(T&T GUARDIAN) – As part of its diversification thrust, government is putting measures in place to encourage foreign firms to set up shop in T&T in the hopes that it will stimulate growth in the local market.
Delivering the feature address at the opening of Baron Foods T&T Ltd over the weekend, Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon welcomed the regional company’s investment in T&T.
“I am always encouraged by new corporate ventures such as these in the non-energy manufacturing sector.” she said.
“These investments signal the unwavering commitment, confidence and vision of the private sector to continue investing in our economy amidst these challenging times.” Gopee-Scoon added.
The Trade Minister noted that “Baron Foods’ establishment in T&T is meant to create a mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties involved.”
Gopee-Scoon said the company was able to expand its products’ reach into new markets while T&T reaped the rewards of a major investment allowing citizens to gain access to additional employment opportunities.
She revealed that Baron Foods had made a substantial investment in excess of US $5 million to establish their manufacturing facility in Chaguanas, with employment opportunities for over 50 persons and the export potential to contribute significantly to the economy and also generate foreign exchange in the process.
According to Gopee-Sccon, “Baron Foods produces more than 150 products – many of which are internationally recognized with exports totaling approximately 45 per cent of its existing total production.”
In 2017, the company was the recipient of the Superior Taste Award from the International Taste and Quality Institute for its Sweet Chili Thai Sauce; while in 2014, it received recognition for its world-renowned Banana Ketchup.
Excited that the company will be establishing linkages with local farmers and other agro-suppliers for the provision of raw materials and other inputs in the manufacturing and agro-processing sectors, Gopee-Scoon said this was in keeping with government’s thrust to strengthen the value chain for the Agriculture Sector.
The company’s new plant will produce a range of sauces and condiments and will also utilize local hot peppers, herbs and spices in its production.
Baron Foods has already outsourced its supply of bottles from Carib Glassworks Ltd. and its labels from Label House Group Ltd. for its factories in St Lucia and Grenada.
Gopee-Scoon said these types of linkages and networking was what government desired to drive not only local economic diversification, but the integration of the regional industry.