Eight Improvements Investors in Trinidad and Tobago Can Look Forward To
The World Bank’s Doing Business 2015 Report listed Trinidad and Tobago as among the top 10 improvers in the world among 21 economies with the most reforms making it easier to do business. The other 9 countries listed are Tajistan, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Azerbaijan, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. The Report added that together, the top 10 improvers implemented 40 regulatory reforms and made “the biggest advances toward the frontier in regulatory practice.”
Trinidad and Tobago moved up 12 places overall in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking. Good business practice improvements were recorded in 3 specific doing business indicators – i.e. Starting a Business increased by 31 percentage points, Getting Credit by 9 points and Resolving Insolvency by 54 points. The country was the only one of the top 10 improvers to make reforms in the area of Resolving Insolvency by the introduction of a new insolvency law to strengthen protection of secured creditors’ rights in insolvency proceedings, thus giving greater flexibility in enforcement actions.
The country’s latest ranking is good news to both local and international investors who stand to enjoy the benefits of business-friendly regulations which ultimately lead to more firm creation, entrepreneurship and improved economic performance.
Some of the serious reform efforts being made in Trinidad and Tobago are in the provision of e-services for companies undertaking various transactions for establishing and operating a business here. This is facilitated through the TTBizLink, a Single Electronic Window (SEW) which makes the transition from paper-based transactions to online transactions. The infrastructure was developed by CrimsonLogic which has over two decades of experience in e-Government and was responsible for Singapore’s SEW, known as TradeNet.
The SEW was responsible for Singapore’s ranking of number one in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 Report and it has kept this position in 2014. TTBizLink’s first e-service was launched in Trinidad and Tobago in 2012 and it has since then been achieving significant milestones to strengthen the country’s investment environment.
During 2014, TTBizLink launched 3 of its large modules – e-Maritime, e-Vendor Registration and e-Goods Declaration. e-Maritime Services allows local shipping agents to electronically prepare and submit vessel pre-arrival and departure declarations to the Maritime Services Division, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, Port Administrations, Immigration Division and the Environmental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The e-Vendor Registration, which is implemented in collaboration with the Central Tenders Board (CTB) Division of the Ministry of Finance and the Economy (MOFE), facilitates online submission and registration of companies and businesses (as consultants, contractors or suppliers) with the CTB Division. Any local or overseas company that wishes to bid for government tenders falling under the purview of the CTB Division must be registered with this Division and would do so through TTBizLink.
The e-Goods Declaration allows Licenced Customs and Brokers to receive electronic approvals/endorsements from four (4) Regulatory Agencies – Trade Licence Unit (TLU) and Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), MTIIC; Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division (CFDD), MOH; and the Plant Quarantine Service (PQS) of the Ministry of Food Production (MFP).
TTBizLink also launched its Mobile Text Service in 2014. This allows applicants to receive optional, instant notification alerts on the status of their TTBizLink e-service transactions on their mobile phones via text messages, also known as short message service (SMS).
Locally, TTBizLink was one of 11 Government agencies to receive Diamond Standard Certification in January 2015. The Diamond Standard Programme is a Citizen Service Certification Programme aligned to achieving excellence in service delivery and is an initiative of the Ministry of Public Administration (MPA). The Diamond Standard Programme seeks to achieve:
• Greater customer satisfaction
• Greater commitment to providing quality service
• Enhanced accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in service provision
• Improved public image for investors locally, regionally and internationally and
• Improved rankings for Ease of Doing Business and Global Competitiveness
This achievement follows TTBizLink having been adjudged 1 of only 3 finalists worldwide in the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management’s (CAPAM’s) International Innovations Awards (IIA) in the category Innovations in Government Services & Programmes
Such recognition is testimony to the quality and impact of the work being performed by the TTBizLink Unit of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications. Senator the Honourable Vasant Bharath, whose Ministry has been working assiduously to improve the ease of doing business in Trinidad and Tobago for the potential investor, noted recently in a public address that “as our economy continues on its growth path, investors will be attracted to do business here and we must provide the enabling environment and incentives to do so…”
Trinidad and Tobago….seeking always to make business easier for investors. For more information on investing in Trinidad and Tobago please call InvesTT Trinidad and Tobago at +1 868 638 0038 or email us now at email@example.com