A one-week trade mission to the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe has already resulted in Antigua & Barbuda reaping financial and other benefits.
Port Manager Darwin Telemaque reported that one of the arrangements coming out of talks in Guadeloupe, is for a weekly ferry service between that country and Antigua, that will bring hundreds of passengers/visitors to the island.
Another achievement coming out of the Guadeloupe trade mission, is the securing of a new shipping client, whose first container is expected today, from which the authority expects to gain revenue.
Speaking of the ferry deal, Telemaque said, “It’s called Val Ferry Services and he’s looking to come in once a week. Once a week with 400 passengers will certainly change a lot of things and we are in the process discussing prospects of providing them with some subsidies to see if we can pull this off. Subsidies in the form of, now that the government owns the WIOC, we can probably do some trade off with some fuel.”
And, detailing the shipping business, he said, “We also met with a company which is called Set Cargo and from this one client, if they get to optimise what they’ve actually projected, we will see revenues ranging from 30 to 40 thousand dollars a week and we are happy for that.”
Over in Martinique, Telemaque said the Martinique Regional Council and Port Authority of Martinique have agreed on giving technical assistance to train staff at the local Port Authority.
“When we approached them we talked about engaging in joint procurement; they’ll provide technical support for (us) by sending their engineers here to train our engineers, and we expect to see that happen very soon,” Telemaque said.
According to the port official, Martinique will also provide capacity building for the operations staff at the Port Authority, as well as supervisors, middle managers and equipment handlers.
Additional support will come in the form of technical assistance to help make the Port entirely energy efficient.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)