Trade Ministry urges Tobago business community to utilise government programmes

Speaking at the Tobago House of Assembly’s Tobago Economic and Business Outlook Conference 2019 themed “Advancing our Development Agenda Through Innovation, Investment and Industry” on Tuesday 12 November 2019, Mr. Norris Herbert, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry urged Tobago exporters and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the Government programmes which are aimed at growing businesses, building institutional capacity and export competitiveness.

Highlighting several Tobago focused initiatives being implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Herbert indicated that the Tobago Export Development Programme, which provides training and support to build the export competitiveness of Tobago based exporters had been adjusted based on changing needs and feedback. He said “At the Ministry we have listened to Tobago’s exporters and the importance of the Trinidad market to their growth strategies. As such we have adjusted our interventions to ensure that penetrating the Trinidad market is prioritized”.

Mr. Herbert underscored the importance of improving the performance of the services sector to the well-being of the country and particularly to the Tobago economy.  Some of the measures that will be undertaken to address Tobago’s issues include the review and introduction of incentives and financing schemes to support investment in the services sector; the establishment of a professional practice certification system; establishment of a mechanism for easier importation of inputs for the services sector; and the provision of additional support for the marketing of the island.

The Honourable Kelvin Charles, Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly, in his address noted the relevance of this year’s conference theme which he said “is timely for Tobago as it seeks to highlight and bring to the fore particular issues we need to address as we advance our social economic agenda and develop as a small island economy”. He called for business persons to become more innovative, continuously strive to reinvent themselves, find new ways of doing things and new things to do. He gave the assurance that the Assembly will continue to play an integral role in providing the right ecosystem to foster innovation and creativity on the island.

Assemblyman Joel Jack, Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary of Finance and the Economy, Tobago House of Assembly in welcoming participants encouraged Tobagonians to avail themselves of the various opportunities available from and through the Tobago House of Assemble, to stimulate entrepreneurial activity.

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