In correlation with the theme “Outlook 2014 and Beyond”, Ambassador Parsan informed the audience during his speech that over 40% of the world’s population would be heading to the voting polls this year and advised all business owners to remain seized of these issues and their implications on the global economy. He also explained that many of the world’s leading countries are projected to have positive GDP growth rates this year, which indicates that the global economy is showing signs of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. Latin America is expected to experience a 3% growth rate and elections are expected to be held in several of the countries.
Ambassador Parsan added further that recent data suggests that tourism-dependent Caribbean countries will experience a 1.5% growth rate, while Caribbean commodity exporters will enjoy an average growth rate of 3.7%. He, therefore, encouraged businesspersons to take advantage of this positive growth in the Caribbean in 2014.
Parsan highlighted Trinidad and Tobago specifically as an attractive destination in the region for investment since numerous sectors have been earmarked for development by the government. These sectors include – Downstream Energy, Printing and Packaging, Food and Beverage, Leisure Marine, Fish and Fish Processing, Music and Entertainment, Merchant Marine, Creative Industries, Tourism and Information and Communications Technology.
The Ambassador focused some attention on advancements in Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism sector and the creative industry. He mentioned that in the tourism industry, there has been a focus on improving the major sites and attractions and there have been significant developments in the expansion of the airlift – in March 2014, discussions were held with Lufthansa Airlines, Air Berlin and Condor Airlines with a view of introducing new, direct flights to Trinidad and Tobago.
Regarding the creative industry, Ambassador Parsan highlighted the fact that there was an opportunity for further growth in this sector and highlighted the valuable contribution this sector provides to domestic employment in Trinidad and Tobago. He also mentioned that the country was the ideal location for media production, on-location film shoots and animation.
The Conference also featured additional presentations that focused on Small Business Exporter Programs, the Expansion of the Panama Canal, and Florida and International Trade Development, among others.
Based in Florida, the Caribbean Trade Center works to develop deeper bilateral business relations with Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America. The organization works closely with consulates, government agencies and trade development offices to identify opportunities that lead to the development of sound business partnerships.