AMCHAM T&T CEO Advocates for Using Technology to Turn Problems into Opportunities
July 20th, 2022 | Related To: AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (AMCHAM T&T)
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) has been advocating for greater investments in technology to accelerate growth and economic development in Trinidad and Tobago and to build the local tech ecosystem.
For the past five years, AMCHAM T&T has been working with multi-stakeholders across the public and private sectors and with the local tech innovators and disruptors to create a tech sector that will increase the country’s economic diversification strategy. The goal of this is to develop a critical mass of local talent, connect established businesses with the young disruptors to increase collaboration on problem-solving facilitated by technology, and build a national tech ecosystem and marketplace that will allow local businesses to export tech services to international markets.
However, Nirad Tewarie, AMCHAM T&T CEO says the current system is creating major problems and overwhelming citizens and companies. “We are all nodes that make up that system. So how do we see ourselves?” Tewarie said on Day Two of AMCHAM T&T’s Tech Hub Islands Summit (THIS) at the Hyatt Regency on July 7th. “We often ask who should do something. Why not you? Why not me? Why should somebody else do it?”
Tewarie says the answer is to turn those problems into opportunities with the use of technology. “Why not talk about how tech is going to help us get better jobs and improve social justice and social mobility in Trinidad and Tobago, and the world. That should be our goal.”
The AMCHAM T&T CEO recommended using technology as an enabler and as an industry to create opportunities for the people who feel they have no opportunities in the traditional system and to also solve problems such as inequality and injustice around the world.
“If we define our problem and say we are going to be part of the solution as AMCHAM T&T is, then we can use some tools or create some new tools to solve our problems and to make our whole space better because that’s what it should be about,” Tewarie said.
Talking about building a tech sector, Tewarie said the focus is not on the money but should be on business efficiency and improving the quality of life for employees and citizens. “You need the resources to be able to move things along, but it’s how do we do this to achieve larger objectives that we have around how we want our society to develop, and the money will inevitably follow.”
Tewarie said the government should be seeking to increase collaboration and partnership with the private sector to achieve this. “If our government which has so much to do in their digital transformation journey sees itself as a developer of IP, where they invite the private sector and they put an open call to solve solutions and become co-owners of the IP that we can then resell on license, and that in itself, becomes a revenue stream.”
Ultimately, Tewarie believes that there’s no shortage of ideas and opportunities with the use of technology. “If we focus only on the problems, we will never create the Trinidad and Tobago that we want. We will never achieve the objectives that we want, and we will always be depressed and upset and angry because all we see is what we can’t do or what somebody else should do.”
For these reasons, Tewarie said we need to create a Trinidad and Tobago that every citizen deserves. “We argue that let’s do it in part through the development of a tech sector because ‘we can make it if we try, just a little harder’ in the words of the great poet, the Black Stalin.”
The Tech Hub Islands Summit (THIS) 2022 is now available on-demand for both registered and non-registered participants at techislands.net until July 27th, 2022. This year, THIS received corporate support from Title Sponsor: Republic Bank Limited; Platinum Sponsors: PwC, IDB, Digicel, Eximbank, SI Digital; Gold Sponsors: Guardian Group; NIO Digital; Proman; Silver Sponsor: Balroop Group, Session Sponsors: Visa and the TTIFC and Digital Media Partner: LoopTT and Transportation Partner: EuropCar.
For further questions or comments please contact: Nirad Tewarie, CEO of AMCHAM T&T at [email protected].