A US$20 million loan from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) will help develop T&T as an ICT hub in the region, said Dr Bhoe Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Development."We have signed an agreement with the IDB for loan support to develop a global services platform in T&T. The idea is that T&T will be a hub in the world for global provision for information technology-enabled services (ITeS), which will mean increased investments, increased exports and employment in the sector," he said.
Tewarie was speaking yesterday at a media conference at the Ministry of Planning, Eric Williams Financial Complex, Port-of-Spain.He said the IDB facilitated a meeting between the Ministry of Planning and ZonaAmerica, the largest and most successful export services hub in Uruguay and in Latin America.Before the media briefing, they held a meeting at the Ministry of Planning and there are plans to meet with the local private sector and look at areas in the country where it can be set up.
Tewarie said this hub has the capacity to provide "thousands of jobs.""The direct beneficiaries of such a thrust are students and graduates, the unemployed and the underemployed who will receive training in the services internationalisation hub that will be set up," he said.Some of the areas ZonaAmerica and the Ministry of Planning will explore for this hub include legal process outsourcing, financial and accounting outsourcing, informational technology outsourcing and contract centre outsourcing.
Tewarie said T&T had the basic infrastructure to support such a high-end technology hub."We are well prepared with human capital and the flow of university graduates is steady. We are ranked 71 out of 148 countries in the Networked Readiness Index 2014 and of the World Economic Forum, we are ranked 37 out of 138 countries for the quality of our education," he said.
"Our main problem was always how we diversify away from energy which is so strong in our economy. So we want industries for our population that provide good, quality jobs and better paying jobs."