PM heads to Panama today
Tuesday, October 1 2013
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar leaves for Panama today for the Americas Competitiveness Forum in Panama City where she will also sign the Partial Scope Trade Agreement between this country and Panama.
The Prime Minister will return on Friday. According to separate statements from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) is part of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) .
The ACF is the Western Hemisphere’s preeminent event for government and business leaders to discuss innovative methods to achieve economic competitiveness and promote innovation in the Americas, the statement from the OPM said. The forum is also said to distinguish itself from other international gatherings by promoting novel approaches to economic competitiveness and enabling private and public sector representatives to take advantage of creative opportunities to explore new business models and expand their businesses.
The ACF brings together more than 1,000 leaders from the 34 nations in the Americas, including Heads of State, Cabinet members, business executives, trade delegates, academics and representatives from the region’s public and private competitiveness councils, non-governmental and international organisations and provides a platform for dialogue on ways to enhance the region’s ability to compete more successfully in the current economic context.
The theme for the 2013 Forum is “Infrastructure and Technology Shaping Countries Today”.
Trinidad and Tobago will host the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum in 2014. According to the Trade Ministry, the Partial Scope Trade Agreement, which the Prime Minister will sign while in Panama, was certified by the Caricom secretariat in 2013 and will promote the expansion of trade in goods between both countries.
The agreement allows preferential rates for 230 products from TT to enter the Panamanian market and some 248 Panamanian products to enter this country.
Some of the local products which have been granted access to the Panama market include chewing gum, peanut butter, doors and windows, building blocks, bitumen and aerated water.