Trinidad and Tobago shows the region why ‘We Are Next’ at region’s largest trade and investment event

MACOYA, TRINIDAD — After taking its message of opportunity to China, Africa, the United States and other parts of the globe during the past few months, the organization responsible for promoting investment in Trinidad and Tobago’s non-energy sectors showcased the country’s promise at home.

Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company (e TecK) and more than 250 organizations and businesses participated in the ninth annual Trade & Investment Convention (TIC) — the largest such gathering in the region — at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya.

In addition to business leaders and investors, the event also attracted a number of Trinidad and Tobago diaspora, including representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Business Association (TATBA) in New York.

“So many of us left the islands to pursue professional and financial opportunities that didn’t used to be available at home,” said Leisa Smith Lundy, trustee and secretary of the TATBA. “It’s a different story today. We were thrilled to see first hand all that’s happening here, and to know that we can make connections and generate leads that will lead to growth and development in this very special country.”

Patricia Khan, investment promotion manager at e TecK, agreed that T&T diaspora are critical to the country’s success. “Trinbagonians around the globe have shown great passion and energy for our efforts. You are our most active champions and our best storytellers. We look forward to engaging you in our efforts even more directly as we move forward.”

After more than thirty years of success in the petroleum and natural gas sectors, Trinidad and Tobago is now working to expand and diversity its already stable, booming economy by reaching out to a select number of ambitious nations and companies around the world—those looking to invest in the next economic hotspot in the Caribbean.

With 12 percent economic growth in 2006, Trinidad and Tobago offers an investment and business friendly environment. The country is focused on encouraging investment in sectors where it has unique advantages, including ICT, downstream from energy production, fish and fish processing, food and beverage, merchant marine, film, music and entertainment, printing and packaging and yachting.

“There has never been a better time for businesses in our country — across many different sectors — than at this moment,” Karen de Montbrun, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturing Association (TTMA), said. “We see it at all levels, in both public and private sectors. The intellectual capital is here, the infrastructure is rapidly developing, the experience is here. And we bring a real global outlook and insights into market forces around the world. It’s not long before we are known for far more than energy and gas.”

E TecK’s Investment Promotion Team is charged with showcasing the variety of non-energy investment opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago.

TT’s ‘We Are Next’ initiative is an extension of the country’s “Vision 2020” economic development plan, dedicated to earning TT developed nation status by 2020. The initiative is led by e TecK—an enterprise development company working in close partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

“Every place has a moment when promise can become reality,” explained Khalid Hassanali, President of e TecK. “In Trinidad and Tobago, we believe we are at that moment because there is such great harmony between what we have worked hard to offer global and local investors and what those investors are looking for.”

At its booth at TIC, e TecK helped the University of the West Indies — now celebrating its 60th anniversary — to showcase its technical and research expertise and training capacity and introduced many people to the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s (UTT) new Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD).

The future of Trinidad and Tobago’s budding fashion industry is promising, given the creativity and passion of designers
such as Ecliff Elie of Ecliffelie Designs,Ltd.

Christopher Nathan, programme administrator of the CAFD, says that the people he met at TIC were impressed with the progress T&T has made on the fashion front. “We heard comments like ‘T&T fashion is ready to take on the major capitals’ and ‘fashion is the next big thing from T&T.’ That certainly makes us feel great about the strides we’ve made to elevate the industry and fashion education in our country.”

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and The RBTT Financial Group were primary sponsors of the convention.

For more information about investment promotion and the country’s priority sectors, visit

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