THE Government recognises the importance of the retail sector to the consumer and the economy.
Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon made this statement at a retail sector seminar at the Arthur Lok Jack School of Business in Mt Hope on Thursday night. She said data from the Central Statistical Office showed the sector contributed $12.2 billion to TT's Gross Domestic Product Gopee-Scoon said the supermarkets and grocery sub-sector's contribution to GDP was $5.7 billion at the end of last year.
Recalling that her father ran a retail business at one time, Gopee-Scoon said she understands the challenges faced by people in the retail sector.
While the country is now technically out of a recessionary period, having experienced three consecutive quarters of growth, Gopee-Scoon said the last two years were challenging for everyone in TT.
She identified the national e-commerce strategy and the secured transactions and collateral registry as two measures which could help the retail sector. On the latter, Gopee-Scoon said the secured transactions regime will allow firms to offer moveable assets as collateral for financing, and this would lower the cost of securing loans. Gopee-Scoon said the former offers benefits to domestic businesses in the form of automated and instantaneous operations. She added businesses through this strategy also benefit from "enhanced participation in international value chains, increased market access and reach, improved internal and market efficiency, low barriers to entry and lower transaction costs."