Stuart Franco Elected For Second Term As President of AMCHAM T&T

June 12th, 2024    |   Related To: AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (AMCHAM T&T)


AMCHAM T&T Board of Directors 2024
Tricia De La Rosa-Camacho – Vice President AML/ATF & Compliance | English Caribbean (Scotiabank), Frances Bain-Cumberbatch – Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer (Ansa McAl Group), Griselle Smith – Caribbean HR Leader – Human Resources (IBM), Glenn Hamel-Smith – Partner & Head – Banking & Finance (M. Hamel-Smith & Co., Stuart Franco – Chief Executive Officer (The TSL Group) – PRESIDENT, Nirad Tewarie – CEO (AMCHAM T&T) – Ex-Officio Board Member, Michelle Belgrave – Customs and Trade Compliance Director (DHL Express Caribbean), Kieron Bailey, Sr. Vice President: Country Compliance, Officer – Trinidad / LATAM Compliance Monitoring & MCA Lead (Citi) – SECRETARY, Florence Mulchansingh – Corporate Attorney/Company Secretary (Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited).
Stuart Franco, President, AMCHAM
Stuart Franco, President, American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T)
AMCHAM T&T Logo

The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) has re-elected Stuart Franco, CEO of The TSL Group to another term as President of the Chamber at its 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 7th, 2024, at the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center.

In his Opening Remarks to AMCHAM T&T’s 300+ members, Franco said he wanted to speak frankly about the reality of the country’s current situation while laying the groundwork for leaders to find “Opportunities In Adversity” which was the theme of AMCHAM T&T’s 31st AGM & Business Forum.
“I strongly believe that the private sector will always have a role to play in leading our country to harmony and prosperity,” Franco said. “That role is not one we can play alone. AMCHAM T&T has said many times before, we – the business community – can only play that role effectively through collaboration.”

Franco says the business community is willing to assist in fighting crime which has been out of control for some time now. “When murders are being committed in twos, threes, fours, in hospitals, in housing developments, and on our roadways, crime is out of control. At the risk of being obvious, that is a huge problem.”

“I want to repeat, and I suspect I speak for most if not all of you when I say – again – that the business community is willing to assist. We want to assist. All we have to do is, be engaged and told what the broad plan is and how our help will fit into this plan.”

He also called on leaders to put aside their differences since fighting crime is the responsibility of the Government. “If crime can be solved by the State alone, then great. To date, we have not seen evidence that this is possible,” Franco said. “It is time that we put aside our differences and work together with a common goal of putting our beautiful Nation first.”

While AMCHAM T&T has long advocated for widening the tax net and supports the establishment of the T&T Revenue Authority, Franco says the TTRA is not strictly necessary to achieve this objective. “I said the points are tied. AMCHAM T&T has always advocated for the aggressive detection and prosecution of white-collar crime.”

“All citizens and businesses should pay their fair share of taxes as determined by the law,” Franco said. “On the flip side, the State has an obligation to ensure that credits and refunds are properly assessed and repaid in a timely fashion as prescribed by the law.”

Franco says anyone who does not pay taxes and refuses to settle their obligations with BIR should be prosecuted, however, there should be adequate processes and opportunities for these to be settled. “Of critical importance, however, is the integrity of the tax collection entity. Therefore, every taxpayer’s information must, by law, be kept confidential. To do otherwise is to undermine trust in the system.”

Addressing the theme of finding “Opportunities In Adversity”, Franco says technology can help with both revenue collection and trade facilitation to improve the issues at Customs. “We know it can also assist with strengthening border security. We still, therefore, call for full implementation of the systems that would allow for paperless clearance of goods, an effective risk management system with traceability, a trusted trader programme, and the introduction of legislation to allow for de minimis values to be determined and implemented.”

Also, the AMCHAM T&T President said his organization will be doubling down on both technology as a service or tool and as an industry for future growth which remains one of the country’s biggest, yet largely untapped, opportunities. “It’s going to take some time, but the private and public sectors both have to continue to innovate and lead with digital transformation in every aspect of their operations.”

To this point, AMCHAM T&T will be hosting the 6th Edition of the Tech Hub Islands Summit (THIS) Conference with the theme Breakthrough on July 1st – July 2nd at the Hyatt Regency. “This theme underscores the importance of breaking through limitations, embracing bold ideas, forging new paths to shape the future of technology, redefining what’s possible, and leading the charge toward a future where technology knows no bounds,” Franco said. “I hope you join us for that and continue investing in your company’s digital future.”

In closing, the AMCHAM T&T President said his organization remains committed to these priorities and many more. “We will continue to advocate for policies that benefit our members, promote trade and investment, enhance security, and support sustainable business practices. Together, we will build on our achievements and strive for even greater success in the coming year.”

2024-2026 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AMCHAM T&T elected the following Board of Directors for the term 2024 – 2026 at the 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM):

PRESIDENT – Stuart Franco – Chief Executive Officer (The TSL Group)

VICE PRESIDENT – Anna Henderson, Chief Executive Officer (AMARANTH Business Solutions)

VICE PRESIDENT – Giselle Thompson-Pinard, VP, Corporate Operations (bpTT)

SECRETARY – Kieron Bailey, Sr. Vice President: Country Compliance Officer – Trinidad / LATAM Compliance Monitoring & MCA Lead (Citi)

TREASURER – James McLetchie, EVP & Group – CFO (MASSY)

  • Greer Quan – Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean (Pan-American Life Insurance Group)
  • Stéphane Picarle – General Manager Commercial (Shell Trinidad & Tobago Limited)
  • Michelle Belgrave – Customs and Trade Compliance Director (DHL Express Caribbean)
  • Glenn Hamel-Smith – Partner & Head – Banking & Finance (M. Hamel-Smith & Co.)
  • Florence Mulchansingh – Corporate Attorney/Company Secretary (Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited)
  • Tricia De La Rosa-Camacho – Vice President AML/ATF & Compliance | English Caribbean (Scotiabank)
  • Frances Bain-Cumberbatch – Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer (Ansa McAl Group)
  • Abraham Smith – Chief Executive Officer (Digicel (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited)
  • Griselle Smith – Caribbean HR Leader – Human Resources (IBM)
  • Krishen Ramdeen – Managing Director of Corporate and Shared Services (Proman)

Ex-Officio Positions

  • Chargé d’Affaires, Her Excellency Ms Candace A. Bond – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (U.S. Embassy Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Nirad Tewarie – CEO AMCHAM T&T

AMCHAM T&T’s 31st Annual General Meeting was sponsored by Gold Sponsors – Ansa McAl Group; and Silver Sponsors – Eximbanktt; Atlantic LNG; Genesis Insurance Brokers & Benefits Consultants Ltd; Ark Outsourcing; and EOG Resources.

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