GOVERNMENT remains committed to the well-being and expansion of the local manufacturing sector as well as ongoing and future collaborations with the private sector, the Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The ministry said it is encouraged by emerging signs of resurgence in manufacturing, as indicated by the Central Bank's monetary policy announcement last month.
"This result is indicative of Government’s support to the manufacturing sector and the wider private sector and the activities and willingness of this group to invest and expand."
Saying the sector remains important and dynamic to the economy, the ministry observed, "As the third largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the manufacturing sector is recognised as a catalyst for achieving economic transformation and diversification through the reduction in the country’s food import bill, import substitution, generation of foreign exchange through exports and provision of sustainable employment."
The ministry said Government will continue to work with the sector and has sought to help it through a series of tangible intervention from 2015-2020. These interventions include:
the Prime Minister's establishing the Roadmap to Recovery Committee last April (which prioritised the manufacturing sector as a targeted area of activity for the economy's transformation)
creating a 2020-2025 strategic framework which focuses on the sector's expansion and transformation
promoting research, development and innovation under the revised research and development facility
introducing a grant fund facility which provides funding for export-oriented small and medium-sized local manufacturers and agro-processors to acquire machinery and equipment
establishing a US $100 million Foreign Exchange Facility via EximBank in 2018 to finance imported inputs into manufactured exports (a further injection of US $100 million was made to this facility last October)
collaborating with the TT Manufacturers Association, National Training Agency and other stakeholders to address skills shortages and labour gaps (which will lead to the creation of a national vocational training strategy and a manufacturing national apprenticeship programme)
and a commitment to combatting the illegal trade in selected goods such as tobacco, clothing, makeup, alcohol and pharmaceuticals.
The ministry also said ExporTT, the national export organisation, is being restructed to be more client-oriented; domestic and regional supply chains in the manufacturing sector are being developed by creating both forward and backward linkages between buyers and suppliers domestically and regionally for locally manufactured goods and allocating $50 million in fiscal 2021 for an overseas market development and export promotion facility to assist manufacturers to boost exports in traditional and new export markets.