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Trade Minister challenges private sector to transform

Published: 
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, assisted by event sponsors and TTMA representatives, cuts the ribbon to open TIC 2018.

Local businesses were urged by Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon to recalibrate and maximise their contribution to economic diversification.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association’s Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Gopee-Scoon highlighted the fact that further development must actively include greater and more meaningful contributions by the private sector.

“For far too long we have given lip service to diversification and resolutely identified the Government as solely responsible for the success of expanding and creating new opportunities in the non-energy sector. I wish to change this focus and put questions to the business stakeholders, as we formulate solutions to support further economic diversification,” she said.

The minister encouraged the private sector to further promote efficiency, productivity and innovation, and also create a space for free and open collaboration and cooperation with Government towards mutually beneficial objectives.

In response, first Vice President of the TTMA Franka Costelloe maintained that the state has continuously recommended the manufacturing sector champion diversification.

“The TTMA has committed to developing a working strategy for the non-energy manufacturing sector by the end of the year which is private sector driven [sic] with support of the government.

We see that we have a responsibility to our community in many ways—providing employment, earning foreign exchange, providing high quality and affordable goods to our community and building our nation’s pride in who we are and what we produce,” she said.

Costelloe added that “TIC is an excellent example of how public and private sector partnership can work to generate business activity, employment and export.”

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