Government and business leaders from Trinidad and Tobago will be in Atlanta Nov. 9-13 to promote trade with their country and meet with officials overseeing Atlanta’s bid to become the location for the secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, according to Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office.

Port of Spain, the country’s capital and a contender for the secretariat, is also an Atlanta Sister City, said David Constant, assistant to Claire McLeveighn, director of international relations in the mayor’s office.

Trinidad and Tobago leaders, including Kenneth Valley, minister of trade and industry, and Murchison Brown, mayor of Port of Spain, will meet with Ms. Franklin and officials at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said Mr. Constant.

According to an announcement from Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office last week, Economic Development Department Commissioner Craig Lesser is now co-vice chair of Hemisphere Inc., the organization spearheading the FTAA secretariat effort. Mr. Perdue is the chairman.

Gia Gaspard-Taylor, president of the Port of Spain/Atlanta Sister City Committee, is included in the delegation, Mr. Constant said. One-on-one meetings will be held with metro businesses in the energy, chemical, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, manufacturing, service outsourcing and tourism industries, he said.

Among Trinidad and Tobago’s competitive advantages, Mr. Constant said, are a semi-skilled labor force suitable for energy and manufacturing industries, a reliable telecommunications infrastructure and business and technology park accommodations.

Trinidad and Tobago also has easy access via air and sea to markets in the Caribbean, Europe, and North, Central and South America, he said.

In addition, the republic has preferential market access for their products due to trade agreements with Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, United States and Venezuela, as well as the Caribbean and the European Union, he said.

For more information on the trade mission, contact Mr. Constant at (404) 330-6762 or