Trinidad and Tobago is about to become a manufacturer of brand-name travel luggage, according to a statement by InvesTT on Tuesday.
The statement said Summit (TT) Luggage Co Ltd, headquartered in Guangdong, China, has moved into eTecK’s Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, as the first Chinese tenant to do so. Company officials Michael Chen and Sera Huang arrived in TT on February 3 to provide direct oversight to customise and complete their 5,000-square-metre state-of-the-art factory shell.
Summit (TT) Luggage is establishing a manufacturing assembly line to produce 90 per cent hard-shell luggage using polycarbonate and polypropylene inputs.
They will export their products from TT mainly to North American and European corporate clients, which include well-known brand names in the luggage and retail industries.
Sekou Alleyne, president of InvesTT, said, “We are excited about Summit’s expansion to TT as it highlights the increasing global investor confidence in the country as a manufacturing and exporting hub in the Caribbean.
"We have a huge investment advantage in nearshore manufacturing because of our geographic location between the Americas, alongside the easy access to consumers provided via our international cargo ports and trade agreements.”
Chen said, “Many Chinese companies are moving their factories overseas and we chose TT primarily for its location so that we can easily reach our clients in the USA.
"The benefits for us are that shipments from here will take about one week in quick turnaround in addition to the fact that it will be easier for clients sharing the same time zone to visit our TT factory for audits as they are close by.”
Summit Luggage was founded in 2001 to become one of China's top luggage enterprises with 1,200 workers.
Its annual output is about three million pieces of luggage and bags, now sold in 80 countries.
Summit’s future plans for expansion in TT include more industrial space and the application of plastic injection technology for luggage component manufacturing.
InvesTT’s Investor Services team has been working closely with Summit (TT) Luggage to assist with work permits, access to incentives, regulatory agency permits and post-construction approvals.
ETecK is the landlord for Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, with construction oversight by Chinese contractor Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG).
The construction of the estate is the first project to be undertaken in the Caribbean under China’s Belt and Road Initiative.