Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM

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CARICOM–Trinidad and Tobago relations

Caribbean Community

Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago-CARICOM
Flag of CARICOM.svg Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.png
Membership Full member
Since 1973
Membership Full member

The nation of Trinidad and Tobago has been the leading supporter of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Trinidad and Tobago was one of the four members in 1973 which then along with Barbados, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda moved to establish the organisation that today it known as the Caribbean Community and Common Market. The new organisation because a successor to the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) by the Treaty of Chaguaramas, of which Trinidad and Tobago was a leading member and also a founding member. [1]

Several Organisations of the CARICOM organisation are physically based in Trinidad and Tobago including:

For its own purposes, the CARICOM organisation classifies its members as either More Developed Countries or Less Developed countries. Trinidad and Tobago is classified as fitting into More Developed Country.

In February 2003 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago took a decision to establish the CARICOM Trade Support (CTS) Programme.[2] Partly crafted by Mr. Kenneth Valley, Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Trade,[3] the CTS Programme provides loans to finance business development projects in order to help CARICOM States improve their trade capacity and enhancing the performance of their individual economies[4] and enhancing the competitiveness among private sector firms.[2] Loans are provided on an interest-free basis and must be used for the purposes of procuring technical assistance services which are to be delivered by consultants.[4] The Programme was launched on October 29, 2004 with a revolving fund loan in the amount of TT$100 million to be disbursed on an interest free basis to firms in CARICOM, except those located in Trinidad and Tobago.[2] The TT$100 million (US$ 16 million or J$1 billion (at the 2004 exchange rate)) loan facility is just one component of the programme however. Other components of the trade support programme include the facilitation of investment by firms from Trinidad and Tobago in CARICOM member-states through joint ventures and strategic alliances; as well as the provision of technical inputs from national and regional private sector umbrella bodies.[5] Administered by Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Trade and Industry[6] the programme has already approved loans for private sector firm in St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, and more recently in Suriname (the Sunspot company) and Jamaica (for the Pulse Investment Company Ltd.). The latter two companies received loans totalling US$180,000 for the purposes of restructuring to ensure enhanced profitability and to develop an export marketing programme. Loans, in amounts ranging from US$6,000 to US$100,000, approved under the CTS programme will be disbursed by the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT) and the bank will also be responsible for administering loan repayments and the securitization of loan funds.[7]

Since at least 2007, in addition to the interest-free loans for the utilization of consultants in business development projects, the CTS programme has also been offering loans at market rates for plant, equipment and inventory through financial institutions like the RBTT and EXIM Bank of the United States.[7]

In July 2004, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago also took a decision to establish a CARICOM Petroleum Stabilization Fund as a grant facility capitalized at a maximum of TT$25 million per month based on a CARICOM partner country's purchase of petroleum from Petrotrin.[8] It was officially established in 2006[9] and is aimed at supporting poverty eradication projects and is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank.[8]

On 12, March 2010 Trinidad and Tobago signed the CARIPASS treaty, so the CARIPASS is a voluntary travel card programme that provide a simple border crossings to other CARICOM nations.[10]


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