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State Visit to Trinidad and Tobago - A Report

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November 6, 1998 - Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Kenny D. Anthony led a delegation of government and private sector officials on a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago from November 1 - 5, 1998 at the invitation of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The delegation=s mission was to explore avenues for cooperation between the two countries and investment by the business community in Trinidad and Tobago into St. Lucia.

The delegation included Dr. the Honourable Walter Francois, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs, Mr. Anthony Severin, Cabinet Secretary/Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Pauline Medard, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Roger Joseph, Principal Information Officer, Mrs. Jacqueline Albertini, General Manager of the National Development Corporation, Mr. Tyrone Maynard, President of the National Workers Union and Mr. Tony Nicholas, President of the St. Lucia Media Workers Association.

During the visit the delegation paid a courtesy call on the President of Trinidad and Tobago, H. E.

Arthur N. R. Robinson and received the leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Patrick Manning. The delegation also held discussions with several members of the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet of Ministers and leading representatives of the private sector. Prime Minister Anthony and his delegation also had the opportunity to tour the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation (PLIPDECO) and the National Petroleum Company. The delegation also met with St. Lucian students studying at various institutions in Trinidad and Tobago.

Prime Minister Anthony and Prime Minister Basdeo Panday discussed prospects for the Caribbean in the current international environment and agreed to continue to work together to advance the welfare of the Caribbean people. The discussions focused on Trinidad=s support for Caribbean banana producing countries in the face of the World Trade Organization=s (WTO) rulings on bananas, the importance of reliable air and sea transportation to the continuing viability of tourism and intra-regional trade, technical assistance to St. Lucia in the development of its Carnival product, training of nurses and other medical personnel, and the facilitation of private sector investment to enhance the competitiveness of both economies.

The Prime Ministers agreed that Prime Minister Panday would pay an official visit to St. Lucia at the earliest, mutually convenient opportunity to continue to coordinate their joint approaches to regional and international issues and to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

In an effort to pursue the points of agreement in a joint declaration signed by the two Prime Ministers a Joint Commission comprising representatives of both governments will be set up by the end of November and will meet alternatively in Port of Spain and Castries.

The St. Lucian delegation rounded up its trip with a visit to Tobago where Prime Minister Anthony addressed the Tobago House of Assembly and was treated to a cultural rally.

In summing up his visit St. Lucia=s Prime Minister expressed his surprise at the level of industrialization and competitiveness that Trinidad and Tobago had been able to achieve in such a short time. He noted that there are several lessons there for other Caribbean countries and in that respect urged Trinidad and Tobago to play a greater role in providing both economic and political leadership within the Caribbean Community.



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