T&T ‘Blacklisting’ Getting ‘Highest Level of Attention’ | Local company

The head of the European Union delegation to Trinidad and Tobago said the issue of the country’s “blacklisting” was receiving the “highest attention” and that a solution was imminent.

Ambassador Peter Cavendish told the Express in an interview at his office last week that the matter had received the ‘highest attention’ and was ‘close to reaching an agreement’. .

He said there had been very high-level contacts with the relevant EU institutions on the matter and that discussions now involved the respective EU Directors General, the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and the ” associated parties”.

The ambassador was asked to respond to Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s statement when asked about it on January 14. An article in L’Express on January 15 quoted Minister Imbert as saying he was “well aware” of the affair.

This was in response to a question from Opposition MP Rodney Charles who had asked the Minister of Finance if he was aware that the government had repeatedly promised to remove itself from the blacklist, but had not been able to do so since 2017.

The Minister’s response was as follows: “I am well aware of this and this week (week of January 14) I wrote to the European Union to pursue our objective of going gray listed in 2022.”

Asked about it. Ambassador Cavendish said the Attorney General was “fully aware of the latest developments” in this case and that there was no existing cause for confusion on either side. He said that in fact there was good will on both sides. He said that according to the EU’s position, the aim was to try to avoid what he described as “radiation”.

Known in the Caribbean as the “blacklist”, this is the system in which certain countries are penalized for failing to meet financial commitments in the trading and financial system with EU countries.

Trinidad and Tobago is among other countries that have complained about what they see as punitive arrangements, with some leaders protesting that such measures are often taken unilaterally.

The head of the EU delegation went on to explain that within the EU system itself, countries that fail to live up to their commitments in this regard are brought to justice.

He added that EU Director General for the Americas Brian Glynn was due to visit the region in mid-February, but that schedule was being adjusted due to an imminent visit to Brussels by the Secretary of State. State Anthony Blinken.

Glynn is due to travel to Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Barbados and St. Lucia, Cavendish said.

During the interview, Cavendish described what appeared to be an overall plan for a revised multi-pronged partnership agreement between the EU and countries in the Americas and other developing countries.

It is called “The Global Gateway”. It is essentially an investment program in key social and economic sectors. It is intended to compete with China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security presented a document to the European Parliament, its Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank, on this initiative.

The key objectives below are grouped under such lofty guiding principles as: democratic values ​​and high standards; good governance and transparency; equal partnerships; a climate-neutral green and clean strategy; securing and catalysing private sector investment.

In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, Cavendish raved about the potential for reviving the country’s cocoa industry towards the production of high quality chocolates. This is seen as a means by which significant agricultural activity could be catalyzed. Another significant potential exists in the modernization of the country’s two main industrial and commercial ports, he said.