Despite the challenges of the past two years, Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon has said the business community, and in particular the manufacturing sector, showed “remarkable resilience,” showing growth in some sub-sectors.
She made the statement at the TT Manufacturers Association's annual general meeting held virtually on Tuesday.
“As a developing country TT continues to remain vulnerable to external and global events, the most recent being covid19 and the Russia/Ukraine War,” she said. “With the business sector becoming more dynamic, resilience requires more than just new ideas, it requires a business model that embraces complexity, uncertainty and interdependence – adaptability is now the new competitive advantage.”
Gopee-Scoon pointed out several sectors which had grown despite challenges. Using data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO), she said from January to November last year, non-energy manufacturing exports were valued at TT$9.76 billion, an increase of 47 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Iron and steel held the lion’s share of exports during the period but Gopee-Scoon noted that there were increases in several other sectors. These sectors included the food and beverage industry which increased by 28 per cent, the plastics and rubber products industry which increased by 36 per cent and the ferrous waste and scrap industry, which increased by 47 per cent.
“The data is indicative that the manufacturing sector in TT remains a viable catalyst for achieving economic transformation expansion and diversification in the domestic economy, providing significant levels of employment and foreign exchange earnings,” she said.