Minister of Trade and Investment, the Honourable Vasant Bharath
August 16, 2012:
Investing in Trinidad and Tobago will be made more accessible and efficient in the near future.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Vasant Bharath listed a number of ways the investment machinery will be restructured to facilitate international and national investments. The Minister spoke at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.
“Three weeks ago I said Trinidad and Tobago would be catapulted into being one of the top ten countries for the ease of doing business. Currently we stand at number 68,” Bharath said.
He explained that the establishment of InvestTT would facilitate easier investment. However, it was currently in the process of being reshaped.
“Cabinet approved the sum of $39 million for the continued development of the Single Electronic Window (SEW), which should be fully developed within four years. We have completed the E Company Registration which reduces registration time from seven days to three days. The issuance of work permits has also been reduced from six to two and a half weeks. Import licences have been reduced from four weeks to one day,” Bharath explained.
Bharath said the SEW would be integrated with the ASYCUDA systems which was implemented by the Customs and Excise Division by December. “This will mean on average, an additional 15 to 19 containers will be cleared and a container will now take one day to be cleared.
He said the changes would allow Trinidad and Tobago to be more competitive. However, the Minister admitted this country cannot be as competitive as some other nations without doing more “background” work.
“This would allow us to move up in the index as investors would have more confidence in Trinidad and Tobago,” Bharath said.