A delegation from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) have engaged authorities of Trinidad and Tobago about considering Double Taxation and Bilateral Investment treaties, to further enhance trade flow between the two nations.
The talks were held, when the delegation met with representatives of Trinidad and Tobago’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TT Chamber) last week. The team from Ghana, further identified key sectors in Trinidad and Tobago, including its manufacturing sector, as prime area for partnerships with Ghanaian SMEs.
At the meeting, the Centre’s CEO, Mr Yofi Grant opined that a collaboration between the two countries will yield mutually beneficial outcomes, considering each other’s economic situations and contributions.
For us in Ghana, partnerships for linkages and trade are key because we do have significant raw material for which we want to add value and then export, and I believe that T&T is really the industrial powerhouse of the Caribbean so there is a lot to learn. But there is also a lot to trade not only in goods but services, particularly in the oil and gas sector where Trinidad and Tobago seem to have built some capacity and experience which they can leverage in Ghana,’ he said.
The CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare also mentioned plans to establish a Ghana Trade House in Trinidad and Tobago “which will bring the cultural aspect, the trade aspect and everything together in a space where people can come in and see what Ghanaians offer”.
To facilitate the collaboration between the two countries, the TT Chamber disclosed that it will conduct an audit of its members that are already doing business in Africa, which will serve as a starting point for future engagements. The Chamber said it will establish a liaison with GIPC to ensure efficient and effective collaboration.
According to the TT Chamber president, Kiran Maharaj “the opportunities in Ghana are very promising, and it is apparent that they have built an economy and business environment that attract investment from committed partners such as TT’s business community. There are several synergies regarding our culture and the way in which we do business. I am certain there will be many benefits to both countries, not just from the exchange of knowledge and expertise but from investment opportunities, partnerships, and other significant pathways”. The TT Chamber indicated interest and commitment to foster strong partnerships with Ghana and leverage expertise to boost manufacturing and economic growth in both countries.
Meeting with T&T Trade Minister
The Ghanaian delegation furthered the conversations on exploring new trade and investment opportunities in a meeting with the Trade Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Paula Gopee-Scoon, as well as other officials including; President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Roger Roach, and CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Stephen De Gannes.
Minister Gopee-Scoon acknowledged the many opportunities for trade and investment between Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana. She noted that the bilateral engagements will foster mutually beneficial partnerships, cultural exchanges and economic growth across both nations.
She reiterated T&T’s commitment to strengthening economic ties with Ghana, and by extension Africa. At the meeting, the CEO of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare discussed plans to export Ghana’s native fabrics and prints into the Caribbean, where there is considerable demand.
The Centre’s CEO, Yofi Grant also negotiated agreements to have a Trinidad and Tobago steelpan band and masquerades participate in this year’s edition of the Taste of Ghana. Meanwhile, the TTMA, together with ExporTT, have committed to work towards a trade and investment mission to Ghana in early 2024.
Further, a commitment has been made by both parties to accelerate the ongoing negotiations for a Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments Agreement (RIPPA), with the aim of reaching an agreement by the end of 2023.