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exporTT to help local businesses become more competitive

Published: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Stakeholders following yesterday’s Caribbean Export Development Agency SME Diagnostic Assessment Tool and exporTT’s Export Competitiveness Project at Export House in Port of Spain. From left are Mandisa Granderson, business advisor, exportTT, Dhanraj Harrypersad, manager, Monitoring and Research Export TT, Dietrich Guichard, CEO exportTT, Norris Herbert, PS, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Damie Sinanan, senior advisor, Caribbean Export and Development Agency, Crisen Maharaj, manager, Capacity Building and Programme Financing Export TT and Maria Padilla-Benjamin, manager, Training and Communications.

In order to ensure that exporters are internationally competitive and are capable of entering and expanding operations in new markets, exporTT launched its ExportCompetitiveness Project yesterday.

The project includes the use of the Caribbean Export Development Agency's SME diagnostic assessment tool as well.

Already 30 companies have joined the project with a possibility of 120 more companies being added.

The diagnostic tool uses international standards which critically assess proficiency gaps in order to build globally competitive businesses.

The launch was held at ExporTT's 151 B, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain headquarters on Tuesday.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade Norris Herbert said the tool would contribute to growth in business and then in the economy.

Damie Sinanan, Senior Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency said the tool is a web-based enterprise which measures companies on four pillars: Production, Finance, Marketing and Management.

"The tool allows for cross-regional standardised comparison, this creates a singular yardstick that allows for baseline data and accurate progress reporting.” Sinanan said.

The Export Competitiveness Project is expected to be wrapped around a client-managed approach based on a company's needs.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director Caribbean Export Development Agency said the tool provides a standardised expert-based methodology for accurately assessing SMEs and identifies the areas where development is required.

She added that the tool allows interventions to be developed for the business as well as other support mechanisms to address the gaps identified.

Speaking in an interview after the event, chief executive, T&T Chamber of industry and Commerce Gabriel Faria said the Chamber is ready to provide support to the competitiveness project.

"We view what ExporTT is doing here as a critical aspect for the development of T&T and we would be supporting ExporTT where we can. Today, companies can no longer complain about the challenges of accessing foreign exchange. We have to find our solutions. There is nobody out there that is going to make it happen for us, we have to take care of ourselves."

Dietrich Guichard, CEO, ExporTT said each business will be looked at on a continuous basis in order to measure their progress.

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