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Japanís firms to focus on ICT, agro processing

By Sasha Harrinanan Monday, July 28 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, inspects a guard of honour of the TT Air Guard on the grounds of the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's shortly after hi...
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, inspects a guard of honour of the TT Air Guard on the grounds of the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's shortly after hi...

Japanese firms with a focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Clean Technologies and Agro-processing are being encouraged by Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar to set up shop at the recently launched Tamana Intech Park in east Trinidad.

The PM invited Japanese firms to do so during bilateral talks with her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, held in the Octagon Room of the Diplomatic Centre, St Annís late yesterday afternoon.

The talks were the first official business of Abeís two-day Official Visit to Trinidad and Tobago, following his mid-afternoon arrival in Trinidad yesterday.

Although the approximately hour-long talks were private, the Office of the PM issued a statement afterward about the issues raised.

Apart from the Tamana invitation, which Persad-Bissessar advised Abe would be pursued by Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Vasant Bharath, in discussions with relevant members of the delegation during their stay, the delegations also spoke about the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and both countriesí bids for non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

The ATT, which establishes international standards for the movement of conventional arms and ammunition across borders, was signed by Japan and TT in 2013.

Yesterday, Persad-Bissessar sought the support of Abeís administration for this countryís bid to host the ATT Secretariat.

Meanwhile Abe expressed his gratitude to Government for its decision to waive entry visa requirements for Japanese nationals entering the country for business and tourism purposes for a maximum period of 90 days.

During the discussions, Japanís PM also raised the matter of deepening bilateral relations and requested that Persad-Bissessar consider opening a TT Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. The PM promised to immediately engage in discussions with Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Dookeran, on this issue.

Persad-Bissessar spoke of the positive impact on the South-Western peninsula with regard to job creation by the introduction of the dimethyl ether (DME) Project, which was established by the Massy Group, the Mitsubishi Corporation, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.

The OPM said matters regarding climate change, renewable energy, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), crime and security, triangular co-operation, and the environment were also pursued ahead of the Japan-CARICOM Summit being held today at Hilton Trinidad, Port-of- Spain.

Japanís PM recognised the role Trinidad and Tobago plays in CARICOM and advised that Japan would host the 4th Japan/CARICOM Foreign Ministers Forum in Tokyo.

Prior to the talks, Abe inspected an honour guard of the TT Air Guard on the grounds of the Diplomatic Centre. This was followed by a private exchange of gifts between himself and Persad-Bissessar. TTís PM presented Abe with a steel pan while his gift was wrapped in a medium-sized rectangular box. As of press time, the exact details of Abeís gift to Persad-Bissessar were not known.

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