Trinidad and Tobago ‘making significant strides’ to digitise economy

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Trade and Industry Minister Paula Goope-Scoon
Trade and Industry Minister Paula Goope-Scoon

Trade Secretary Paula Gopee-Scoon said this country not only has “a strong push” to push renewable energy, but is also making “significant progress in diversifying and digitizing our economy”.

She spoke at the virtual launch of the 2022 Caribbean Investment Forum on Tuesday morning.

The event will be held November 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, themed Building a Smarter, Greener Caribbean.

It is a collaboration between the Department of Trade and Industry, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the EU, Caricom and the Caribbean Development Bank.

According to a press release, the event aims to “give investors from all parts of the world the opportunity to explore the range of bankable investment projects available throughout the Caribbean

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“(It) serves as a platform to attract investment and provide opportunities for delegates to network, forge partnerships, deepen relationships and collaborate on diverse projects.

Gopee-Scoon said while the region faces a “unique set of challenges,” there are “numerous opportunities to create new avenues for growth.”

The region’s location, accessibility, openness, stability, and linguistic and cultural diversity have attracted people from around the world, she said.

Additionally, she said, incorporating competitive tariffs and incentives and a well-educated population are “important for those seeking a solid return on any investment.”

“The Caribbean Investment Forum is our window on the world and we look forward to welcoming investors and business leaders looking to strengthen and diversify their products in the territories.

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Despite the “turbulent past and to some extent the present,” she said the world is recovering, adding that global FDI (foreign direct investment) flows remain bullish.

“There are signs of change: businesses and governments across the Caribbean are improving and digitizing their services and their processes – companies of all sizes have moved their businesses to the region.”

Regarding TT, a digital society is the government’s “top priority”.

Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency Deodat Maharaj said the forum is an “exciting initiative” and will be the largest gathering of companies since March 2019: “And as far as I can remember, the largest gathering of companies in the Caribbean for a very long time. “

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He said the Forum’s partners “provide an eloquent testimony of how we are steering innovation to create jobs and opportunities.

“At Caribbean Export, we are acutely aware that with the challenges we face as a region, ranging from high debt burdens to declining vulnerabilities, business and investment must play an absolutely critical role in driving change in our region to advance.”

He said the past two years have shown economies the importance of building resilience.

“Covid has taken a tremendous toll on our economies.

“Business and investment play a critical role in creating much-needed jobs and opportunities.”

He also spoke of “entering the digital world” through e-commerce, technology and digitization.

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