British High Commissioner Tim Stew has urged local companies to engage with the UK companies which were brought in by the Department for International Trade (DIT) for the UK Defence and Security Trade Mission.
He said the DIT brought in some of the best British security companies to investigate the business opportunities in an area of the world where historical, cultural and business ties have benefited the region and the UK for many years.
Stew, who hosted a reception for the delegates on Monday night at his residence in Maraval, said this was intended to deepen the relationship for those companies between the UK and TT.
"That is to help foster capabilities in this country as we work to tackle the security tendency you have here and to provide a more secure environment for citizens, visitors and businesses.
The delegates were scheduled to meet the next day with high-level Government stakeholders involved in the National Security Architecture in a round table discussion for case study presentations from UK firms operating in the market.
"It is all about trade, and about business and these companies have come here because they see real opportunities to build a relationship. I am really pleased with how trade is growing between our two countries. We are four and a half thousand miles apart, we have a reputation for high quality, but that also comes with a price so we need to overcome that distance."
Stew said at the end of the second quarter of 2019, there was a recorded figure of 530 million pounds which represented a 19 per cent increase from the previous year, with the top five UK goods exported here being refined oil, specialised machinery, cars, industrial machinery and metal goods.
Stew said his teams have been working closely with TT's Government to improve the business and investment climate for UK companies, and have signed several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU). The most recent was a MOU for Security Co-operation signed on November 7, 2017.
"The MOU signals the seriousness of the UK's commitment to enhancing our co-operation in this area."
It included supporting the reform of TT's criminal justice system, tackling corruption and cross-border crime, and countering terrorism and violent extremism.
Stew said since signing the MOU the UK has been supporting TT's efforts to strengthen its national security architecture, including better sharing of intelligence and enhanced working between agencies. He said they have already seconded a senior ex-UK police officer to work with the TTPS in an advisory capacity.
Stew said they have started work to help tackle criminality with this country's prison system, which included two visits to Trinidad by leading UK experts. He said they have also been working with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Office of the Attorney General and the Judiciary on prosecuting terrorism cases, drawing on the UK's experience in this area.
Asked about the issue surrounding the royal family with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle distancing themselves from formal royal duties, Stew said that was an issue for the royal family to resolve by themselves.
"There's been a lot of publicity around it. The royal family has been doing an outstanding job for the country, they always do. The royal family works extremely hard. They work under a great lot of pressure, that is often not understood by people who don't their job and see them at work every day
"I think there are lots of pressures on the royal family and they need to work through those and come up with a workable solution. They are an incredible asset for the extraordinary charity work that they do in the UK and around the world."