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Breaking the bureacracy
Trade Minister Vasant Bharath intends to streamline agencies at the Ministry of Trade to make their operations more efficient. He said: “About three weeks ago I made a statement that T&T in three years time will be among the top destinations in the world in terms of the ease of doing business. We currently stand at number 68 in the world. Six weeks ago on joining the Ministry, we had three ministries and 13 agencies responsible for the marketing and promotion of T&T.
All this can be confusing while dissipating the limited resources the Government has at its disposal. Cabinet has been talking about one agency promoting and marketing T&T and to be the focal point for receiving all investment, which is Invest TT, although this requires some reshaping and restructuring. This also applies to Business Development Company (BDC) that we are streamlining.”
Bharath was speaking on Thursday at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s. He also spoke about other “impediments” that have created a lack of confidence for foreign investors in the T&T economy. “It takes 43 days to establish a business in T&T. I have already met with the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and the National Insurance Board (NIB) and I have got commitments that by making a few changes that within a month or so we should be able to reduce that 43 days to one day. So by automating a number of processes and by eliminating a number of duplications we can reduce registering a business from 43 days to one day in T&T,” he said.
He added that the Cabinet has approved $39 million to complete the installation of the Single Electronic Windows (SEW). “The ASYCUDA system was introduced for Customs and Excise that has been an ongoing process and going through changes. We also have a system for the SEW which was implemented in 2009. We implemented six out of ten modules so far in the SEW. Cabinet approved $39 million to complete the installation of the SEW over a four year period. This allows us to be more competitive,” he said.
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