Foreign Office Minister reinforces Britain’s ties with key Commonwealth partner

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne promoted trade, security, sustainable development and environmental protection during his visit to Trinidad & Tobago.

During a busy programme, he saw first hand the high tech tools that BP uses to maximise productivity and efficiency in their Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) and Highly Immersive Visualisation Environment (HIVE) facilities. (BPTT is responsible for 10% of BP Group’s total output worldwide). He also discussed climate change issues with leading academics in the field, and took part in a panel discussion on the abolition of the death penalty at the prestigious Hugh Wooding Law School. The Minister addressed the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce on the potential to increase trade and investment with the UK and participated in a meeting with the British Business Group, focussing on the many challenges facing the tourism industry. He also met with a group of economists and financial specialists and probed the background against which British business operates in this economic powerhouse of the Caribbean.

The Minister also officially opened the UK Food and Beverage Exhibition, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, during which he had substantive discussions with the T&T Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Stephen Cadiz MP. The Minister also attended a working lunch hosted by BG and attended by CEOs from leading energy companies, where he discussed the critical energy sector. This was also an opportunity to discuss a number of commercial issues with the Trinidad and Tobago Minister for Energy, Mrs Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, including the UK’s willingness to share our considerable expertise in alternative/renewable energy. Mr Browne then flew by helicopter to the BG production site (gas and condensates) in Moruga, in the far south of the island. Central Block Moruga supplies sufficient gas to provide power to the islands of Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada, though in practice most of its production, expected to last at least 25 years, is fed into the Atlantic LNG processing plant for export to the US and Europe. BG and BP both have substantial investments in Atlantic LNG as well as in the onshore and offshore fields that supply the 4 processing trains.

Mr Browne spoke at a London 2012 Olympic-themed reception during which he launched the UK’s “Going for Green” documentary film, (soon to be broadcast on local television), met members of the media and sporting personalities. The British company, Centrica, an important investor in the energy sector, sponsored a stunning exhibition of photographs by a British artist on an environmental theme. During the reception, the Minister gave an interview with the correspondent for The Economist and with a widely respected local radio station. These interviews complemented an early appearance that day with a popular morning talk-show.

On the political front, Mr Browne had a meeting with the Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mr Suruj Rambachan, which was followed by a televised joint press conference at which Mr Browne praised the strong UK/T&T relationship, and expressed the UK government’s desire to further expand commercial links, and covered a number of wider political issues.

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