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building and Repair Maritime Cluster, an initiative that looked to tap into the maritime potential of a country as geographically valuable as Trinidad and Tobago. Strategically located between the Atlantic Ocean and Panama Canal, and between South America and North America, the island of Trinidad also benefits from being outside the active hurricane belt of the Caribbean region. These factors, in concert with the country’s history of skill and expertise in the energy sector, mean that it is able to offer their local and international stakeholders many opportunities for growth. The Maritime Cluster plays an important role in this. Using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, the Maritime Cluster and SRDC have brought 58-stakeholders together in a pro-

ject that will play a defining role in Trinidad & Tobago’s future economy. Many of these stakeholders have a history which includes building of offshore gas platforms at La Brea for bpTT, but there has been an effort to bring in a wide variety of other capabilities including ship repairs, logistics, non-destructive testing, hull blasting, and even an environmental consultancy called Green Alternatives in Action (GAIA). Since recently being elected Prime Minister, the Honorable Dr. Keith Rowley and his new Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopie-Scoon, have both publicly confirmed the Government’s commitment to urgently continue the country’s diversification thrust away from the energy sector, which includes manufacturing in its various forms, agriculture, develop-

ment of the creative sector, and maritime services - including shipbuilding, repairs, and dry docking services. Wilfred de Gannes, Chairman and CEO of SRDC, expands on this positive news: “This was recently presented in the Budget Statement for 2017, in a report titled ‘Shaping a Brighter Future - A Blueprint for Transformation and Growth’. The report was presented by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Colm Imbert MP, on the 15th September, 2016. THE NEW SHIPYARD La Brea Shipyard Port project is a USD500 million project located on the southwestern side of Trinidad that will provide dry docking alongside facilities for various types of ships that other yards in the region cannot necessarily service. Since the Panama Canal’s SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Sustainable Business Magazine 01/17  

Sustainable Business Magazine