Senator the HonourablePaula Gopee-Scoon - Minister
The Ministry of Trade and Industry continues to play its significant role in the revitalization and expansion of the local economy, strengthening the non-energy sector. The already strong manufacturing sector which has more than 50,000 employees is challenged to widen its product base and expand its exports extra-regionally. The Ministry continues to work toward expanding market access, attracting quality domestic and foreign investments and creating a more conducive environment for businesses to grow and develop. A critical component in our strategy is the improvement of quality and innovation in our products and services with the aim of becoming more competitive through such product differentiation, beyond price. To this end the Ministry of Trade and Industry, through the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, is operationalizing the National Quality Policy and the National Quality Infrastructure to improve domestic systems, where necessary, to international standards and thereby enable exporters to meet the demands of the multilateral trading system. This will provide credible proof that domestic products conform to international standards.
In order to stimulate and grow trade especially in the non-energy sector a new Trade Policy and Strategy for the period 2018-2022 is currently being developed in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). A significant objective is to double this country’s non-energy exports by 2025. Considerable work has been advanced towards the implementation of Partial Scope Trade Agreements (PSTAs) between this Trinidad and Tobago and Panama by example. Relatedly, a new Trade Mission Strategy has been approved with the long term goal being an increase in non-energy exports and export diversification in targeted foreign markets. For the fiscal year 2018, trade missions were executed to Costa Rica, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica and Panama. Two further trade missions to Haiti and Colombia will take place before the end of 2018.
The Government has also recognized that in order to develop globally competitive and innovative products, manufacturers must invest extensively in Research and Development. To this end, an enhanced Research and Development Facility was introduced offering tiered funding for capacity-building and innovation of products and services in the non-energy sector, up to a maximum of TT$1 Mn per beneficiary.
The Ministry has also developed a Grant Fund Facility for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). This facility seeks to assist export oriented SMEs in acquiring machinery and equipment to become more competitive in the global trading arena. The Grant Fund Facility provides financing up to a maximum of TT$250,000 and is available to targeted agro processors and light manufacturers. Additionally, a new Business Development Fund is to be introduced for small locally-owned businesses valued up to a maximum of TT $100,000 per applicant. Similarly, new and existing farmers will also benefit from an Agriculture Financial Support Programme of equal value.
A key aspect of industrial investment is the development of strategic spaces where investors can build factories and offices to create goods and services for local and international consumption. The development of the Phoenix Park Industrial Estate the Moruga Agro-Processing and Light Industrial Park and the Piarco AeroPark, the latter in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport is ongoing. Continued development and tenanting of the Tamana InTech Park remains vital with added synergies expected with the operationalization of the Tamana Campus of the University of Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is also implementing a Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Policy which will revamp the current regime and guide the growth of SEZs across Trinidad and Tobago.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, guided by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, is collaborating with several ministries and Government agencies to implement a robust package of administrative and legislative reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. Over the next two years, the services offered by the Single Electronic Window (SEW) for trade and business facilitation – TTBizLink will be enhanced and expanded. This includes the automation of several Government services including obtaining construction permits and making electronic payments, both of which have already commenced. Additionally, the implementation of several administrative and legislative reforms are ongoing to improve key aspects related to business, trade and investment including starting a business, trading across borders, resolving insolvency, and getting credit. The implementation of a secured transactions and collateral registry policy will also yield considerable gains as businesses utilise movable collateral to access financing.
TTMA Building, 42 Tenth Avenue, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago
P.O. Box 971, Port of Spain
Tel: (868) 675-TTMA (8862)
Fax: (868) 675-9000
The global environment has created ever increasing competition within the international manufacturing sector. Governments from across the world have recognised the significant contribution made by this essential industry and continue to invest and encourage growth in this domain. Similarly, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for several years has advocated that it is the manufacturing sector that is expected to lead the mandatory process of diversification of the national economy. The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) takes seriously this initiative and views this partnership beneficial in varied ways to all citizens of our nation.
Our network of over 400 members are therefore represented by our intensified efforts in ensuring that there are optimal policies, processes and initiatives to encourage meaningful and accelerated growth and sustainability of our sector. On a larger scale, our community of manufacturers is of the strong belief that we represent the best interests of every citizen of our nation through the unique and high quality goods which we produce, the vast economic benefits which we stimulate through local and international commerce, the meaningful employment which we provide to over 55,000 Trinbagonians and the deep sense of pride and ownership which we instil in our people. We view manufacturing as a homegrown solution to our cyclical economic woes and we continue to advocate for the best ways to harness and quickly grow our economy through our industry.
This avenue to economic sustainability should provide a beacon of hope to our country’s citizens that we can produce great entrepreneurs, executives, thinkers, innovators and contributors who have the capacity to build our nation to become more progressive and less dependent on our traditional sources of income. Indeed, it is our hope that our nation’s people and in particular our young people, turn to innovation like many of the citizens of other developing nations so as to create products that are unique and marketable on the world’s stage. These dynamic individuals would be the future leaders and transformers of our society and economy.
The TTMA has coined the phrase ‘Proudly T&T’ because as an industry, we feel pride every day in producing for our country and its citizens. Each leader in our industry has at some time made the concerted effort to invest and build something in our country which would ultimately contribute and generate value for our people and our economy. ‘Proudly T&T’ represents hope and pride for all citizens - young and old which proves that positivity and excellence is produced right here within our shores and this is something which we must all celebrate. The TTMA recognises our challenging economic circumstances but we equally recognise the opportunities which accompany difficult times. We know that despite our hurdles, we are invested in the survival and growth of our economy for the long haul.
It is therefore my hope as President of the TTMA, that ‘Proudly T&T’ speaks to each one of us as citizens and that the pride it inspires, motivates and revitalises our next generation of great manufacturers.
Office of the Chief Secretary
Tobago House of Assembly, Administrative Complex
62-64 Calder Hall Road, Scarborough 900408
Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: (868) 639-2696
Fax: (868) 639-5374
Email: [email protected]
This is a crucial and significant time in Tobago’s existence. Now more than ever, the island is poised to undergo a transformation that will impact generations to come, once the right opportunities are seized. Notwithstanding the challenges of the last twelve months with a collapsed sea bridge, Tobago continues to showcase resiliency and promise.
The current administration of the Tobago House of Assembly believes that, ‘it’s together we will build Tobago’; the signal has been sent throughout the island that the THA cannot do it alone, neither the politicians. A clarion call has been sent out for us to adopt an, ‘all hands on deck’ approach to develop and take Tobago further.
As an Assembly we have been making significant strides even in the face of Trinidad and Tobago’s economic challenges. The THA has managed to transform the previously burdened and inefficient Studley Park Quarry into a Special Purpose Company that generates a profit by supplying raw material to local and national projects. Additionally, the South Western Waste Water Treatment Plant is in progress after successful negotiations were reached regarding land use, among the Mt. Pleasant Credit Union, the Tobago House of Assembly and the Water and Sewage Authority.
We continue to strive to develop Tobago using a community based and community focused approach, as we believe empowering communities will fashion an island that is holistically equipped and developed for the 21st century and beyond. The Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour has also been utilized as the gateway for transforming and reshaping the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP), as well as the Community Based Environmental, Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP). Business training is currently being provided for URP workers through a partnership between Community Development and Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment. This training is geared towards ensuring URP workers are given the tools to become self-sufficient and more marketable. Additionally, URP is also playing a critical role in the Cocoa Rehabilitation Project aimed at harvesting thousands of square miles of cocoa for local use and export.
The THA continues to explore avenues to sharpen and improve our tourism product . The newly established Tobago Tourism Agency has been entrusted with the responsibility to market destination Tobago and plans are in train. The Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation recently hosted a Tobago roadshow in Gulf City, La Romaine and C3 Granno Area, San Fernando, sending a signal that Tobago is open for business.
As Tobago entrepreneurs prepare for the Trade and Investment Convention in Macoya, Trinidad, seeking new local and international markets for their products, the Tobago House of Assembly continues to work towards ensuring a vibrant and growing private sector on the island. Discussions on autonomy for Tobago will continue as the Bill has been laid in Parliament and is now before a Joint Select Committee. Autonomy for Tobago will give Tobago greater control over its own affairs while ensuring a more equitable relationship with Trinidad. Tobago is not only poised for success, it is ready for take off.
The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce is pleased to be part of Who’s Who in Trinidad & Tobago Business. We would like to express our admiration and respect for the publishers on the consistent standard of excellence of this magazine, which has positioned Who’s Who as a valued publication for investors and businesspeople overall.
As the recognised “Voice of Business”, the T&T Chamber offers an extensive portfolio of services to assist members through advocacy, lobbying, networking opportunities, trade facilitation and missions, conference/meeting facilities, and dispute resolution services. We have enhanced these with a cache of new services to better serve our members and facilitate the development of businesses. This includes the Business Insights series, providing ‘training for business by business’ through live events, live streamed feed and recorded on-line platforms.
We introduced a Membership Value-Added programme which provides cost-saving benefits to members on selected services including local and international savings. The T&T Chamber has also created a special category of membership open to local participants of business incubator programmes. This is one way we offer support to entrepreneurs and start-ups as they develop into viable commercial enterprises. Our flagship Contact magazine has been re-branded and continues to be delivered to a wide number of readers and all are complimentary. The publication is also available as an e-magazine on our website.
Our organisation continues to be national in scope, with over 580 corporate members spanning the services, import, export, distribution and manufacturing sectors as well as start-up operators, while Tobago’s business community is served through our Tobago Division. The T&T Chamber serves on over 30 national and non-governmental committees where we represent the views of Business to national stakeholders. Our internal committees are comprised of members who volunteer their time and expertise to input on a range of issues – from trade and investment, leadership, finance, small business development, to technology and responsible business.
Visit our website for more information on the T&T Chamber, or find us on: facebook, twitter and LinkedIn.
The Tobago Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce extends warmest greetings to the publishers of Who’s Who in Trinidad & Tobago Business, upon publication of another informative issue.
The T&T Chamber remains the only business representative organisation with an office specifically dedicated to serving the needs of the Tobago business community. Originally established as the Tobago Chamber of Commerce, it merged with the Trinidad Chamber 37 years later, becoming a national organisation.
As the newly elected Chairman leading a new Management Team, I thank the past Chairman and his team for their committed work. Over the years many teams have contributed to the respect in which the Division is now held. As we go forward, the Division will continue to be the voice of business for operators on the island in critical areas of business and tourism development. We will do this through the work of our seven committees and through our presence on committees of the Tobago House of Assembly. We also enjoy close engagements with other representative groups in Tobago and seek out synergistic relationships central government and national stakeholders. In doing so, we provide a critical link between the private and public sectors and civil society to further the interests of Tobagonians.
The Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) is elated to be a part of Who’s Who in Trinidad & Tobago Business, once more; and would like to commend the publishers on their exceptional efforts in creating an outstanding business to business directory.
The CCIC’s mission has always been to preside as advocate for the membership and community on numerous governmental and non-governmental platforms; and most importantly to assist our members in developing their businesses and entrepreneurial initiatives.
Economic challenges and a growing membership, has propelled the Chamber to broaden the scope of knowledge, recognizing the need to diversify the economy. For this reason, the Chamber has partnered with a number of organizations to put forth exhibitions and seminars showcasing opportunities which members of the business community can utilize to improve operations in such turbulent times.
There is potential for the growth of the manufacturing and agriculture industry, which can open doors for business owners to access both the import and export markets. Hence, we encourage innovative and new approaches to business which discerns niche markets.
The Chamber acknowledges these achievements and chooses to incentivize such business developments annually, by presenting small, medium and large enterprises with well deserving awards for their excellence. We genuinely believe that these initiatives will have a ripple effect throughout the country and enable national development. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but with the unwavering dedication of our membership and other participants we strive for a better tomorrow.
The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago is a vital player in the continued development of this country and the wider Caribbean region, and is committed to positioning Trinidad and Tobago as the energy services hub of the region. We continue to work towards achieving this by focusing our efforts in six key advocacy areas: fiscal reform, gas value chain re-alignment, promoting local content, increasing energy efficiency, reforming industrial relations and exporting energy services.
The Energy Chamber is focused on meeting our members needs while ensuring the sector’s sustainable development. In this regard, our strategic mandates are both inward and outward looking. Our two key strategic imperatives are to ensure that Trinidad & Tobago is an attractive investment destination and that we also diversify our economy by exporting energy services. Supporting local content is a vital element of our mandate, as we build companies which compete at home and abroad and we maximise the retention of value within the domestic economy. Reforming our industrial relations environment is vital to drive the competitiveness of our companies and our economy actively and we are vigorously pursuing this objective with our other private-sector association partners.
T&T’s place in the new energy order will depend on both how well we promote our country as a preferred energy investment destination and export our energy sector expertise globally.
As the representative body of our century-old energy sector, the Energy Chamber works to ensure that the sector remains sustainable and redounds to the benefit of all its stakeholders.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) is pleased to be a part of the latest edition of the Who’s Who in Trinidad & Tobago Business. Established in 2006, the TTCSI continues to champion the services sector and remains the vanguard of the services industry in Trinidad and Tobago, comprising of thirty-five umbrella member associations spanning over five hundred thousand individuals, it represents the robustness and dynamism of the services sector.
In an effort to strengthen the interactions with the national economy, the TTCSI has placed its associations into seven clusters of related industries. The clusters reflect the existing services industries in Trinidad and Tobago, and are:
Over the last year, the TTCSI has collaborated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to further develop the services sector into becoming globally competitive. Among our initiatives is the development of a financial/lending mechanism that will enable service providers to access lines of credit and financial support.
We have also completed the first phase of the nation’s first Services Exporters’ Registry, which highlighted the top services sectors with the greatest export potential for Trinidad and Tobago. The second phase of the Registry Project should be completed at the end of 2018.
We continue to be further assist the sector through lobbying and providing an enabling environment for services, and the TTCSI played a crucial role in lobbying for the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on foreign yacht services and regulatory reform in the areas of digital trade for the facilitation of e-payments for businesses. As a coalition, the TTCSI continues to be the voice for the services sector, and as we continue to support Trinidad and Tobago’s diversification thrust, we believe that the services sector should lead the way into making this a reality.
The Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) is honoured to be part of Who’s Who in Trinidad & Tobago Business. As the largest private sector tourism body in Trinidad, the THRTA has played a leadership role in the tourism industry in Trinidad and Tobago for the past 50 years. The Association’s membership comprises hotels/guesthouses, restaurants, transport and tour operators and several companies that provide goods and services to the industry.
THRTA provides benefits and services to its members through the creation of a business environment conducive to tourism sector development by influencing government policies, programmes and legislation, which in turn stimulates investment, profitability and competitive rates of return to our member companies.
In the upcoming period, the THRTA will be focusing on executing its mandate, supported by strategic pillars, including Advocacy and Industry Representation; Strategic Networking and Alliances; Revenue Generation and Financial Sustainability; Human Capital Development; and Research and Data Acquisition. The THRTA will also be working closely with its training arm, the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) to ensure that the human capital needs of the industry are adequately served.
We continue to work towards creating an enabling environment for tourism in Trinidad, encouraging investment in the sector, creating additional demand, strengthening the visitor experience and fostering the coordination of the efforts amongst all stakeholders. We seek to bring about more awareness and recognition that tourism has the potential to be a major driver of the diversification plans for the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.
Since becoming independent in 1962, Trinidad and Tobago has experienced a number of economic, social and cultural shifts. With the fourth industrial revolution upon us, the tide is again shifting as the rate of technological innovation and adoption is increasing exponentially. Countries that choose to stand still will inevitably run the risk of falling behind, as no country will be able to survive in a digital age with an analog mind-set.
At the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T), we recognise the impact of the digital revolution and believe it brings enormous possibilities for growth and diversification of our local economy. To this end, AMCHAM T&T formed the Digital Transformation Committee in January 2018, with a mandate to “drive digital transformation in T&T”.
We believe that with a transformed system of public administration, and enhanced delivery of services, we can create innovative processes, integrated systems and inprove data collection. We can then leverage said data to ensure optimum use of our resources and efficient delivery of government services to create a more agile economy. This transformation also enables businesses, investors and citizens to be more productive.
As The Pathway To The Americas, AMCHAM T&T leads the way in proactive advocacy aimed at creating a business environment that fosters fairness, growth, and accountability. We continue to create opportunities for engagement between our members and all stakeholders in the U.S. and Latin America. We remain a vibrant member of the Association of American Chambers of Commerce of Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA), and continue to form linkages with business and government leaders involved with our 23 sister AMCHAMs across the Western Hemisphere as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
AMCHAM T&T remains committed to collaborating with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to establish trade and investment opportunities that will lead to a more robust economy and consequently the creation of wealth that can be shared and enjoyed by all citizens.
It is an honour to extend warm greetings to you and to again be part of this essential reference for useful business information.
Having now been in existence for 60 years, the Employers Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECA) is acutely aware that the ability to continuously create value, even in recessionary times, is a fundamental aim and aspiration of any business. Managing human capital risk is a vital aspect of realising this goal and this is the strategic value contribution of the ECA to employers and by extension, the national community. As an organisation itself, the ECA not only possesses a clear understanding of potential employee issues that are likely to arise from a poorly managed workforce, but is also actively assisting employers in identifying, developing and implementing strategies to mitigate these human capital risks.
This is our raison d’etre as we continue to leverage our regional and international affiliations with the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC), International Organisation and Employers (IOE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to offer informed, innovative and transformational leadership and quality services to employers for the realisation of sound policies and systems, talent optimisation, reduced costs and ultimately, operational excellence.
At the national level, it is generally accepted that private sector businesses are the indispensable engine of job creation and economic growth. In this regard, the ECA is persuaded that a vibrant private sector is a crucial element for achieving national progress characterised by sound industrial relations practices, enhanced productivity, social development and sustained economic growth.
The ECA’s membership covers a diverse range of enterprises and remains open for all employers, notwithstanding size or industry, to join. As a responsible social partner, the ECA remains committed to promoting, protecting and practising the process of tripartite social dialogue toward progressive advancements in the world of work and for the sustained development of Trinidad & Tobago now and for the benefit of generations to come.