The Minister of State for the Foreign Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne, has attended an exhibition in Trinidad and Tobago to encourage trading between the Caribbean and the UK.

Browne promoted an increase in trade between Trinidad and Tobago and the UK at the UK Food and Beverage Trade Mission and Exhibition, which took place earlier this year.

According to an article in Newsday, Browne pointed out that in 2009 there was over US$673 million of trade between the UK and Trinidad and Tobago, but also a huge amount of unrealised potential. Browne said: “When you consider that the UK makes up less than 2.3 per cent of Trinidad and Tobago’s total imports. Similarly, Trinidad imports from the UK less than half of what the UK imports from Trinidad.

“Give that the UK is the fifth largest trading nation in the world and that Trinidad is the largest trading nation in the Caribbean region, there is a lot more we could and should be doing in terms of business between our two nations.”

The article also states that Browne told manufacturers and exporters in Trinidad and Tobago that if they were interested in sourcing goods and services from the UK, help and advice is on hand.

“If the main barrier to doing business together is a lack of knowledge about other country’s market, the British Government and I, as Minister responsible for the Caribbean, are determined to break down that barrier. I am here to support and promote British industry and commercial relations within the region,” he said.

It is hoped that an increase of trade between Trinidad and Tobago and the UK will encourage UK-based franchisors to consider expanding their brands into the island.

The UK Food and Beverage Trade Mission and Exhibition was also attended by many companies and individuals looking for a franchise opportunity to invest in including Prestige Holdings, which already owns the Caribbean Master Franchise for many major brands, such as KFC and TGI Fridays.

Also at the event were representatives from the UK-based international franchise consultancy company Franchise Development Services (FDS). Professor Roy Seaman, co-founder and Managing Director of FDS, said: “There was a warm welcome from governments and banks, who were eager to establish more British franchises to serve their people on islands like Barbados and their tourist market.”

For further information call Michelle Topley on 01603 620 301

Published: