“People could categorise me how they want, I am not perfect, but I have never done anything violent in my life. You see this thing called my mouth?
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Booths almost sold out for TIC 2014
Most of the 220 booths for the 2014 Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) have already been sold, Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) said. “At this point in time 175 booths have gone, so we just have 40 to 45 booths left. All the 11 pavilions would have gone at this point time. We have the space for 45 more booths. “For those people who want to advertise in the show, we have an opportunity. We have limited space for banners to be hung.
“We have a live television system so everything that happens will be beamed live throughout the show,” he told the T&T Guardian. TIC 2014 takes place from July 2 to 5, at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. The event is returning to that venue for the first time since 2009 because it is more accessible and booths have almost doubled, Ramdeen said.
“Previously it was at the Hyatt in Port-of-Spain but this year we decided it would be best to take the show back to the Centre of Excellence. We polled our manufacturers and we were told the logistics at the Hyatt Hotel was difficult,” he said. Ramdeen said the TTMA wants to take things to a different level this year. “We are trying to trying to plateau off and trying to create new opportunities to take it to another level. The world has gone in particular direction of globalisation and free trade.
“It is for this reason we are different from trade shows in the region. We want to see the competition and what they have. We want to see what the international exhibitors have to offer,” he said. He said products from manufacturers in T&T are as competitive as anywhere in the world.
“We can go out there and beat the competition and embrace it. We have an open policy. We feel the Caribbean market has allowed us to go to where we are but we need to go beyond that. We are bringing international buyers from North America, Europe and other areas in the world,” he said. TTMA president Nicholas Lok Jack said TIC is just one way the association assists local manufacturers.
“We also do capacity building. We are taking trade missions overseas. It is just one of the many products that exposes our manufacturers to internationalisation. “That is really the view of this board. It is not about protectionism but internationalisation. How do we create opportunity? We have to look for niche markets,” he said.