AMCHAM T&T Holds High-Level Talks With 
Chair of Eximbank U.S.


A MCHAM T&T’s Board of Directors and Members were invited to a high-level meeting with Ms. Reta Jo Lewis, Chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) at the U.S. Embassy’s Sweet Briar office on June 21, 2024, to hold discussions on opportunities to enhance business between EXIM and the private sector of Trinidad and Tobago.

Representing AMCHAM T&T at this meeting were President Stuart Franco, Vice President, Anna Henderson, CEO, Nirad Tewarie, and senior executives from AMCHAM T&T member companies The Ansa McAl Group, MASSY, and Agostini Group.

During the meeting, Lewis spoke highly about EXIM’s commitment to strengthening the relationship between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, particularly supporting small businesses. “One of the things that we are very proud of is how we support businesses not just to compete, but we make sure that they are winning. That’s why our offerings and our terms are constantly modernised and updated, so that you can have the right tools to make a bid or to negotiate a contract,” Lewis said.

Following the meeting, Nirad Tewarie, CEO of AMCHAM T&T outlined the positive outcomes that came out of the discussions with EXIM, an engagement which, he said, underscored AMCHAM T&T’s commitment to supporting its members by leveraging influential partnerships and advocating for beneficial trade and business environments. “Through these efforts, AMCHAM T&T aids its members in seizing new opportunities and contributes to the broader economic development of Trinidad and Tobago. We look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration and seeing our members thrive on the international stage.”

U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Candace Bond said that this meeting follows on the recent US$500 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between EXIM and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. “The meeting facilitated by the U.S. Embassy between the EXIM Chair and AMCHAM T&T underscores the commitment of both the United States and Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen their economic partnership,” she said. “The MoU is a testament to our collaborative efforts aimed at securing economic growth, improving national security, and enabling a vibrant business climate. I am thrilled knowing that the enactment of this MoU this week by Chair Lewis and Minister of Finance Imbert will bring great benefit to the membership of AMCHAM T&T and the whole business community of Trinidad and Tobago.”

EXIM is the official export credit agency in the United States chartered by the U.S. Congress. Established 90 years ago, it has been a leading player in the export credit world. Recently, the U.S. Congress mandated the bank to focus on four areas of investment, according to Chair Lewis. These are traditional small businesses, renewable energy, energy storage, and making more financing available in Sub-Saharan Africa in transformational export areas. These range from semiconductors to AI, quantum computing, water sanitation,
and renewables.

“We all know small businesses are the backbone of all economies,” Lewis said. “There has probably not been one country that I have gone to where they’re not talking about how to do more business in small business, how to work more with women entrepreneurs, how to reach remote, rural communities and our own veterans’ community.” Lewis assured the AMCHAM T&T delegation that her organisation remains committed to improving the relationship with Trinidad and Tobago, having met with the Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley, the Honourable Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance, the Honourable Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, and the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of National Security.

“We believe we have the tools as one part of the U.S. government, and we work very closely with all of our government agencies, everything from the development side to the Department of Commerce, in order to deliver what we want to see as stronger participation, much stronger participation of Americans.”

AMCHAM T&T would like to offer our gratitude to Chair Lewis for accepting the invitation to meet with the Board of Directors and members of the organisation. We also offer our sincere appreciation to Her Excellency Candace A. Bond – U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago and her team at the U.S. Embassy for facilitating and coordinating the meeting.