SECRETARY of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour, Marslyn Melville-Jack is adamant the Tobago business expo is an avenue for home-grown and Tobago-affiliated businesses to showcase their products and services to the world.
Melville-Jack, speaking during the inaugural Tobago Business Expo 2018 hosted by the Business Development Unit (BDU) at the Gardenside car park in Scarborough on Friday, said the Division was quite optimistic that the event would become an annual affair and a permanent fixture on the Assembly’s calendar of events.
“Our division is charged with the mandate to be the catalyst and vehicle through which the social and economic development of the people of Tobago revolves. In addition, this division has a pivotal role to play in supporting the realization of the assembly’s three main pillars of development – entrepreneurship, tourism and agriculture,” she said.
She added that the Division has been working assiduously and partnering with key industry stakeholders in the delivery of programmes and projects to budding and established businesses in Tobago, in an attempt to build their capacity and their capability to operate at an optimum level.
“The Division sees the Tobago business expo as a laudable initiative which has the potential to contribute significantly towards the fulfilment of its mission statement and Tobago’s economy by extension. This event was developed to provide a platform for indigenous Tobago-based and Tobago-affiliated businesses to showcase their products and services,” she said.
She explained she is aware of the mammoth role the business sector could play in the island’s sustained growth and development, revealing the Assembly is currently finalizing discussions with Export TT for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow Tobago entrepreneurs improved access to advanced training, additional resources and the requisite network for the export market.
The Division’s administrator, Cherryl-Ann Solomon said they are committed to do their best to serve the people of Tobago, noting that the business expo seeks to not only understand the needs of small and micro enterprise development on the island, but also to meet those needs.
“The main intent of this event is to forge new and improved upon existing ties among Tobagonian businesses through the convert of networking,” she said.
The BDU’s manager, Shelly-Ann Baptiste said the expo should not be seen as just another showcase.
“The objective primarily is to engage networking and business-to-business networking sessions. We have arranged specific sessions for like-minded businesses to reach, negotiate and establish long term networks. We take our task very seriously and this is the first in a number of series to come on,” Baptiste said.