Express Business Filler #1

The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) virtually launched its Gateway to Trade (G2T) Programme yesterday.

The G2T Programme aims to increase trade and investment, accelerate the growth and development of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and create job opportunities for Trinidad and Tobago’s services sector, according to a news release from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In delivering the feature address, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Ayleen Alleyne-Ovid, said the ministry has been working closely with the TTCSI to realise the untapped potential of the country’s exports in the services industry.

Alleyne-Ovid said: “It is particularly encouraging to note that this initiative focuses on improving the export readiness of Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) which are the backbone of our economy. This programme will help to increase the export profile of the country and move us closer towards a more diversified economy.”

The G2T Programme will target 80 firms with strong export potential in four services sub-sectors, namely, energy, ICT, business and professional and tourism.

Firms will be provided with customised training and support through market and sector intelligence, coaching, export planning, export marketing support, the development of market connections and commercial opportunities through inbound and outbound trade missions.

The G2T Programme will be executed over a period of nine months and will target both small and medium sized existing and potential services exporters.

President of the TTCSI Mark Edghill underscored the importance of focusing on sectors that will stimulate the economy as T&T navigates the global pandemic.

“We must focus on sectors in which we have talented nationals that, once given the opportunity, could grow businesses that will be become regional and international players over the next five to ten years. The G2T Programme will provide the type of targeted support that is key to the recovery of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy.”


In 2020, 9,756 new cars were sold.

Of that amount, 6,702 were classified as passenger vehicles for private use, while 3,054 were for commercial use.

The most purchased vehicle was the Kia Sportage at 2,072 units.

Conversely, the least purchased was the two-door coupe, with just eight.

WITH the cost of freight tripling, delays on the Port and the continuous headache of access to foreign exchange at the commercial banks, foreign used car dealers in T&T are painting a bleak picture of their survival.

The Express Business spoke to a few car dealers to hear their major challenges in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 15th World Leaders Summit of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15), titled “From Inequality and Vulnerability to Prosperity for All”, was hosted virtually from October 3-7, 2021. This was a landmark occasion for the government of Barbados, led by its Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, QC, MP. For the very first time in UNCTAD’s history, the quadrennial forum was hosted by a small island developing state (SIDS).

“The Budget has nothing for me,” lamented San Juan fruit vendor Verendra, who has set up shop opposite the San Juan Promenade, where the Johnson & Johnson “one-shot vaccine,” was being administered on October 8.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XV), held in a hybrid format, in-person and virtually, between Barbados and Geneva, Switzerland, had its closing session on October 7.

I think a little time should be spent on the outcome as it was a significant event for Barbados and its Caricom partners.

Both water provider WASA and electricity company T&TEC are “badly in need” of a rate review, Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said yesterday.

“If we are talking about independence and financial sustainability, the rate must be in alignment with current market trends so that (the utilities companies) can raise their revenue to take care of their circumstances so that they can provide the people of Trinidad and Tobago with modern utility services,” he said as he contributed to the budget debate.