BOTH the TT Manufacturers Association (TTMA) and the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers have commended the Minister of Finance on proposals to support business and manufacturing industries in the 2022 budget.
In a release, the TTMA described it as “a budget to support exports,” commending him on provisions outlined to assist small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) which included aggressive disbursement of VAT refunds, the initiation of a second phase of SME loan guarantees and extension of the Foreign Exchange facility at EXIMBank.
“The request for and the granting of the extension of the Foreign Exchange facility at EXIM Bank would fuel in providing an impetus for business operators to access much-needed foreign exchange,” said TTMA president Tricia Coosal.
“In 2020 and 2021, this vital injection assisted the non-energy community greatly and it is highly anticipated with the Government’s continued support in this regard it would serve as an integral tool in the sustenance and growth of the exports from local manufacturers.”
“The TTMA is pleased with the Minister’s confidence placed in the Manufacturing Sector which generates 19.3 per cent of GDP and employs over 52,000 people.
"The recognition given to the manufacturers as the “catalyst for diversification” in the post-pandemic future to ensure Trinidad and Tobago is globally competitive and innovative is well received,” Coosal added.
For its part, the confederation welcomed investments in other business areas including the research and development capital allowance of up to 40 per cent of expenditure incurred by companies in research and development, an SME listing on the TT Stock Exchange and the SME Mentorship Programme.
It expressed concern, however, over government’s ability to continue to finance a $9.096 billion deficit, “given the country’s unsustainable debt to GDP ratio which has surpassed 80 per cent."
The confederation said it continues to be very concerned about this and there is a need for government sourcing new revenue streams and stimulating new sectors such as waste recycling and exporting our education programmes towards the CSME and parts of the developing world."