Trinidad and Tobago(TT) are still able to bid for funds from regional resources totaling 800 million Euros, according to Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis. She stated that the funds are available as part of the European Union’s new cooperation framework (EU).
They have agreed to continue collaborating to aggressively explore funding and technical assistance from the regional fund to develop projects aimed at enhancing TT’s green economy, digital economy, water resources, revitalizing the cocoa industry, and innovation during a meeting with EU Delegation Ambassador Peter Cavendish.
The framework, titled Neighbourhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument 2021-2027, focuses on assisting Latin American and Caribbean countries in financing projects in key sectors critical to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as sustainable energy, environment, water, transportation, inclusive social services, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
In the fields of the environment and sustainable energy, TT has begun collaborating with the EU through the Latin American and Caribbean Investment Facility (LACIF) and the ministry’s Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit.
Green hydrogen, called “future fuel,” is one of the primary areas under active investigation by this government as part of the global transition to sustainable energy and net-zero emissions economies. As a result, the work begun with the EU in this area will aid in TT’s energy transition ambitions.
Through the UN Development Fund’s Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) programme, the ministry and the EU have launched two important projects with the UN Development Fund. The first is a $16 million/€2.4 million projects that provided solar photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to 12 recipients, while the second is the installation of a €4 million commercial-scale solar-panel system at Piarco International Airport via a solar park, with an annual generation capacity of 1,443,830 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
The ministry, the EU Delegation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) have also collaborated to develop the Shaping the Future of Innovation programme, which is funded with US$10 million from the 11th European Development Fund.
Other sectors for possible funding via the regional fund, include the digital economy and the cocoa industry.
TT’s high levels of workforce education, as well as the country’s second-best roads and one of the top-rated ports, as advantages for European investment potential. These advantages, he said, bode well for TT’s ability to obtain grant funds and technical help from the European Development Bank, the world’s oldest development finance institution.