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Sunday 21 January 2018
Local

Trade Ministry: Upward trend in private-sector investments

Paula Gopee-Scoon

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon says a recent “upward trend” in investments by the private sector is a clear indication that investor confidence is being restored in the economy.

She attributed this to the successful implementation of government policy by the technocrats at the ministry and other state agencies.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Gopee-Scoon cited the opening of four new facilities the fourth quarter of 2017 – the commissioning of Unicomer Limited’s Freeport Campus, Baron Foods’s manufacturing facility in Chaguanas, Excellence Stores’ new retail outlet in Arima and the extension of the Point Lisas Business Park.

Among the “major improvements” being targeted is automating the process of getting a construction permit, which the ministry said would come into effect next year. Other major improvements include the full implementation of an electronic system for business registration, work permit applications and visa exemptions by next December.

Also on the agenda are reducing the clearance and approval times for goods supported by the Customs and Excise Division by March 2019, and expediting Town and Country approvals, water and sewerage and electricity connections starting in 2018.

“A robust package of administrative and legislative reforms, aimed at improving the ease of doing business in TT is also being pursued. These arrangements are complemented by the work of an inter-ministerial committee established to approve and facilitate non-energy sector investments,” the ministry said. To date, the committee has facilitated 12 investment projects valued at approximately US$140 million.

The ministry noted these investments could potentially provide as many as 1,600 jobs, both temporary and permanent, across sectors such as information and communication technology services, business process outsourcing, food and beverage, manufacturing and distribution.

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