TIC is Back, Bigger than Before and Seeking to Grow
TSTT Corporate Communications
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) returns to full capacity in 2023 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, with over 300 exhibitors and an expected 12,000 attendees anticipated over the three-day event. Managed and executed by the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA), TIC primarily aims to foster intra and extra-regional trade for local and Caribbean-based businesses.
After hosting the event virtually over the pandemic period, TIC relaunched on Wednesday, 19th July 2023, at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Cooperation in Mt Hope. Roger Roach, President of the TTMA, welcomed a packed room of attendees from every business sector in T&T, members of the diplomatic corps, media and representatives of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. "Cumulatively, TIC has generated over US$405M on the trade show floor, and this does not take into account repeat business. We have had to decline over 60 companies' attendance as we have now outgrown the Centre of Excellence. We are now ready to build an International Convention Centre in T&T as there are no other covered convention centres that can accommodate us," he noted. "We are prepared to enter into a public-private partnership with the Government whereby we are provided with 10 acres of land on which we will build a facility that has up to 200,000 sq ft of covered space with the most technologically advanced equipment for events of any size in the future," he added. Roach thanks the Ministry of Trade and Industry and corporate sponsors and partners, including platinum sponsor TSTT.
Addressing the business sector, Darryl Duke, Assistant General Manager, Business Sales, TSTT, stated, "Technology is a key driver of innovation and business success. TSTT has invested in its infrastructure and developed the widest and most relevant suite of services to support your innovation and transformation journey. Your success is important to us. Our focus has also been on earnestly advancing national development by deepening broadband access for every home in every corner of T&T. The economic impact of the digital divide is very real and we have worked to close this gap. Today, T&T enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the hemisphere thanks to more than ten billion dollars in investments by TSTT."
Duke also gave insights into the company's efforts to evolve from a telco into a tech. "Earlier this year, the Central Bank awarded us a provisional license to operate an e-payment system. TSTT's e-money business will soon play a crucial role in bringing financial services to the unbanked and under-banked population. We also partnered with the Housing Development Corporation for the HDC More Ways to Pay campaign. Through our e-Pay service platform, customers of the HDC can enjoy hassle-free payment options from anywhere in T&T. We invite everyone to visit our booth at TIC to learn and see our evolution as we grow in ways to serve you."
The Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, was credited by several speakers with being an active supporter and proponent of deepening more robust local and regional trade. In her remarks, Gopee-Scoon highlighted that the Ministry had actively created market access through trade missions to new and existing global markets. "From China to Colombia and Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana and Panama we have established new links and linkages. For the first time in Trinidad and Tobago's history, we have also established commercial offices in specific, strategic markets," the Minister advised. The Minister highlighted that the Government had recently broadened the enhanced Single Electronic Window (SEW) scope. This secure and user-friendly online platform allows businesses and individuals to access government trade and business services around the clock.
This year's TIC will also be exceptional, including heavyweights in the region, such as Pricesmart and Royal Caribbean Cruises. TTMA President notified manufacturers of these large-scale opportunities adding that larger companies can benefit from these opportunities to supply at a bigger scale. Not to be overlooked, Roach and the TTMA also added that there is a stronger focus on SMEs this year. "The TTMA has always believed in the potential of SMEs, and this year, we have partnered with EXIM Bank and TT Export Centres to have an SME pavilion for small and medium-sized businesses to showcase your products while other companies such as NEDCO and local businesses have also created space at their booth for SMEs," Roach added.
In addition to the exhibition, TTMA matches vendors with buyers in a B2B meeting format and offers workshops and seminars during the three-day event. TIC is open to registered persons on Thursday, 20th, and Friday, 21st July, and to members of the public on Saturday, 22nd July 2023. For more information, visit https://ttma.com/tic/.