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T&T, India to expand economic partnerships
Prospects for expanding economic partnerships between T&T and India will be the focus of the 2013 India Business Seminar which takes place tomorrow at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) Building, Westmoorings, from 8 am. The half-day seminar, which has been held annually in March since 2009, is being organised jointly by the TTCIC, InvesTT and the High Commission of India in Port-of-Spain. This year the focus areas are agro-processing, IT/business processing outsourcing (BPO) and clean technology.
Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra said there will be deeper exploration of economic and other opportunities that have come to the fore since the visit to India in January 2012 by a T&T delegation led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. “Since then, many investors have come to T&T from India to look at prospects for medium-sized investments in education, waste management, renewable energy and agro processing,” said Mishra, who explained that the aim of tomorrow’s seminar will be to develop strong partnerships in the three focus areas. “We also want to gauge interest in T&T in doing business in India. Given the solid relationship between our two countries, there is no reason why entrepreneurs here should hold back from doing business in India. There is a very strong trade and economic framework to facilitate investment and provide the necessary protections.”
Mishra said India entreprenurs are going global and are looking to the Caribbean for investment opportunities, attracted by the relative ease of functioning in countries with similar political and legal systems. Since T&T is known to have a vibrant economy based in energy, this country is best position to lead other regional economies in attracting and facilitating such ventures. 5He added: “We want the private sectors to know each other.”
In the area of agro processing, Mishra explained, since the late 1980s India has been opening its doors to the outside world, encouraging economic reform and foreign investment. The country has a burgeoning urban middle class and developments in the agriculture sector are being boosted by the country’s strong information technology base. India is now integrating its traditional agriculture practices with modern technologies to develop large scale processed food manufacturing and food chain facilities to generate employment and export earnings.
In the other area of focus, India’s IT/BPO sector continues to enjoy rapid development and factors such as economy of scale, business risk mitigation and cost advantage, have all led to the growth of the industry. Business process outsourcing in India, which started around the mid-90s, has now grown by leaps and bounds and Mishra believes that T&T can benefit from the vast information infrastructure and expertise.
Making presentations at tomorrow’s seminar will be Trade Minister Vasant Bharath, Professor Pathmanathan Umaharan, head of the Cocoa Research Centre, Ronald Hinds, CEO of Teleios Systems and Mahesh Kumas, CEO of eNOVA, among others.
There will be opening remarks from TTCIC CEO Catherine Kumar and Mishra and the keynote address will be by Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran.
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