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IDB, Cariri join forces in ICT project
A project aimed at improving the overall business performance of SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) was initiated on January 18, with the signing of an agreement between the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The local food and beverage, and printing and packaging industries are the sectors which have been selected as the primary beneficiaries of this initiative, the end-result being enhanced productivity, competitiveness and innovation among SMEs, through increased use and leverage of information and communication technology (ICT) solutions.
A press release from Cariri said the project had at its core objective the use of ICT in a user-friendly mode. In a simple ceremony, held at Cariri’s St Augustine Campus headquarters, the agreement was signed by Iwan Sewberath Misser, IDB representative in T&T and Hayden G M Ferreira, chairman of Cariri. Also in attendance were Cariri CEO, Liaquat Ali Shah, the IDB’s Vashtie Dookiesingh and senior staff of Cariri.
The IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund would provide 70 per cent funding for the project, which has an overall value of US$1.1 million. As the executing agency for this three-year project, Cariri stands to also benefit, by means of institutional capability-building in the area of ICT. It is proposed to officially launch the project this month. The statement said both the IDB and Cariri understood the critical role of SMEs to economic and social development. Outside of the energy sector, they constitute the mainstay of economic activity in T&T. The expansion of business activity, based on development and strengthening of SMEs, is one of the key pillars in Government’s strategy for economic transformation.
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