Transforming to a New Economy and a New Society

November 2nd, 2022

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

Despite the challenges of the past two and a half years, the resilience demonstrated by the people and businesses of Trinidad and Tobago is particularly commendable and deserving of much praise. Guided by the National Development Strategy (2016-2030) — Vision 2030 and the Roadmap for Trinidad and Tobago: Transforming to a New Economy and a New Society, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is focused on transforming and repositioning the economy by creating an ecosystem that expands the production of our goods and services, increases productivity, boosts competitiveness, leverages greater use of technology and stimulates innovation across all sectors.

To achieve these objectives, the Government is implementing a number of initiatives in the non-energy sector, in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors and more particularly, the wood and woodworking and agro-processing sub-sectors. The Government acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between labour and productivity, and continues to equip the labour force with the relevant skills sets needed to reshape and recalibrate the economy.

Accordingly, an apprenticeship programme for the non-energy manufacturing sector was launched in June 2022. This programme will train and upskill over 300 persons, enabling them to thrive in a world-class and competitive manufacturing environment. A similar apprenticeship programme for the wood and wood products sub-sector has also been developed and will be launched by October 2022 to provide 50 persons with the requisite technical and practical skills to enter the industry. Additionally, another 600 persons will benefit from training in agriculture and agro-processing under the Youth Agricultural Homestead Programme, and other training opportunities enabling them to sustainably contribute to the sector through entrepreneurship.

It is advocated that increased exports, particularly in the non-energy sector, will considerably boost the economic health of our country. In light of this, the MTI through the Export Facilitation Organization of Trinidad and Tobago (exporTT) is determined to expand the country’s range of exports to existing and new targeted export markets, with the objective of doubling non-energy manufacturing exports by 2024. To this end, the Export Booster Initiative (EBI) was launched in 2021 to assist businesses to increase production, create new and innovative products and expand market access, thereby generating greater revenue and pursuing import substitution.

The use of technology in business cannot be overemphasised. In fact, the pandemic has reaffirmed the critical importance of technology in the way we live, work and do business. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is therefore enthused by the encouraging response to the recently launched Trade and Business Information Portal in May 2022. This platform, which is integrated under the Single Electronic Window-TTBizLink, provides invaluable trade and business information to entrepreneurs and investors enabling them to make more data-driven business decisions. Since its launch at the end of July, close to 100,000 businesses and investors have visited the portal from over 90 countries.

The Government is also committed to creating an enabling environment for attracting business and investment. Accordingly, two fundamental developments—a new Special Economic Zones (SEZ) regime and a new proposed Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, are being spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Both entities are expected to be operational in early fiscal 2023 and will be focused on showcasing our country’s business landscape and marketing our non-energy sectors, while enhancing our competitiveness with the rest of the world in our offer of incentives.
Already there is a rebound in the country’s economic position to pre-pandemic levels on account of the implementation of several strategic initiatives by the Government and the strategic actions of our dynamic private sector to recalibrate Trinidad and Tobago. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering strong public-private partnerships that seek to encourage inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. In this regard, the support of the private sector will continue to serve as a catalyst in repositioning and reasserting Trinidad and Tobago as a regional leader in business, trade and investment.

Ministry of Trade and Industry
Level 17, Nicholas Towers
63-65 Independence Square
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Tel: (868) 623-2931-4
Fax: (868) 623-7588
Email: [email protected]