Above: The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, cutting the ribbon during the formal opening of the 2017 Trade and Investment Convention, alongside TSTT’s Executive Vice President Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations Rakesh Goswami (far left); TSTT Ambassador Brian Lara; TTMA’s President Christopher Alcazar, and Group Chief Executive Officer, First Citizens Karen Darbasie. Photo courtesy TSTT.
“It’s no secret that our economy is undergoing a serious transition from being blessed with oil and natural gas at high prices to having to look for other revenue streams to supplement the short fall”, said Christopher Alcazar, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) during his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) on July 6th.
Referring to the TIC 2017 theme ‘From Trinidad and Tobago to the World’, he stated that this is a crucial moment for local manufacturing businesses to push the national diversification agenda knowing that success is mandatory.
“Many of us here have aspirations to enter into new markets. Focusing on what makes us unique will give us room to compete. Now is the time to strengthen your relationships while engaging customers, now is about seeking to capitalize on opportunities that will lead our economy into strong recovery and a return to significant growth in the future”, Alcazar added.
Rakesh Goswami, TSTT’s Executive Vice President – Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations also spoke, and noted that the TIC 2017 theme seeks to position Trinidad and Tobago as a nucleus for innovation and discovery that can have global ramifications.
“This is something that TSTT takes up as a daily challenge. TSTT’s vision – ‘To be the standard bearer for leading edge technology in Trinidad and Tobago that enriches the lives of citizens, businesses and visitors’ – perfectly embraces the goals of TIC 2017.”
Observing that the convergence of business and ICT development is fundamental to driving the rapid changes in businesses and their operating models that are required for market success, Goswami continued, “It is said that data is the new oil, both in terms of data centre services and data traffic. These are driving better management and decision-making not just by businesses but by consumers as well.”
“Data is creating an enabling environment for innovations in Robotics, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Biology and Cloud Technology among other things.”
Goswami said he was confident the TIC visitors would be very appreciative of what TSTT has to offer because TSTT places a premium on investing in future-proof technology to enable local businesses to compete more efficiently. He also assured that companies interested in setting up business in Trinidad and Tobago can have the confidence that they will access the same communications technology that is available in the developed markets of the world.
One example shared was the award of full ANSI/TIA-942 certification for TSTT’s Data Centre in September 2016, making it the first and only level 3 rated data centre provider in the Caribbean and Latin America. The Tier 3 TIA-942 Certificate is a guarantee to local companies and international businesses operating locally, that TSTT’s data centre offers the highest levels of service availability, as well as a warranty that TSTT has followed the established, international, best-practice guidelines.
Goswami noted that the benefits and capabilities of TSTT’s world-class data centre include to host, store and manage mission critical data to help reduce business risks and lower costs; optimize digital assets and achieve a quicker turnover of data analytics resulting in increased productivity, profitability and growth.
Goswami also spoke about the impact of TSTT’s 4G LTE mobile data network, the country’s first and only, which is capable of delivering data speeds of over 50 megabits per second on mobile devices. “Consumers continue to marvel at how the speed is enabling them to manage their personal and professional lives. For businesses it is a new frontier for them to market more directly and personally to consumers and this is reshaping the marketing dynamics in everyone’s best interest.”
“These developments in TSTT are as a result of a concerted and well-orchestrated 5-year strategic plan that will see the company investing over $3.7 billion dollars on new technology, infrastructure and business re-engineering”, he added.
The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry discussed the need for innovation to help Trinidad and Tobago develop its non-energy sector during her feature address.
TIC, which is organized by TTMA, will run until July 9th at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, and is the biggest since the show started 18 years ago, with 240 booths and 42 companies participating from 30 countries.
Free 4G Wi-Fi broadband is provided to TIC participants and visitors courtesy bmobile and the advantages of having a super fast broadband connection were evident by the various displays of modern technology at exhibitors’ booths, including live streams of the expo and interviews by some exhibitors.