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TTMA wants more use of local goods, services
The T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) president, Dominic Hadeed, has applauded OAS Constructora’s decision to purchase equipment from a local firm as a step in the right direction. The group added, however, that its perspective on local content goes deeper than the Brazilian firm, which is constructing the $7.5 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway extension, purchasing items from a local distributor.
“TTMA would like to see greater utilisation of indigenous inputs, both in terms of goods and services, in all domestic projects. Thus the association is calling for active consideration to be given to building in local content provisions into any contract awarded to foreign firms,” the group said in a statement yesterday.
The TTMA said engagement of local expertise and resources on such projects builds local capacity, conserves foreign exchange and stimulates job creation. “It is understood that the University of the West Indies and other tertiary institutions are designed to build the capacity of our engineers and manufacturers in support of the government’s stated intentions to link academia with industry and to sustainably diversify the economy through knowledge creation and innovation.
As such, it would be counterintuitive to not involve local service providers in these projects so that they can learn and develop their expertise, and as such, be better placed to export their services.
“Local manufacturers and businesses contribute to this country’s economy through corporate tax and other levies, and provide employment for thousands of citizens—employees who, in turn, pay income tax and engage in consumer spending—with positive ripple effects through the economy at all levels.”
The TTMA said it had worked for several years on a “Local Content and Policy Framework” which was first put forward for the Government’s consideration in 2007. It said a local content policy will ensure that domestic procurement practices are in compliance with international best practices, and guarantee market share to the local industry; providing opportunities for sustainable development of the people of T&T.
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