COMMUNICATIONS Minister Stuart Young and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon yesterday said the 2018 Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) shows there is tremendous potential in the non-energy sector which can be developed for the country’s benefit.
Young and Gopee-Scoon expressed their views during separate tours of the TIC at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya.
Young, who was attending the TIC for the first time, said, “I am extremely impressed.” He was pleased to learn there were 270 booths at the TIC, allowing local and regional businesses an opportunity to showcase their products to potential clients. “These are the positive things.” Young was happy to see Cuba and Curacao were among the regional countries with a presence at TIC.
He hoped that a lot more Central and South American companies could be encouraged to participate in the TIC.
Young also noted TIC’s importance as a foreign exchange earner. “I hope it generates a lot more growth in our trade industry.”
Young observed that over the years, diversification has, “become a cliche kicked around word.”
The TIC, he explained, shows that diversification is not something which happens overnight.
Young, who has been leading Government’s negotiations to secure a gas sales agreement with Venezuela for its Dragon Field, said he was happy to be seeing a lot of activity taking place outside of the energy sector. “We want to see other parts of the economy grow.”
Young said Government has a lot of incentives, “ which aren’t even utilised to try to promote trade, small enterprises.” Asked if there were ideas from the TIC which could be included in the 2018/2019 Budget later this year, Young said if he saw anything at the convention which is a good idea, he would raise it with Finance Minister Colm Imbert at the appropriate time.
Gopee-Scoon said, “What I’m looking for are the new products.” While TT continues to look for new markets, Gopee-Scoon said identifying new products is equally important.
She said within the manufacturing sector, there is considerable interest in products from the food and beverage sub-sector. Gopee-Scoon identified wood processing, packaging and metals as other non-energy sector areas which have potential.