Local Fashion Industry Poised for Global Competitiveness

New capacity building opportunities continue to be provided to local fashion entrepreneurs with the continuation of the Value Chain Investment Programme (VCIP) by the Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Company Limited (FashionTT). The VCIP is a strategic initiative aimed at increasing the commercial impact of the local fashion sector. It is facilitated by faculty of the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York under the guidance of Professor Vincent Quan. The second edition of the VCIP was launched on Saturday 30th June, 2018.

Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry and FashionTT’s line Minister, highlighted the importance of the VCIP. “It provides a platform for our local fashion designers to improve the various business elements of their value chain, making them better positioned to export and compete on the local and international markets. The Creative Industry has untapped potential that can contribute significantly to income generation and job creation.”

Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Company Limited (CreativeTT) and parent company of FashionTT, Mr. Calvin Bijou, explained, “The strategic plan for the fashion industry prudently earmarked vital near, medium and long-term projects to aggressively drive the business development and export activity of the local fashion industry. The cornerstone of these is the Value Chain Investment Programme (VCIP). This Programme provides mentoring and training for designers and aspiring designers irrespective of where they find themselves in some of the business stages.”

The Minister of Trade and Industry lauded FashionTT for its achievements. She congratulated participants in the inaugural cohort on their commercial success, including for some, entry into regional markets in keeping with the Vision 2030 objective of building globally competitive businesses. She affirmed, “This augers well for the fashion industry and for the domestic economy of Trinidad and Tobago as it introduces a new stream of revenue, job creation and foreign exchange earnings.”

Creative entrepreneurs are also beneficiaries of several other initiatives being implemented by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago including the National e-Commerce Strategy and the National Quality Policy and supporting National Quality Infrastructure. The Trade Minister stated, “As a Government, we envisage that products, proudly made in Trinidad and Tobago, will be differentiated in the international market on the basis of quality, value and innovation rather than on price alone. The creative sector, and fashion in particular, can blaze a trail in this regard.”

Designers learnt of access to funding being offered through the Business Development Fund in the amount of $100,000 per applicant, the Grant Fund Facility to a maximum of $250,000 and up to $1 million per beneficiary under a Research and Development Facility. The Trade and Industry Ministry is also operationalizing a Secured Transactions and Collateral Registry policy which envisages the use of moveable property (such as intellectual property, machinery and equipment, accounts receivables) as collateral when approaching banking institutions for a loan. The VCIP is subdivided into four tiers: The Global Value Chain (GVC) Support Programme, Non-Global Value Chain (non-GVC) Support Programme, Incubator Programme for New/Young High Potential Companies or Partnerships, and firms that are earmarked for Future Support.

For more information on the Value Chain Investment programme visit www.fashiontt.co.tt/VCIP or follow FashionTT’s social media pages, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to keep up-to-date with this and other fashion industry initiatives. Information on other grants and funds are accessible at http://tradeind.gov.tt/

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