The United States is seeking more ways in which to develop economic ties with this country and has chosen the city of San Fernando for a public-private partnership in the areas of criminal justice, economic development, public affairs and education.
The initiative proposed by Deputy Chief of Mission W. Mc Intyre, has found ready acceptance from San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello who is now looking at ways in which San Fernandians can not only benefit but what it can offer to the USA in return.
The proposal was rolled out to the media, following a meeting with Regrello, Mc Intyre, Consular Chief Timothy Swanson and Public Affairs officer, Michael Barrera, at City Hall on Friday morning. The meeting was part of the ongoing collaborative initiative which began with the original one-day Embassy move to San Fernando, two months ago.
Asked about his choice of San Fernando for this pioneering project, Mc Intyre said, “San Fernando is where a lot of the wealth of Trinidad and Tobago comes from. So we want to be in a place that is driving the economy of this country. We are going where people want us to come,” he said.
“We think that under this mayor’s leadership, San Fernando can be a leader for the entire country in ways to bring the community together – the business community, the local community, Civil Society, governance – to address crime issues.”
He said they are happy for the opportunity for the community of San Fernando to learn more about doing business in the USA and bringing investors here.
Asserting that the embassy is more about issuing visas for TT nationals to travel to the US, Swanson said while they would not be able to issue visas in the south, they can provide information for investors who want to do business in the USA.
Mc Intyre noted that four of out of five Trinidadians who apply are issued with visas, pointing out that this is one of the highest acceptance rates throughout the Caribbean
“You are going to get a visa because you qualify for it. Folks who get turned down, get turned down for a good reason,” he explained.
Barrera said the partnership will offer a number of opportunities for TT nationals to study in the USA and for US residents to come here. He said nationals can take advantage of the College Fair they will be having at the Hyatt Hotel on October 28 and 29, to get answers about studying in the States.
He said 40 academic institutions, from large state universities to community colleges, will be on hand to assist in applying for acceptance, scholarships and financial aid.