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Explore EPA trade partnership, Gopee-Scoon urges businessmen

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Tuesday, 07 February 2017

Explore EPA trade partnership, Gopee-Scoon urges businessmen

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee- Scoon has urged the business and manufacturing sectors to fully exploit the export opportunities available under the CARIFORUM- EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Her entreaty was made at the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce breakfast seminar on maximising export potential to the European Union through the EPA. Gopee-Scoon noted that for Trinidad and Tobago ‘one of the main objectives of the Agreement is to encourage exports of non-energy goods to the EU market.’ “The Agreement allows domestic manufacturers to import raw materials and intermediate products at reduced duties, from the European Union. Thus, manufacturers have the assurance that they can obtain their raw materials without delay and at competitive costs without the imposition of high customs duties. In addition, it is the only Agreement that Trinidad and Tobago has signed, which contains enhanced provisions related to the services sector. This augurs well for domestic service providers, who now have access to the European Union – a vast market with limitless possibilities that also serves as an alternative to the traditional markets of the USA, Canada and Great Britain,’ she said. She also emphasised the importance of the EU as Trinidad and Tobago’s trading partner. “For the period January to September 2015, the EU was our second- ranked export market, accounting for 12 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s exports, behind the USA at 34 percent of total exports but ahead of CARICOM which stood at 11 percent of total exports. However, it is notable that only three countries, namely Spain, France and the UK, accounted for 63 percent of our total trade with the EU. “It is therefore necessary for local exporters to consider new markets outside of the traditional Western European economies and underscore the opportunities for Trinidad and Tobago’s goods and services to penetrate new markets in Eastern and Southern Europe,” she said.

Source: www.newsday.co.tt