Indian and Caribbean companies can explore trade opportunities at the upcoming online bilateral exhibition being organised by World Trade Center Mumbai

“The upcoming virtual exhibition ‘Trade and Business Opportunities between India and Caribbean countries’ being organised by World Trade Center Mumbai, in association with Indian Missions in the Caribbean region, is important as the target beneficiaries are SMEs, female entrepreneurs and startups, who are significant contributors to our local economy”, said Senator the Hon. Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, Trinidad and Tobago at the webinar on ‘Strengthening Bilateral Trade Relations between India and Caribbean Region’.

The programme was jointly organised by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai and High Commission of India in Georgetown, Guyana; High Commission of India in Kingston, Jamaica; High Commission of India in Trinidad and Tobago; Embassy of India in Havana, Cuba and Embassy of India in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Senator Gopee-Scoon remarked, “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, continues to support and encourage firms to strengthen and adapt their business models using ecommerce and digital platforms to extend their range of products and services to both the local and international markets.”

Senator Gopee-Scoon suggested, “Trinidad and Tobago is open for investments in the areas of agriculture and agro-processing, tourism, maritime activities, financial services, manufacturing, logistics and distribution. Apart from an attractive investment climate, businesses will have access to a consumer market of close to 1 billion people, through CARICOM and Trinidad and Tobago’s bilateral trade agreements.”

She emphasized that the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and India have expressed interest in entering into a new bilateral treaty and negotiations will commence in the coming months, which will assure investors of the government’s commitment of promoting a stable, transparent and predictable domestic legislative environment.

In his address, H.E. Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu, High Commissioner, High Commission of India, Trinidad & Tobago said, “I thank the World Trade Center Mumbai for taking this commendable initiative of organising the upcoming online bilateral exhibition on the theme ‘Trade and Business Opportunities between India and Caribbean countries.”

H.E. Mr. Sahu opined, “In the last few decades, India has achieved tremendous success in biotechnology, genetic engineering, material and space sciences and nano technology. Agro biotechnology is one such niche area. In Suriname, we will be undertaking a drone survey of land to estimate agricultural potential in collaboration with Indian companies. A project to extend the shelf life of fruits and horticultural products, based on individual quick freezing technology is also being contemplated for financial support.”

He further expressed, “Many Caribbean countries are signatories to the International Solar Alliance, which is led by India. Under this Alliance, we propose to fund environment-friendly energy projects. I urge all countries to take advantage of this opportunity. Caribbean countries can also take advantage of India’s world-class higher education, and pharma, textile and automobile prowess.”

H.E. Mr. Sahu informed that MOUs on cooperation in and promotion of traditional medicines, including Ayurveda have been signed with countries such as Suriname, and are under active consideration in a few other countries. India is exploring a term contract with Guyana to purchase crude oil and acquire oil blocks in the future, and is executing developmental projects amounting to USD 100 million in Guyana.

H.E. Mr. Sahu remarked, “Many Caribbean countries have citizenship by investment programme, and visa restrictions are minimal. Indians can travel to these islands for almost three months without a prior visa, and Indian investors should take advantage of these facilities. Guyana offers a range of tax incentives for investors such as in the mining, agriculture and renewable energy sectors, and Indian companies can access the Caribbean market through it.”.

Earlier in his Welcome Address, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai said, “Trade between India and the Caribbean region is not very significant, and there is tremendous scope for the two regions to enhance trade in sectors such as Plastics and Chemicals, Information Technology, Pharma, Ayurveda and Wellness, Agro and Agro-biotechnology, Wind and Solar Energy, Textiles, Garments and Home Décor, Higher Education and Auto and Engineering.

With the objective of expanding commercial opportunities in these sectors between Indian and the Caribbean region, WTC Mumbai, in association with the High Commissions of India in Georgetown, Guyana; Kingston, Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago; and Embassies of India in Havana, Cuba and Paramaribo, Suriname is organising a three-month-long Online Exhibition, commencing from 16th August 2021. Businesses can explore opportunities arising out of the growing synergies between the two regions.”

The event was also addressed by Ms. Diane Edwards, President, Jamaica Promotion Corporation, Mr. Richie Sookhai, President, The Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Mr. Paul Cheong, Chairman, Private Sector Commission, Guyana.

Ms. Rupa Naik, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai proposed the Vote of Thanks.

The programme was attended by government officials, Consular Corps, members of trade and industry and industry bodies in India and the Caribbean region.