Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry delivered the Featured Address at the 18th annual Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Appropriately themed, “From T&T to the world”, TIC 2017 creates an enabling environment whereby local manufactures can harness trade linkages across the globe. Minister Gopee-Scoon said that the TIC provides an excellent opportunity for companies and entrepreneurs to assess feedback from clients, determine market potential, conduct research and also evaluate competition.
“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to restore growth and facilitate the diversification of the economy of our twin-island state. Our well-developed manufacturing sector has been cited as an area of strength, and, if properly harnessed and incentivized, will enable us to achieve our development objectives.”
The Minister highlighted the importance of trading across borders to achieve the country’s sustainable goals and stated that the Government is developing several initiatives to increase market access for domestic goods and services under bilateral and regional trade agreements.
“A tremendous amount of activity is taking place behind the scenes to open markets and create opportunities for our non-energy exporters in particular, and I firmly encourage our domestic private sector to make full use of these opportunities in the development and execution of your business plans.”
The importance of the 4th industrial revolution featured prominently with the private sector urged to be aware of technological changes, be innovative and to incorporate cutting-edge technology in their manufacturing processes.
The Minister also stated that work was ongoing with CARICOM partners to develop a Regional Policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). It was noted that a healthy and vibrant region is good for business, and important if Trinidad and Tobago firms are to gain a secure foundation from which they can then expand to the rest of the world.
Addressing the audience also were Mr. Christopher Alcazar, President TTMA; and TIC 2017 sponsors: Ambassador Brian Lara representing Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT); Ms. Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Office, First Citizens Bank; and Mr. Rakesh Goswami¸ Executive Vice President of Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT).
The Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Trade and Industry