, he indicated, will help Trinidad to take advantage of Ghana’s market access opportunities under trade agreements such as the Ghana-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement, Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In addition to these areas, Mr. Hammond proposed the establishment of a Joint Business Council as a platform to address current and potential opportunities between the two countries, facilitating investments and trade.

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