India Business
Trinidad and Tobago seeks Indian IT pros
Feb 28, 2007 - 4:17:09 PM

New Delhi, Feb 28 - Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of State for Trade and Industry Diane Seukaran has called upon Indian IT professionals to come and work in her country.

'Trinidad and Tobago is booming because of oil and gas. But we are lagging behind in IT,' Seukaran, who is here as part of a parliamentary delegation from that country currently in India on an invitation from Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, said.

'We want to develop the IT sector and for that we want the expertise of Indian IT pros,' she said at a reception organised here Tuesday by the Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad -, an organisation promoting ties with overseas Indians, to honour the visiting delegation.

Though its area is only 5,128 sq km, Trinidad and Tobago has come up as the richest country in the Caribbean based on its oil and natural gas.

'We are the largest suppliers of ammonia and methanol in the world. And almost all major oil companies in the world have invested in our country,' the minister said.

According to the minister, managing the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is a tough task as prices of oil and gas are controlled by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries -

'Because we want to divest our economy, we want investors from other countries including India,' Seukaran, who is of Indian origin -, said.

'We have not committed our oil and gas fully to anybody. There is scope for Indian investors.'

She, however, expressed concern at Indian merchandise exporters making her country a dumping ground.

'Cloth, jewellery and other merchandisers of India have discovered the Caribbean to be a goldmine.'

Unfortunately, she said, this has led to dumping and labelling.

'Standards must be maintained.'

Speaking on the occasion, President of Trinidad and Tobago's Senate Linda Baboolal said the perception that Indian origin people were not included in the politics of Trinidad and Tobago was wrong.

There are about 520,000 PIOs, mostly descendants of Indians who had gone to that country in the md-19th and early 20th centuries to work as indentured labour in the sugarcane plantations there, comprising 40 percent of that country's population.

'We have two major political parties in our country and people from all ethnic groups support both the parties,' Baboolal, who is also a PIO, said.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Barendra Sinanan, who is leading the delegation, while appreciating India's booming economy, said people in his country looked at India as a role model.

'Linda and I rank fifth and fourth in our country's official hierarchy. The very fact that both of us are out of our country at the same time shows the great regard we have for the republic of India,' he said.

Others present on the occasion were Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of State for Community Development and Culture Edward Hart and Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The delegation, which had visited Hyderabad and Chennai, is now scheduled to visit Mumbai and other places in India before leaving for China.

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