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Dutch Caribbean, T&T discuss trade

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shastri Boodan

The island of Sint Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean wants to do business with T&T.

A delegation led by Clyde Van Putten, leader of Government Business in the Public Entity of Sint Eustatius and Anthony Reid, the Interim Director of the Economy and Infrastructure of Sint Eustatius held discussions with the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce last week.

Chamber President Liaquat Ali said this would be welcomed news for T&T since it represents an opportunity to earn foreign exchange.

The unit of currency on Sint Eustatius is the US dollar.

Ali said the delegation is looking for food items, financial services, information technology and construction materials.

He said in the short term a 500 tonne vessel would be chartered to take urgently needed goods to the island.

Van Putten said the recent hurricane did not seriously affect the infrastructure of Sint Eustatius but impacted the economy of the island since residents on Sint Eustatius were dependent on trade from the hurricane battered island of Sint Marteen.

Van Putten said while Sint Eustatius is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands he plans to keep business in the region and is an advocate of regional trade.

He said Sint Eustatius, offers exporters from T&T an opportunity to get their products into European Union member countries and into other islands of Dutch and French speaking Caribbean.

Van Putten said he proposed to have a trade mission from T&T go to Sint Eustatius in January where the delegates would also meet with participants from Sint Marteen and Saba

Reid said T&T has a broad cross section of products and services including human resources that are needed to expand and diversify his island's economy.

He said Sint Eustatius' economy is based on the trans-shipment of oil from Russia and Venezuela.

Reid said the island also exports a large quantity of meat to neighboring island.

He said lumber, dry goods and animal feed is also needed on the island.