There is every indication that trade between the United States and the 15-nation Caribbean community is growing at a fair rate, with regional officials reporting a 39 percent increase in two-way exports since 2010 and expectations that the trend will continue into the near future.

The encouraging news emerged from a meeting at trade bloc headquarters in Guyana last weekend involving regional teams and those from Washington, D.C., sitting together as the U.S.-Caricom Trade and Investment Council that meets annually to review trade and related areas. Next year’s meeting is scheduled to be in the United States.

Without heavy continued use of petroleum products from oil- and gas-rich Trinidad, the figures would look much different, as the United States would dominate trade with the region, but American Eastern Seaboard states have for more than a decade relied on natural gas supplies from Trinidad to keep homes warm during the winter months.

The latest data shows a total of $21.8 billion in trade in the past three years in both directions, as the reviewers say the healthy two-way trade has made “positive contributions among our nations to the promotion of growth, employment and development,” noting that benefits have flowed to businesses, farm workers and consumers in general over the period.

Officials are crediting the Reagan-era 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) for the exponential increase in trade and say they are confident the trend will continue.

Since the CBI, Washington has enacted the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which allows a number of countries to benefit from an additional list of products that can enter the United States duty-free, but not all bloc members have qualified and been accepted.

The statement said that the United States “has agreed that, upon request, it would begin a process to consider granting unilateral trade benefits under the CBTPA for Caribbean Basin countries and dependent territories that currently do not receive those benefits.”

These include St. Vincent, Dominica, Suriname Dominica and a few others, the two sides said. Suriname, for example, might be interested in exporting vegetables and petroleum products to the United States under the concession aid scheme, but it is unclear when this will become a reality.