April 28, 2015
FAST to Improve Investment Climate
POS, Trinidad – “We must not only say to investors that we are open for business. We need to show them that we are open for business.” This message rang clear in the feature address of InvesTT’s Chairman, Mr. Anthony Aboud at the launch of the company’s Facilitation, Approvals & Strategy Team (FAST). InvesTT, the investment promotion agency of Trinidad and Tobago, launched this initiative on Tuesday 28th April, 2015, at a breakfast meeting held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre. Spearheaded by the company’s Investor Services Unit, this team seeks to engage key persons in regulatory agencies directly responsible for effecting approval processes on a daily basis, which are required for investments to be closed. According to VP Investor Services, Ms. Stacy Adams, the team’s core purpose is to reduce transaction time for approvals to happen.
As the investment promotion agency of Trinidad & Tobago, InvesTT‘s mandate is to increase both foreign and local investment in the non-energy sectors of the country. The Investor Services Unit, through its One Stop Shop, assists investors in navigating the business eco-system, holding their hands through the process of obtaining governmental permits and licenses, all with a view to getting their business established in a timely manner.
FAST was created as a vehicle to increase cross agency synergy, deepen stakeholder partnerships to realize more efficient processes that will positively impact investor morale and strengthen relationships between government agencies, departments and ministries on an individual level. Team members include persons from Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Ministry of National Security, Environmental Management Authority, Customs and Excise Division, Town and Country Planning Division, Immigration Division, e TecK and InvesTT.
In his address to attendees, Mr. Aboud highlighted that Trinidad and Tobago is but one country amongst hundreds competing for investment capital. He stated that InvesTT has to change and remove obstacles so that investors do not take their capital elsewhere. Currently, Trinidad and Tobago is ranked by the World Bank among the top 10 improvers in the world with the most reforms, making it easier to do business.
FAST marks the beginning of improved inter-agency collaboration, where each member will be directly involved in the investment process to ensure a smooth and efficient investment cycle. The ten member team got down to work at their first working group session after the launch. A number of projects currently in InvesTT’s investment pipeline were tabled and assessed for timely interventions before the end of the fiscal year.
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