Ease of doing business | Local company

An online trade and business information portal to help the business community do business with ease is now a reality, through the Department of Trade and Industry.

The business community has been pushing for this facility for several years.

Speaking at the launch at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s on Wednesday, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the Trinidad and Tobago trade and business news portal is an online one-stop-shop for accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date research. up-to-date information on business and trade procedures and other relevant business data.

“The portal is an integral part of TTBizLinK, which also facilitates a range of government e-services related to trade and business. The portal will also allow users to access up-to-date legislation, trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, double taxation treaties and other legal reference documents relating to trade and business,” said she declared.

Gopee-Scoon pointed out that the portal is one of the few in the world to use customized tools developed by the International Trade Center (ITC) to make global trade more transparent and facilitate market access.

“These tools will enable your businesses to identify export and import opportunities, compare market access requirements, monitor national trade performance and make informed business decisions. These tools cover the world’s largest databases of trade statistics, tariff data and rules of origin related to applicable free trade agreements,” she added.

The Minister indicated that according to the annual economic survey (2021) published by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), total exports for the first three quarters of 2021 (January to September), recorded in the statistics of the balance of payments, were valued at around $49 billion, or 69% more than for the same period in 2020, at $29.2 billion.

Rich content

Speaking about the new portal, which is already accessible, the Chief Executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ian De Souza, said the move, from a private sector perspective, is commendable.

“The gate is beautifully laid out. It puts information on trade, investment and business in Trinidad and Tobago at the fingertips of anyone who needs it. The website is easy to navigate and rich in content.

“It goes as far as providing information on investment opportunities and investment incentives, which would make it easier for anyone, local and from afar, to make a decision to do business in this country,” said he declared.

De Souza said he was pleased to see that T&T is now joining several other countries in fulfilling its commitment under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to establish a trade portal on the Internet to enable the access to information on trade and investment rules and procedures.

Recognizing the good work of the department in developing the portal, he said, it is hoped that procedures have been put in place to ensure that the information provided on the portal remains up to date and is updated. continuously updated.

“In this regard, it is noted that several ministries and agencies are involved in providing information to the portal, and it is therefore essential that their input is coordinated and uploaded in real time as closely as possible”, said the chamber’s CEO.

Also speaking at the launch, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) President Tricia Coosal said the association had been involved in the design of the portal by helping to ensure accessibility by with regard to commercial data, standards, legislation and documents necessary for the smooth running of transactions. commercial operations.

At a glance, the benefits of using the portal for the private sector include an online one-stop-shop for searchable, accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information on business and trade procedures in the country, he said. she stated.

“This new service provides access to information on the prerequisites for importing and exporting goods to and from Trinidad and Tobago, which could, in the past, be a difficult task to access. .

“Additionally, as you move through the portal, a wealth of information on trade agreements, whether bilateral or multilateral, can be found and used by business entities to decide which markets can serve them. be beneficial,” she added.

Another feature of the portal that Coosal said is beneficial to the private sector is the International Trade Center (ITC) Trade Map, an interactive online database of international trade statistics for more than 220 countries and territories.