dale-v-c-holness_web.jpgBroward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness announced he will lead a trade mission to Trinidad and Tobago Dec. 16-22 to encourage business relationships with the Caribbean nation.

Holness’ office said he has met twice with Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar during her visits to South Florida.

“We have meetings scheduled with the prime minister and she has stated publicly that she wants to expand trade with Trinidad to the worldwide market place,” Holness said in a statement announcing the mission.

The twin-island nation’s Minister of Works and Transportation Jack Warner is a voting member of the Federation of International Football Board he will vote on whether Broward County will host World Cup Soccer one day.

That issue will also be discussed during Holness’ visit, the statement said.

Holness and his delegation will also meet the ministers of sports, and culture and tourism, as well as officials of the Trinidadian American Chamber of Commerce, the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce and the manufacturers association. Lauderhill is a Sister City to Chaguanas.

“They are the wealthiest Caribbean nation in terms of per capita income.  Trinidad companies already do business with our airport and Port Everglades,” Holness said.  “There are key business opportunities in areas such as alternate energy and wholesale items that Broward County can benefit from.”

Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 22nd among Florida’s top 50 merchandise trading partners, with total trade valued at an estimated $1.4 billion in 2009, Holness’ statement said. Exports from South Florida to the twin-island nation totaled $877 million last year.

Economic development and expanding international trade was a focal point of Holness’ campaign when he ran for the District 9 in central Broward County. 

The delegation will include Lauderhill Mayor Richard J. Kaplan; Dennis Haridial; Prakash Baboolal, Platinum Contractor; Sharon Trepiccione, the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce and BankAtlantic; Rafiek Mohammed, Sister Cities program; Ricardo Duncan, Pro Earth Energy Solutions; Clifford Knights, International Trade Incubator and Health Distribution; Steve Rasabi, Tech Green International; and Judi Hamilton, Teleamerica, Sister Cities.