Last update: 05-Dec-2013 12:18 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Minister reports growth in manufacturing
Trade Minister Vasant Bharath underscored the critical role the T&T Manufacturers Association (TTMA) plays in the economy, noting that the manufacturing sector is the country’s second largest non petroleum sector. Speaking to more than 500 guests at TTMA’s President’s Dinner on Wednesday, he said: “In 2012, the manufacturing sector recorded a contraction of 0.4 per cent, however it is expected to rebound, with growth estimated at 6.1 per cent in 2013.
“Accordingly, the contribution to GDP of the manufacturing sector is projected to increase to 9.2 per cent in 2013, up from 8.8 per cent in 2012.” Bharath commended the TTMA on its efforts in driving the government’s diversification thrust through its active involvement and representation on several industry committees, including the Food and Beverage Industry Development Committee, the Fashion Industry Development Committee and the Printing and Packaging Industry Council.
The Trade Minister assured TTMA members that his ministry “will continue to work with the association to remove all hindrances to doing business in Trinidad and Tobago and overcome those obstacles that hinder the growth of our non-energy sector”.
“To date, Trinidad and Tobago exports more than 80 per cent of Caricom’s foreign trade and accounts for about 80 per cent of all intra-regional exports. To further increase this figure, arising from the proactive lobbying of the TTMA, Government has made provisions to improve the efficiency of the VAT refund system, Bharath said.
“As an initial step in simplifying the VAT refund process for the manufacturing sector, the Government has made provision in the 2014 Budget statement and $1 billion has been allocated for all outstanding VAT refunds, with a view to ensuring that all future VAT refunds are made within the stipulated legal timeframe. “The Government will remove the VAT on all imported items of raw materials that goes into the manufacturing process.”
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