As today’s column will be our last for 2018, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce would like to send warm greetings to our readers, and indeed, all of Trinidad and Tobago, as we celebrate the Christmas season and get ready to welcome the New Year. Today, we recap the many ways in which we have promoted business development during the year.
At the TT Chamber, we have been consistently advocating for both economic and societal transformation, and we believe that our country has finally come face to face with an inescapable truth: our survival depends upon change – and 2018 delivered those changes to us in droves. In the face of such new global realities, we need a radical re-think. The pace of change demands that we respond faster than ever before; we will be required – in business and in other aspects of national life – to be bold, fresh, brave and inspired.
Taking the message “fortune favours the bold” to heart, the TT Chamber has actively engaged our membership and other stakeholders throughout the year. Our informative Business Insights sessions – which are also available on-demand – continued to provide valuable training for business, by business, in export strategy, agriculture, corporate structuring, marketing, and much more. With the support of the Canadian High Commission, we were able to have prominent international speaker Peter Van de Gracht facilitate two sessions for members on innovation and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development. Our Nova Committee hosted a series of Lunch n’ Learn workshops that allowed SME operators to interactively engage with high-profile local entrepreneurs, and representatives from member companies like Hadco Limited and Lange Trinidad shared their experiences on the road to success.
During the first quarter of 2018, in collaboration with MEP Publishers, the TT Chamber rebranded its well-respected Contact magazine. Without sacrificing the analysis for which the magazine has become known for more than a decade, the new look and feel fittingly reflect our evolving business environment. These improvements to the publication will better equip businesspeople to confidently adopt new models of business as they forge ahead in a globalised world.
The TT Chamber also reached out to aspiring businesspeople this year, through a special offer of associate membership – with full benefits – for participants in tertiary-level incubator programmes. After two years, associate members can transition to regular Chamber membership. We are also advocating for the development of an entrepreneurship ecosystem at the national level. The TT Chamber’s chief executive officer, Gabriel Faria is scheduled to speak at the Caribbean Angel Investment Forum on November 29 and 30, which will boost the call for a formal system on angel investing.
We also implemented our Member-to-Member Value Added Programme, which offers tangible benefits to members in a range of services, including retail, insurance, dining, and travel.
In 2019, the TT Chamber will launch another trade mission, this time to explore our Caricom partner, Jamaica. This initiative comes on the heels of past trade missions to Cuba and Guyana.
There are new and exciting prospects on the horizon. As we have for almost 140 years, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce will continue to open the doors of trade wherever possible, so that Trinidad and Tobago can continue to build a strong and sustainable national economy.
See you in 2019...