T&T’s Economic Future

October 31st, 2023

Ministry of Trade and Industry

Senator The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon – Minister, Ministry of Trade and Industry Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Senator The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon – Minister, Ministry of Trade and Industry Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

The Trinidad and Tobago economy continues to show remarkable resilience as a result of deliberate and decisive action by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is working closely with the business community to shape the future of our businesses and develop our non-energy sector. The MTI remains steadfast in its implementation of initiatives geared towards increasing non-energy exports in goods and services, while also looking at new and innovative ways to improve business facilitation and investment. These initiatives are guided by the National Development Strategy (2016-2030) – Vision 2030 and the Roadmap for Trinidad and Tobago: Transforming to a New Economy and Society. The business community continues to be an important and valuable stakeholder in achieving our objective to create an enabling environment that facilitates trade, business and investment.

The performance of non-energy exports is noteworthy and encouraging. In particular, there was a 12% increase in non-energy exports from TT$15.5 billion in 2021 to TT$17.5 billion in 2022. There remains much room for further growth.

To further support our expansion in international markets, a Trade and Investment Promotion Agency will be established in 2023. This agency will transform and increase the competitiveness of the trade and business environment of Trinidad and Tobago by modernising our export and investment promotion outreach. In addition, Commercial Offices have been established in Panama, the USA and the UK and two Commercial Attachés in Guyana and Jamaica have been appointed to promote the expansion of exports in the Caribbean, North and Latin American and European markets. 

The Government continues to create a modern, efficient,  digital and sustainable ecosystem to allow businesses to thrive.

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Regime has also been developed and will be finalised this year (2023), aimed at enhancing the appeal of Trinidad and Tobago’s economic zone regime, encouraging investment and increasing private sector involvement in the economy. It will include a comprehensive investment framework and an SEZ Authority to effectively regulate the regime. 

The Government envisions a future that embraces digital technology and is committed to improving the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. Accordingly in keeping with this vision, a Trinidad and Tobago Trade and Investment Portal was launched in
May 2023. The Portal provides access to multiple tools and resources to enable companies to identify export and import opportunities, compare market access requirements, monitor national trade performance and make well-informed decisions. Further in July 2023, the MTI launched the enhancement of its existing e-services on the TTBizLink Platform. Included were online payment features and more efficient, streamlined processes for over 40 different trade and business-related services in collaboration with 23 government ministries and agencies. Moreover, later this year, we expect to launch 14 new e-services on the platform and begin the development of a new Port Community System to strengthen the interoperability of the major IT systems at the Ports, Customs and the other border agencies.

As we look to the future, an exciting and transformative initiative is the development and implementation of a Green Manufacturing Programme. This will support the reduction of Trinidad and Tobago’s carbon footprint, encourage production of green products and enable manufacturers to adopt and integrate green processes into their daily operations. 

The Government continues to create a modern, efficient, digital and environmentally sustainable ecosystem to allow businesses to thrive and make investment more attractive. We continue to value the input of our stakeholders and strongly support the growth and development of the private sector, which is beneficial to all and essential to the long-term economic development and prosperity of Trinidad and Tobago.