Government of Trinidad and Tobago is reporting that the value of non-energy exports during the first six months of last year, was an estimated TT$6.07 billion.
A statement from the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the figure represents a 22 per cent increase over the TT$4.97 billion that had been achieved for the same period in 2018.
“Non-energy exports performed well in a series of products and sectors to both traditional and non-traditional markets including those in Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union (EU),” the statement noted.
According to the Trinidadian ministry of trade, the highest increases were for non-alcoholic beverages (63 per cent) in Jamaica (110 per cent), rum and other spirits (48 per cent) in Grenada (82 per cent), plastic bottles (43 per cent) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (42 per cent), and chocolate and other cocoa preparations (40 per cent) in Jamaica (37 per cent).
“This improvement in the country’s non-energy export performance from 2018 to 2019 is directly attributable to various measures undertaken by the ministry and its agencies such as ExporTT and other stakeholders to boost the performance of the non-energy sector over the past four years,” the statement continued.
In particular, the ministry and by extension the Government, played a critical role in stimulating the non-energy sector by creating lucrative and valuable avenues through which the private sector could benefit, “immensely including the development of new and innovative products, processes and export markets.”
The statement from the ministry further remarked that it has been working dedicatedly to enhance market access for local manufacturers to new and differentiated export markets by actively pursuing bilateral trade agreements with countries of strategic interest such as Chile and Curaçao among others.
“Additionally, the ministry has also been resolute in its pursuit of trade missions to targeted countries such as Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Panama among others,” it said, adding that it has also been focused in executing its mandate to create new economic spaces and infrastructure to facilitate private sector development especially in the non-energy sector.
To guide this overall thrust to improve and expand the non-energy sector in Trinidad and Tobago, the government also launched a National Trade Policy (2019-2023) and a Special Economic Zones Policy for the twin-island republic in 2019.