CARICOM Community to Benefit from TT$100 Million Fund


A revolving fund loan in the amount of TT$100 million is to be disbursed on an interest free basis to firms in CARICOM, except those located in Trinidad and Tobago, for the procurement of technical assistance/consultancy services and/or training programmes for business development projects.
Known as the ‘CARICOM Trade Support Programme (CTS) of Trinidad and Tobago-A Roadmap for Regional Prosperity,’ the initiative is a comprehensive facility established by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago under the aegis of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and is designed to support the efforts of its CARICOM partner states to enhance their economic performance through the process of diversification and improvement in trade capacity.
The programme will also facilitate investment by firms from Trinidad and Tobago in CARICOM member states through joint ventures and strategic alliances. There will also be the provision of technical inputs from private sector organizations and member states through the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC).
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, K.D. Knight, who addressed the launch of the CTS on October 29 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, informed that the programme demonstrated Trinidad and Tobago’s understanding of the interdependence of the community.
“The CTS is therefore welcome news, because as sister CARICOM territories, there is much we can learn from each other and there is much we can accomplish,” he said.
Describing the programme as supporting the goals of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Minister commended the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Trinidad and Tobago for “this timely initiative, which is needed to strengthen the competitiveness of our productive sector individually and collectively.”
“We need to shun insularity and embrace the promise of co-operation and integration and work together to build a stronger and more prosperous Caribbean,” he added.
In his address, Ambassador Jerry Narace, Head of the CTS Programme, stated that Caribbean integration grew deeper every year and with the establishment of the CSME, the nations and peoples of the region shall become even more inextricably bound. “The programme will contribute to making the CARICOM economy stronger as this is truly a Caribbean programme,” he added.
The decision to establish the CTS Programme was taken by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in February 2003. It seeks to redress the regional trade imbalance between itself and its CARICOM partners and build trade capacity in those member states.
It is intended that the programme will enhanced levels of competitiveness among private sector firms in CARICOM member states and will be a catalyst in stimulating economic growth and recovery from the adverse economic effects of globalisation and recent natural disasters.

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