TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COALITION OF SERVICES INDUSTRIES
KEEPING SERVICES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Human Imagination at Work Driving Competitiveness
TTCSI National Budget Recommendation
Through the Lens of the Investor
In the thrust to put people at the centre of development, the human imagination and the creative process must be seen as the genesis of innovation and sustainable development.
TTCSI sought feedback from its members on national policy and regulations. The article outlines a number of recommendations for the Ministry of Finance to consider in its 2015 National Budget.
Susanne Bohnet, a Hollywood Producer, was the feature speaker at “Beyond Borders: Through the Eyes of the Investor”, a workshop hosted by TTCSI in partnership with the TTFC and TTFF.
ISSUE 18 APR - JUN 2014
Table of Contents PRESIDENT’S EDITORIAL Message by TTCSI President - Rabindra Jaggernauth
SAMUEL BADREE – ON TOP OF THE WORLD! By Valentino Singh
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO’S FIRST STREET ARTS FESTIVAL (SAF) 2014 By TTCSI
T & T ‘WARRIORS’ TO GET WORLD CUP FEEL By Shaun Fuentes - Director of Communications, TTFA
ARTIST PROFILE – KESSA ALEXANDER-SEALE By Tori-Ann Haywood - Project Officer at TTCSI
BASIC MACRO ECONOMIC OVERVIEW OF THE ECONOMY By Dr. Roger Hosein
TRINI CHALK ART By Kitran Charles
TTCSI NATIONAL BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS By Lyndrison Lincoln - Research Officer
THE OUTLET MARKET By Andrea Cwh-Coutain
BEYOND BORDERS – THROUGH THE EYES OF THE INVESTOR By Patti Mohan
THE KAJ FLAGSHIP BOUTIQUE By Liza Miller
PROFESSOR NORMAN GIRVAN – THE CARIBBEAN MAN By Joshua Surtess
THE HUMAN IMAGINATION AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS By ACF Secretariat
ASSOCIATION OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO INSURANCE COMPANIES (ATTIC) SUPPORTS INSURANCE LEGISLATIVE REFORM By ATTIC
PORT OF SPAIN CELEBRATES ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY By Winifred David - Chief Executive Officer, Port of Spain Corporation
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (TATT) MOVES TO FURTHER EMPOWER AND PROTECT CONSUMERS By TATT
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION (TTMA) TIC 2014 – SELLING POINTS By TTMA
GIVING BACK By Dr. Gerard M. Antoine M.D.
A SOCA UPDATE (SERVICES OF THE CARIBBEAN) By Ryan De Souza – TTCSI Research Officer
MEMBER’S CORNER THE ART SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (ASTT) By Gail Guy - President Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago
NGC BOCAS LIT FEST By Marina Salandy-Brown
WHAT’S GOING ON
EDITOR- Nirad Tewarie ASSISTANT EDITORS- Meera Ramdeen-Boodoo Aurelia Bruce ADVERTISING- Sherry Hassanali (622-9929 EXT. 23) CIRCULATION- Vanessa Joseph (622-9929 EXT. 21)
CONTACT US Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries 45 Cornelio Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain Tel: 622-9229 Fax: 8985 Email: email@example.com Website: www.ttcsi.org
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) is an umbrella, non-governmental, business support organization established to encourage the growth and development of the services sector. In particular TTCSI: assists service providers to identify and exploit market opportunities; lobbies government and international agencies on behalf of services providers; develops capacity among local services providers; assists in the development of standards and certiﬁcation to access into foreign markets
and ensures that member interests are represented in trade negotiations. We are also the local body responsible for issuing CARICOM Service Provider Certiﬁcates. Our membership includes associations in the ﬁelds of ﬁnancial services, hospitality, construction, ICT, midwifery, cultural industries, customs brokerage, human resource management, and pest management. Services account for more than 51% of GDP and contribute an average of TT$43 billion annually to the local economy.
The views and opinions expressed or implied in TTCSI QUARTERLY are solely those of the writers and are not necessarily endorsed by TTCSI.
All info herein is the property of TTCSI and may not be reproduced without prior consent.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Rabindra Jaggernauth, TTCSI President
As I come to the end of my term as President I can truly say that for the last four years it has been a privilege to serve you our members. What has been gratifying is what we have collectively accomplished over this period; growing from a fledgling organization to being a major business support organization, highly regarded locally and regionally. We have been fortunate to have a Board that has been committed to its job and providing the good governance expected of us. One of our strengths is that we all understand what constitutes the services sector and the sector’s importance to our economy. Our varied backgrounds have also allowed us to be even more effective in governing TTCSI’s activities in the range of services sectors. The Secretariat, under the guidance of the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, has worked diligently over the years and has constantly strived for greater accomplishments. Testimony to this is Services Week, which is now acknowledged as an integral part of our business calendar. While on one hand we are making signiﬁcant strides as a country, on the other hand we are facing challenging times. Within all of this, however, the services sector has been seeing positive developments. The services sector is still the largest contributor to our national GDP and the largest employer among the various sectors. The service sector is an important component of any country’s economy. It makes a direct and signiﬁcant contribution to GDP and job creation, and provides crucial inputs for the rest of the economy, thus having a signiﬁcant effect on the overall investment climate, which is an essential determinant of growth and development.
Some service sectors such as the health, education, water and sanitation, are also directly relevant to achieving social development objectives. Many services are key inputs to all or most other businesses e.g. infrastructure services such as energy, telecommunications and transportation; ﬁnancial services which facilitate transactions and provide access to ﬁnance for investment; health and education services which contribute to a healthy, well-trained workforce; and legal and accountancy services which are part of the institutional framework required to underpin a functioning market economy. These service sectors are thus a key part of the investment framework, and can have a much wider impact on overall business performance and the level of investment, thus stimulating growth and productivity in the economy. Our highly regarded creative sector is gradually maturing and contributing more to the economy. The sector is becoming more cohesive and more efforts are being made to focus on entertainment as a business. While there is still limited investment in this sector, we have seen a gradual shift with investments slowly increasing as we seek to internationalize relevant aspects of the sector. While the services sector has to step forward and take credit for what it has achieved, no shortage of credit can be given to the achievements of TTCSI. Our hard work is constantly being rewarded and there are distinct signs that TTCSI is being recognized as a prominent trade and business support organization in Trinidad and Tobago, and throughout the region.
T&T’S FIRST STREET ARTS FESTIVAL (SAF) 2014 A Celebration of Art Written by TTCSI
The beginning… In 2013, on a business trip abroad, the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) ventured onto a Street Art Festival in a busy metropolitan city. It was at this Festival (and having been involved in the Creative Sector), that he realized that Trinidad and Tobago could not only host a similar event, but one which surpassed what he was seeing in terms of quality. We deﬁnitely have the talent and creativity. The vision grew into the Street Arts Festival (SAF) in Trinidad & Tobago, which will be held on June 20-22nd on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook. The aim of the SAF is to highlight the importance of the creative sector and the role culture plays in sustainable development. Themed “A Celebration of Arts”, the focus of the festivities will be to allow the Creative Industries: Visual and Performing Arts, Festivals, Music, Dance, Heritage, Fashion and Film, to highlight and showcase their ingenuity. SAF, nestled between French and Carlos Streets, will become a hub of creative energy with hundreds of artists ranging from various artistic forms including spoken word and digital art. The streets will come alive! Imagine going from booth to booth, seeing artwork from local painters, sculptures, and caricature
artists hard at play. Hear the sound of music, poetry and prose. Let your mouth water with our country’s local cuisine. The activities for the children will include bouncy castles, face painters and puppeteers. At dusk, dance around moko jumbies in their colourful garb, what a sight to behold! TTCSI is partnering with some of the industry’s top creative minds to make this signature event an international platform for cultural exchanges, as well as an opportunity for citizens of Trinidad & Tobago to appreciate and support the creative sector, build community awareness and develop a greater appreciation for the Arts. The non-energy manufacturing and service sectors have been speciﬁcally targeted in the diversiﬁcation thrust and the creative industry is seen as one such avenue. There is increased potential for economic growth as local artists/artistes have been achieving international success and fame. Bunji Garlin and Anya Ayoung-Chee are just two examples of the fact that uur growth in the creative industry is not going unnoticed! The TTCSI is a major believer in the potential of the creative industry and sees great beneﬁt in hosting T&T’s First Street Arts Festival. Street Arts Festivals have proven successful worldwide in the development of creative industries, and T&T, for this reason, is following suit by showcasing the country’s best local talent alongside our country’s never-ending reserves of emerging talent,
and creating an international platform for the arts. The idea behind the SAF is to engage with our cultural heritage, and to bring community awareness, appreciation and inspiration for the arts & culture. But Tewarie said there is much more social value to be derived from SAF. Given the recent spate of violence among the youth in T&T, he said, SAF could provide another positive outlet, in which young people can get involved and be engaged. Also highlighting the value the SAF can bring to the national economy, Tewarie said, according to the British Arts, in 2004, the Brighton Festival generated over £22m within that city’s economy. On the heels of the SAF, the committee, which comprise National Drama Association of T&T, the Art Society of T&T, the Jazz Alliance of T&T, Artists Coalition of T&T, National Carnival Development Foundation, High Design, Unlimited Functions, Project Management Institute-Southern Chapter, the Port of Spain City Corporation, and TTCSI, plans to develop a follow-up programme for upcoming artistes. The programme is designed to provide an avenue for potential artists to be mentored, and have completed works be displayed as public art after the festival.
host discussions on how to navigate the creative industry locally and internationally.
LAUNCH OF SAF 2014 The ofﬁcial launch of this explosion of the arts in T&T took place on March 20, 2014 at Shakers Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook. This event was endorsed by local and international organizations and key individuals including: Daniella Tramacere, Head of the European Union Delegation, Calypso Monarch 2014, Roderick “Chucky” Gordon and Lenore Joseph, Port-of-Spain City Corporation’s PR and Media Consultant. The Corporation is partnering with TTCSI to host the SAF, as they celebrate Port-of-Spain’s 100th Anniversary. The Honorable Minister of Transport, Mr. Stephen Cadiz also donated a bus, which will be used by the artists in SAF 2014 as a canvas. The completed piece would be on display after the festival, as promotion and inspiration for SAF 2015.
For more information, visit our website: www.ttcsi.org/streetartsfestival
Come, be a part of an exciting event that will bring family and friends together to contribute to the development of our country’s social fabric.
While the SAF will serve as an event to spend time with family and friends, the festival will also seek to educate, inspire and re-shape the way artists in the entertainment industry think, move, market and promote their services. Some established artists would
PROGRAM OF EVENTS – A CELEBRATION OF ARTS ALL WEEKEND LONG (FRIDAY 20TH– SUNDAY 22ND JUNE): • Art Noir – Gallery TBA: Selected works by risqué artists • SAF Nightlife - After hours: Participating restaurants and bars will host works of art or performing artists after the park is closed. These businesses will offer menu and drink specials to commemorate the SAF.
FRIDAY 20TH JUNE: • Corporate Launch – Little Carib Theatre (6pm – 10pm): Live performances, art exhibits and even a cocktail reception in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC). • Film at the SAF – The Little Carib Theatre (6pm – 9pm): Opening Ceremony and Feature ﬁlm courtesy TTFC
SATURDAY 21ST JUNE: • Opening of the Festival – Between French and Carlos Streets (10am – 7pm): Opening the festival to the public. Unveiling of the SAF Bus, live performances, painting, chalk art, and other activities in the park are rolling. Along Ariapita Avenue, the corners are dotted with live performers from Cornelio Street to Carlos Street. • Short Films Presentation – TBA (4pm – 7pm): A series of Short Films presented by TT Film Festival. • SAF Style: Follow Fashion – TBA (7pm – 9pm): A fashion extravaganza with emerging designers and entertainers.
SUNDAY 22ND JUNE: • Yoga Session – “Main Stage” (10am – 7pm): Mainstream entertainment and start the day with the largest YOGA session in the park, live music, drumming and sitar. This is followed by theatrical performances and instruments. Close with a “Kaleidoscope” celebration. • Focal activities for the day include: Fine Arts, live musicians, 3d Sculptures, wirework, craft, face painting. • The Outlet Market: Hand crafted works only. • Back Stage: Theatre • Animae Caribe – TBA (4pm – 7pm): Caribbean Animation and other works from UWI and UTT • SAF Closing Celebration: Kaleidoscope – “Main Stage” (6pm–8pm): Music and colourful celebration with music and interactive performances.
The SAF Team would like to express its sincerest thanks to these organizations in particular:
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service The Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services Port-of-Spain City Cooperation The Ministry of Transport The Ministry of Works – Highways Division The Woodbrook/St. James Business Community The Woodbrook Residence Association
MOSAIC ARTIST CREATES HER DESTINY Written by Tori-Ann Haywood, Project Ofﬁcer at TTCSI
A John D. graduate and a graphic artist until 2006, Keesa Alexander-Seale is a self-taught mosaic master, who gives a very local twist to an ancient art. A registered artist for the upcoming Street Arts Festival, Kessa tells her story of becoming an artist. “My sister brought home a book on Mosaic Art and I had the urge to try it.” Now, eight years later, Kessa’s hobby has evolved into Dragonfly Studios, her own company, specializing in mosaic art. Bright, glossy and narrative, mosaic art is the skill of creating designs with small pieces of hard, coloured materials like glass, tiles, seashells, or stones. Kessa, who works mostly with glass tiles, was encouraged to start mosaic art when she worked with her late father, whose concrete business also installed pools. She would collect tiles for her work as she accompanied her father into tile companies. From this she developed her clientele who would request pieces for pools, baths, kitchens, and gardens. Kessa noted that creating this type of art does not come from haste or the hurried stroke of a brush “Mosaic art requires patience and a nipper”. Broken or disregarded tiles are ideal for her since mosaic art involves hand-chipping and shaping tiles into desired sizes. 12
Kessa has an impressive portfolio ranging from scenes of nature to the well-known face of local calypsonian, Lord Kitchener. Each piece tells a beautiful story and a glance invites the audience to get lost in the mystifying pattern of colour and reflection. “I want them to wonder how in the world she did that with these little pieces,” Kessa remarked. In 2013 the Women in Art Organization of Trinidad and Tobago awarded her ‘Tufted Coquette Hummingbird’ the ‘Most Outstanding Mosaic for the Year’. A crown of bright red, and a neck of orange and leopard spots, the awarded mosaic is the actual shape of a hummingbird. The simple creation left judges baffled about how she did it. As a participant in TTCSI’s inaugural Street Arts Festival on June 21-22, 2014, Kessa says the Festival is “an opportunity to expose my craft and my services to the public. Hopefully, it will draw a crowd because I don’t think people have seen this done before.” The completed piece will be submitted to the 2014 art exhibit at the Women in Art Organization of T&T. Kessa also hosts small workshops to teach the public her talent. Her ﬁrst workshop was last year, and her most recent workshop was held on the 18th and 25th May, 2014. At the workshops students learn techniques for
choosing; cutting; and grouting the tiles, and the goal is for each student to leave with a completed piece. Applicants do not need to have a background in art to participate. When asked how the government or private sector can build the industry, she gracefully thanked those in the business, such as tile suppliers and art galleries, as they help her advertise and provide her with material. With the dream of having her own factory one day, Kessa recommended the government place a limit on the import of mosaic pieces. While admitting that competition is healthy, she also noted that a low quota would encourage consumers to purchase mosaic pieces from local vendors. Her pieces are original and custom made! Anything a client wants Kessa can create it. To place an order or to attend Kessa’s next workshop please call: KESSA SEALE Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 754-0999 Facebook: KESSA'S ART
ARTS & CRAFT
TRINI CHALK ART Written by Kitran Charles
THE MIND OF THE ARTIST What if artists around a table can solve most of the problems that our societies face instead of politicians or lawyers? Imagine that! This may not be so far-fetched as artists tend to use the right-side of their brain the most. Scientists believe that the right-side of the brain is creative, and the part of our brain that processes thoughts in a non-linear, non-sequential manner. The right brain seems to flourish when dealing with complexity, often looking at a problem holistically and understanding the sum of parts. But artists’ social responsibility is also facilitated by the art itself. Artists are often led or inspired by current events and moments that are socially charged or political satire. Pavement drawings and chalk art have become a great way of harnessing this creativity and artistry.
THE IDEA BEHIND CHALK ART Against this backdrop, the Chalk Art Competition was created as part of the TTCSI Street Art Festival 2014. Chalk Art Competitions are held every year all over the globe. The most notable ones are the Savannah College of Art and Design Sidewalk Art competition held every Spring at Forsyth Park Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A for its students and creative alike. Others include: Street Painting Festival, Lake Worth, Florida – Mid-August (likely) 2014. The origins of modern street painting
however can be traced most notably to Italy and Britain. As pavement arts and chalk art is now being introduce to Trinidad and Tobago, there is no doubt that the activity will gain popularity in communities, among people of all ages. Trinidad and Tobago’s ﬁrst Chalk Art Competition will take place during the Street Arts Festival as High Design collaborates with TTCSI, and opens this craft up to the public to compete. Artists will participate, creating original 2-D and 3-D artwork. The Street Arts Festival will be staged from June 20 -22, 2014 around the Adam Smith Square. The competition will be held in the vicinity of Murrary Street, utilizing the pavement as an artist’s canvas set in a park like location. The public is invited to take part in the Chalk Art competition by ﬁlling out an outline form located on the TTCSI SAF festival’s website. (www.ttcsi.org). Sign-up forms can be completed on the day of the festival, however spaces will be limited. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: 1) SINGLE ENTRY – with one or two participants 2) GROUP ENTRY – with three or four participants.
KITRAN CHARLES THE WOMAN BEHIND THE ART Kitran Charles earned her BFA Degree in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design in the United States. With
Release the Tension Creatively
more than a decade of creative design experience, working in both the US and Trinidad, Charles decided to start her own design company called High Design. The company is a studio-advertising ﬁrm that caters to the needs of Event Planners, Creative Enthusiasts and the marketing and communication services industry. High Design offers not only web; video; and graphic design, but design software training as well. Some of her clients include local entrepreneurs, celebrities, government ministries, faith based organizations, community groups and NGOs. Charles has passionately helped to develop the local Graphic Design industry and has helped to develop the Graphic Arts curriculum and taught Graphic Design at COSTATT. In addition to her company, she currently enjoys teaching graphic design software courses at F1 Connect.
For more information about Kitran, or her company, visit their website www.highdesing.biz. For more information about the Street Arts Festival, and the Chalk Art Competition, visit TTCSI’s website at www.ttcsi.org or email email@example.com
ARTS & CRAFT
THE OUTLET MARKET More Than A Table Written by Andrea Cwh-Coutain
Established in 2013, The Outlet Market is a spontaneous point of distribution for micro and small businesses. Vendors are also encouraged to be proactive in creating mini promotions to assist with their sales. As a vendor you will get more than a “table”, you are getting marketing opportunities as well as marketing support.
Organizations by providing a place for them to communicate their efforts and raise funds. The OM Pledge supported the following charities in 2013: The Informative Breastfeeding Service / The Natalie Affonso Lupus Foundation / The Family Life Foundation / The Namaste Foundation / The Tallman Foundation.
The Outlet Market supports all businesses in the Small/Medium capacity. The Outlet Market is the only “Promotional Market” to encourage the business owner to become proactive in their communication to their customers and the public at large.
THE OM AT THE SAF
Customers at The Outlet Market can look around for that special something, ﬁnd the perfect item, taste yummy samples, shop and support our independent vendors! Vendors at The Outlet Market can promote their business, build a customer base, offer and sell their quality products or services
THE OUTLET MARKET PLEDGE In a spirit of goodwill The OM Pledge supports registered Charities and Non-Proﬁt
The Outlet Market will be featured at The Street Arts Festival on 21st and 22nd June 2014. This market is for vendors who offer products made by hand: ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, crafts, photography, textiles, beading, wire bending, leather goods, wood carving, horticulture, food and beverages. Vendors will be featured in the program of the Street Arts Festival, which culminates at The Adam Smith Square, Woodbook, Port of Spain. Get more information on Facebook/The Outlet Market TT to keep in touch on upcoming events. Vendors who are interested in participating can call 489-8371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos courtesy Kyle Keens-Dumas of Konsortium Studios for Kaj Designs.
THE KAJ FLAGSHIP BOUTIQUE Tobago’s Premier Fashion House Makes History with the Launch of its First Branded Retail Space
A proud moment as Kaj’s President and Creative Director, Kevin Ayoung-Julien (fourth from the left), and the brand’s CEO, Liza Miller (third from the left), cut the ribbon officially launching the Kaj Flagship Boutique.
KajFAB models strike a pose in front of the Kaj Flagship Boutique. From left to right: Fertility tank dress; long sleeved evening dress; silk kaftan; and maxi dress with ring accent.
Written by Liza Miller
Kaj Designs, the new dispensation of fashion in the Caribbean, ushers in fresh life and creativity to the sector. With a clear objective to position its brand as an international force in Caribbean fashion, Tobago’s premier fashion house launched its flagship boutique with a private function for media and specially invited guests on Saturday April 26, 2014 at the Buccoo Integrated Facility at Buccoo Point in Tobago. “Establishing the Kaj Flagship Boutique is the culmination of several years of unwavering dedication and tenacity to my vision. I look forward to this new chapter in the life of Kaj that makes our brand more readily accessible,” shared Kaj’s founder and Creative Director, Kevin Ayoung-Julien. “We eagerly look forward to nurturing this budding relationship with the Buccoo Integrated Facility. As a central hub for
artistic, cultural, sporting, social and leisure activities in Tobago, it represents a limitless opportunity for partnering and forging synergies for brand and sector alignment,” asserted Kaj’s CEO and Ayoung-Julien’s business partner, Liza Miller. One of the highlights of the programme at the recent boutique launch was The KajFAB Anthology, which presented the evolution of the Kaj aesthetic showcasing select pieces from Kaj collections dating from 2007 to present. Guests were treated to show-stopping pieces from the collection, Eccensual, which made its runway debut at the 2007 Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW). Eccentric combinations of wild animal prints followed with the 2008 collection, WILD THINGS, which was ﬁrst seen at the inaugural Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago (FWTT). Next up was the penultimate
collection with the vibrant pieces of Kaj’s ﬁrst resort offering from 2010, Shore Culture. The presentation closed with the luxuriously simple designs of the current Kaj Resort 2014 collection, Tribu Sauvage. The momentous occasion was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony and trunk show featuring limited edition pieces of Trinidad and Tobago’s leading jewellery and accessories brand, Koko Karibi Designs. With a minimalist design aesthetic, Koko Karibi offers modern contemporary creations in an array of precious and plated metals accented by precious and semi-precious gemstones and natural elements including shells and bone. “There is a natural synergy between Kaj and Koko Karibi Designs that hinges on a similar aesthetic approach. We are pleased to now be one of Koko Karibi’s stockists and look forward to a long and
fruitful relationship,” disclosed Miller. Additionally, tourists visiting Tobago, fashion enthusiasts and KajFABfemmes can look forward to the extended Kaj Safari Sale offering a storewide 40% off the entire Tribu Sauvage collection. The mid-luxury brand designs and manufactures ﬁne women’s wear and accessories that are available through the Kaj Resort, Kaj and Kaj Couture lines. The timeless luxury of Kaj’s creations cater to the discerning taste of KajFABfemmes, who are conﬁdent women that boldly declare their sense of style and sophisticated sensuality in any fora. Despite operating under severe constraints imposed by limited resources, the brand welcomes this new chapter gratefully while continuing to grow. Blazing a trail in 2013 as
the ﬁrst Caribbean brand to exhibit and show at BLUEPRINT during Singapore’s fashion week, Asia Fashion Exchange (AFX), as well as at the exclusive Fashion Festival in Bali’s celebrated Legian region, Kaj is poised to be the region’s foremost source of exquisite clothing and accessories with the ﬁnest raw materials, an impeccable ﬁnish and a distinctive flair for detail and texture. In this vein, Kaj continues its focus on gaining an international market share with its April 2014 launch at a London-based online boutique, Global Runway, as the brand eagerly looks to incite the catwalk at Color Revolution from May 29 to June 1, 2014 in St. Maarten.
Visit Kaj on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kajdesigns or on Twitter and Instagram @kajdesignsLIVE to stay in
Folded envelope tunic and Bermuda shorts from the 2010 Kaj Resort collection, Shore Culture
“...the Kaj Flagship Boutique is the culmination of several years of unwavering dedication and tenacity to my vision...”
the KajFAB know. For more information email email@example.com or call (868) 639-6KAJ(6525)
THE HUMAN IMAGINATION AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS Written by ACF Secretariat
‘In the thrust to put people at the centre of development, the human imagination and the creative process must be seen as the genesis of innovation and sustainable development.’ From October 8-10 this year, over 1,000 regional and international representatives from business, government, civil society and academia will converge at the HYATT Regency Hotel in Port of Spain to participate in the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). The ACF is the preeminent economic and commercial event in the Americas focused on competitiveness and innovation. Trinidad and Tobago is the ﬁrst English speaking Caribbean country to host the ACF. The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development is spearheading the planning and execution of the event. According to the Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, “In the Caribbean, we have many examples of innovation through our music, fashion, literature and tourism. We recognise that in order to increase our resilience, an innovative approach is fundamental.’ The theme for the event is “The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation.” Within a dynamic global business environment, economic competitiveness is now based on a country’s ability to produce innovative products and services with valuable applications. This process is largely being driven by the Global Services Industries
all focused on innovative service creation, entrepreneurship promotion, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) internationalization and trade facilitation. The VIII ACF intends to elaborate on the importance of the services industry in Trinidad and Tobago by discussing its potential to be a driver of innovation and the ideal conditions required to develop a global services hub for the production of technology driven, knowledge based products and services. In all of this, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is key. Speaking to the role of the ICT and its impact on entrepreneurship at the launch of the Idea to Innovation (i2i) programme, Minister Tewarie described the age in which we live as the age of the ‘born global’ and the ‘micro multinational’. The VIII ACF will feature renowned experts and entrepreneurs who have created regional and global impact within the services industry. Suhas Gopinath, recognised as the world’s youngest Chief Executive Ofﬁcer is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Global Inc., an Indian IT multinational company offering quality IT solutions for various industries in the form of disruptive and innovative solutions. Founder of Zonamerica, the ﬁrst private free zone in
Uruguay, Orlando Dovat Mela has boosted the competitiveness of Uruguay’s service industry by offering a unique mix of infrastructure, beneﬁts, services and linkages not available in other regional free zones and industrial parks. The VIII ACF will also champion the vast potential of the creative sector in furthering economic and social progress. Various activities have been initiated to engage the national community and highlight local success stories. Three Human Imagination Panel Discussions, focusing on the impact of music, fashion, literature, animation, media, art and business in society, have been successfully conducted with more to come. These panels were led by enterprising individuals who shared their experiences in integrating creativity with industriousness to excel in their ﬁelds and promulgate the successful work of the creative sector in Trinidad and Tobago. An Innovation Village is being planned on the margins of the ACF as an exhibition space that will feature and promote innovative products and services and processes from the Americas. The Village will provide the opportunity for approximately 60 local,
regional and international exhibitors in the ﬁelds of Information and Communications Technology, Health and Safety, Environment and Defence to display and demonstrate the outputs of their creativity. This year the ACF will strengthen its engagement with the private sector through an extensive campaign regionally and activities speciﬁcally focu sed on providing innovative business tools for growth and development. Participants will also have the opportunity to advance their business prospects and networks through initiatives such as ConnectAmericas, the ﬁrst social network for businesses in the Americas. ConnectAmericas provides an online platform for information exchange, networking and business matching that participants can access before, during and after the ACF. The platform allows participants to initiate strategic business contacts that can result in access to international markets, new business partnerships and increased ﬁnancing options. The VIII ACF is an inclusive event with beneﬁts for all stakeholders. Over thirty international and regional speakers including high powered executives, entrepreneurs and
academics have already been mobilised as key speakers and panellists. The ideas shared and knowledge exchanged will not only grow intellectual capacity but also act as an important catalyst for improving policy making, ﬁne tuning business strategy and facilitating complementarity between the two. The intellectual richness and thought provoking experiences that the ACF promises has the potential to forge a new approach to achieving regional competitiveness. Regional participation is considered vital to the success of the VIII ACF. Trinidad and Tobago extends an open invitation to government leaders, private sector executives, multi-lateral agencies, non-governmental agencies, academic institutions and the general public to be part of an exciting programme of activities guaranteed to stimulate and provoke the human imagination. Speakers from Google, University of Toronto, specialist think tanks as well as a special speaker on social innovation will all contribute to this memorable experience.
The VIII ACF will feature renowned experts and entrepreneurs who have created regional and global impact within the services industry. 20
PORT-OF-SPAIN CELEBRATES ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY
Stronger Than Pride - 100 Years to Celebrate Written by Winifred David - Chief Executive Officer, Port of Spain Corporation
This year, our Capital City, Port-of-Spain celebrates its 100th Anniversary and the Corporation will celebrate this historic milestone with month-long celebrations under the theme “Stronger Than Pride”. The calendar of events is targeted not only toward the city’s business community, but is also geared toward participation by all in Trinidad and Tobago. Although the city would celebrate its 100th Anniversary for the entire year, most of the celebrations would take place in June, commemorated as Port-of-Spain City Month. CALENDAR OF EVENTS • June 1st - Miss City of Port-of-Spain Pageant • June 6th - The City Corporation hosts 300 children at a movie at Digicel Imax Theatre • June 7th - Junior Calypso Competition. Theme: “Disaster Preparedness” • June 14th - Mayor’s Ball • June 15th - Steel Band Street Parade and Jamboree • June 20th - Military and Para-Military Street Parade, including Chinese cultural event • June 20th - City Concert at Adam Smith Square • June 22nd - Interfaith Church Service • June 26th - Civic Reception and Awards Also look out for other activities, designed to offer widespread participation of persons of all ages.
During its 100th Anniversary celebrations, the Port-of-Spain City Corporation also welcomes the initiative by the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries to stage the Street Arts Festival. This Festival will provide citizens and tourists with a greater opportunity to enjoy the diversity and talents of our multi-cultural country.
100 YEARS OF HISTORY In June 1914, Port-of-Spain was declared a Municipal City by Ordinance proclaimed by the then Governor. On 26th June 1914, the ﬁrst sitting of Council was held. From then to now, the landscape has altered considerably – from donkey carts, tramcars and areas of mangroves to what we see today.
The city has been the capital of the island since 1757 and serves primarily as a retail and administrative center. The last Spanish Governor of Trinidad, Don Jose Maria Chacon, devoted much of his time to developing the new capital. The 1738 Cedula of Population, which encouraged the settlement of French in the island, led to a rapid increase in the town’s population and its geographical extension westwards. From the foot of the Laventille Hills, eleven streets were laid out west of the area bounded by the St. Ann’s River. This grid pattern has survived downtown Port-of-Spain’s century of transformation. When the British invaded in 1797 (at the site still called Invaders Bay today), Governor Chacon, wishing to avoid unnecessary destruction capitulated, and was able to negotiate the terms of the handover with British General Sir Ralph Abercromby. By 1803, as the foreshore mudflats were reclaimed, the city began expanding southwards, in the area of what is still called Sea Lots. The land reclamation continued west, and Plaza del Marina (Marine Square, now called Independence Square), become solid land. Prior to this, the city’s shoreline ran through what is today called Independence Square. When in 1935 the Deep Water Harbour Scheme dredged the offshore area of west Port-of-Spain, the material was used to ﬁll the area south of Woodbrook, and Wrightson Road was constructed. This historic city was also the temporary capital of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962. While this was brief, Port-of Spain, though a century of physically and historically transformative events remains the center of Trinidad and Tobago’s business, sports, art, entertainment and nightlife. For more information on the 100th Anniversary Celebrations, contact the Port-of-Spain City Corporation and its Councilors at 623-1124 or 623-1126.
TTMA’S TICSelling 2014 Points Written by TTMA
In 2014, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) is pleased to celebrate 15 years of hosting the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC). To celebrate this milestone, the event has returned to the Centre of Excellence as TTMA believes that the trade floor there offers a far more dynamic convention space to exhibit, provide and create more business opportunities for the TTMA’s valued stakeholders. In an effort to present a more dynamic tradeshow for our 15th anniversary, this year’s event has been themed "Creating Opportunities, Driving Growth". TTMA seeks to ensure that TIC 2014 caters to all levels of business. In order to support the growth of businesses across T&T, TTMA has reduced prices by as much as 50% in some instances. - Whereas last year a 3*3 booth cost US$3300, this year a similar booth will only cost US1800 VAT inclusive. - Another special offer is the creation of a larger 3*4 booth for only US$2200 and a 3*2 booth for US$1500. As we continue to partner with local SMEs to develop industry in 2014, the TTMA has allocated 20 small table-booths for US$1100 to speciﬁcally include those SME’s in the region’s biggest business-to-business event. Apart from the booths, we have also scaled
down the prices for the pavilions. A 9m*6m is now being offered for US$9000 and a 12m*6m is going for US$13,400. One of the prime objectives of the TTMA this year is to attract a plethora of local and regional exhibitors to the show, as well as speciﬁc and targeted international buyers. Thus far, we have buyers registered from 22 different countries, including:- US, Canada, Sweden, UK, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Suriname, Guyana, Haiti, DR, Cuba, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Panama, El Salvador and Brazil. TIC 2014 will also place emphasis on education and advocacy through our Business Education Programme. This programme will include workshops on topics such as innovative packaging, export market ﬁnancing, supply chain management and improving trade relations with speciﬁc markets such as Dominican Republic. TTMA has already conﬁrmed seminar partners and the schedule has been booked months in advance of the actual tradeshow. This indicates that the business community is very interested in hosting workshops and participants are willing to engage the process as they see tangible gains to be had from the workshops. Apart from the TTMA's input into the process, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communication (MTIIC) as
well as First Citizens and the Telecommunications Service of Trinidad & Tobago have continued to show conﬁdence in this trade show and have once again partnered with the TTMA to host TIC 2014. The MTIIC will have a large floor area highlighting the various bodies falling under its purview. Included in the Ministry's pavilion are ExporTT and InvesTT; which will be showcasing the investment opportunities for investors interested in doing business in T&T. TTMA places great importance on promoting business-to-business opportunities and therefore requires you to visit tic-tt.com and register either as a buyer and/or an exhibitor to enter the tradeshow. Without registration you will not be allowed to enter. Therefore, if you are seriously interested in showcasing your business operations to a targeted business audience from T&T, the region and the world; or you are interested in meeting potential business partners to help you grow and expand your operations; and/or alternatively just looking for new market possibilities; then TIC 2014 is the place for you. DON'T MISS THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY. TIC 2014 takes place on July 2-5, Centre of Excellence, Macoya. For further information you can contact Shanna at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarika at email@example.com
A SOCA UPDATE
(Services Of the Caribbean) Written by Ryan De Souza – TTCSI Research Ofﬁcer
Services of the Caribbean (SOCA) is an initiative co-chaired by the TTCSI and AmCham Jamaica, with a membership that includes – to date – founding member AmCham Trinidad and Tobago, the Barbados Coalition of Services Industries, and the Antigua and Barbuda Coalition of Services Industries Inc. Launched in Washington, DC on November 20, 2013, SOCA is a multi-year program aimed at developing, designing, and implementing a policy and business advocacy program to create greater conditions for services trade between CARICOM and the USA. Services are now 75% of the CARICOM economy, with some countries in the Eastern Caribbean as high as 90%, and even manufacturing-industry dominant Trinidad & Tobago being at least 40% services driven. While tourism remains the principal driver in services, new non-tourism sectors have been growing rapidly. CARICOM countries have developed a new economic comparative and competitive advantage in services, which now needs to form part of the US-CARICOM trade policy and business discourse. The motivation of the SOCA is to organize this sector in the Caribbean to be able to sell services in the US and to enlist the support and cooperation of stakeholders, and investors in the US. This will be done twofold: • Enhancing the goods-only Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) to include services • Trade Facilitation - Executive action via the US-CARICOM Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) - Business-to-Business (B2B) Partnerships
CBI While the CBI regime is focused solely on goods, paradoxically, CARICOM countries have much greater potential for trade in the services, an area not covered by the CBI. The
economies of many CBI countries have become more oriented to international trade in services, rendering CBI trade preferences for exports of goods less relevant to their economic future. Moreover, CBI-related investment in the region has focused as much, or more, on services than on exporting CBERA goods. The call for the inclusion of services in the CBI regime is therefore premised on the strategic development goals of the region, and the realities of the Caribbean economies. While to-date no speciﬁcs have been proposed, discussions have taken place with key trade-related Committees in Congress resulting in the request for speciﬁc proposals of legislative actions which could be advanced by Congress as part of broader trade legislation in 2014-2015.
TRADE FACILITATION The TIFA can encourage more investment in the region by targeting discussions of
Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) are in discussions as to how to advance such a services focus on the CBI CARICOM markets of value to their US services member companies.
WHERE ARE WE NOW? The CARICOM Secretariat invited the TTCSI, together with AmCham Jamaica, to make a presentation on the SOCA at the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, held from May 06-10, 2014. Mr. Nirad Tewarie, CEO, TTCSI and Mrs. Becky Stockhausen, Executive Director, AmCham Jamaica made the case for support of the initiative. Their presentation was well received and the SOCA initiative has been fully endorsed by the CARICOM Secretariat. With the policy support and investment stimulus that can result from expanded
Services are now 75% of the CARICOM economy, with some countries in the Eastern Caribbean as high as 90% speciﬁc services sector initiatives focused on promoting and enhancing greater services investment and trade between both partners. The TIFA agenda and work plan for 2014 is currently being discussed by both parties making the SOCA initiative’s timing impeccable as it can now be inserted into that dialogue process. B2B Partnerships focused on trade facilitation, business facilitation, and technical cooperation initiatives in some services sectors can stimulate US services investment and trade across the region. Already various business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the
access along with concerted efforts to penetrate the US market and attract US investment, CARICOM services ﬁrms will not only beneﬁt from greater and easier access for services business exports into the US market but they will also become more attractive suppliers and partners through concerted efforts to enhance the Caribbean position in the US services market. Companies and business support organizations with an interest in CARICOM-US trade are invited to join and take advantage of this momentous opportunity by sending their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not be left behind! 25
BOOKS & FILM
BOOKS & FILM
Extempo Supremo Black Sage debates crime in verse
NGC BOCAS LIT FEST More Than a Festival
Written by Marina Salandy-Brown, Founder and Director
The NGC Bocas Lit Fest is Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival. It is the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean and in just four (4) years it has acquired an enviable international reputation. Where did it come from and how did it mature so quickly? Marina Salandy-Brown, founder and director, puts the festival into perspective. Ideas have their time. A literary festival is not a novel idea but I am told repeatedly that ten years ago it would have been impossible for Bocas to have the same impact. Every April since 2011 dozens of the ﬁnest poets, novelists and lovers of stories gather to celebrate Caribbean writing and enjoy a great 5-day literary lime. Bocas attracts festival-goers from all over T&T, the region, UK and North America - they seem starved for the offerings! T&T needed a literary festival. In fact, the southern Caribbean needed one to partner with Jamaica’s Calabash literary festival, which looks north and only partially concerns itself with Caribbean writing. Bocas is Caribbean in focus and international in range. It seeks to exploit the region’s extraordinary tradition of letters that has produced two (2) living Nobel Laureates for Literature: Derek Walcott and VS Naipaul. No other part of the world can boast of such success per capita. 26
That legacy is a valuable asset that contemporary and emerging writers can draw upon, yet it was largely ignored. Bocas set out to assist in diversifying this country’s cultural product by creating a forum where those interested in creative expression beyond carnival, steelpan and calypso could get together to indulge what had become almost a closet pursuit – reading books for pleasure and even attempting to write them oneself. Bocas also had the objective of providing a service to our writers; far flung as they are in pursuit of a publishing deal and the means of making a living as a writer. Very few have managed to forge a literary career without migrating. Those who managed to get published abroad draw upon a memory of the Caribbean, but are now less in touch with everyday Caribbean life. Bocas reconnects them. Bocas created a marketplace where writers, readers, publishers, agents and those who understand the value and workings of the literary industries can meet to share work, do business and have fun. Long before broadcast media, books provided the only way to travel and experience other worlds and lives. The coming of new technologies have not sent away the written word, it only multiplied the ways in which we share
stories. Literature may appear to provide idle fun but stories of life underpin lucrative international industries that contribute heftily to national treasuries. Literature also serves civil society; holding up a mirror to us, helping to explain our situation and work through human behaviour.
H.E. President Carmona chats with A-dZiko Gegele, winner of the inaugural Burt Award for young adult literature. Photo - Marlon James
Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, listens closely. Photo - Marlon James
WHAT’S IN THE NGC BOCAS LIT FEST • Readings • Performance poetry • Panel discussions • Spoken word • Workshops • Music • Storytelling • Panel discussions • Children’s festival • Prizes • Booksellers • Book signings • Films • Book launches
In 2011 the One Caribbean Media (OCM) Bocas Prize for the best book by a Caribbean author was inaugurated and funded by OCM. Now Bocas also administers the Hollick Arvon Prize for emerging Caribbean-based writers, and the Burt Award for young adult writing, which annually guarantees three books region-wide sales and distribution. The two latter prizes are the gift of non-regional donors. Bocas also works with the British Council and Commonwealth Foundation to support writers regionally through an action group called CaribLit. The festival is the gift of corporate T&T. It is title funded by the National Gas Company and supported by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, with other commercial and non-corporate sponsors for diverse year-round projects. In 2013 Bocas South Central was launched; in 2014 NGC Bocas Tobago was born and NGC became sponsors of the month-long children’s Bocas Lit Fest.
Most events are free and open to the public www.bocaslitfest.com
Penny Commissiong and Nikki Crosby at the NGC Children's Bocas Lit Fest. Photo - Danielle Delon
Bocas created a marketplace where writers, readers, publishers, agents and those who understand the value and workings of the literary industries can meet to share work, do business and have fun. 27
SAMUEL BADREE On Top of the World Written by Valentino Singh
It took a while for Samuel Badree to reach on top of the world, but once he got there, no one could argue that it was not well deserved. The 33-year old West Indies leg-spinner used the recent ICC T-20 World Cup in Bangladesh to crown himself with the title as the world’s best bowler in the T-20 version of cricket. Born March 9, 1981, in Barrackpore, Badree has represented West Indies, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as the T&T Red Steel and West Indies ‘A’ team on his climb to stardom. Having operated in the shadow of Sunil Narine, his more illustrious colleague, Badree pitched during the Bangladesh extravaganza, perplexing some of the world’s leading players with an artful and controlled exhibition of leg-spin that earned him the number one spot on the ICC Reliance T20 bowling rankings. He took 4 for 15 against Bangladesh - the best ﬁgures by a West Indies bowler in World T20; weathered an attack from Australian openers to pick up two wickets; and sliced open Pakistan with three wickets. Although the West Indies gave up their crown, Badree was the Caribbean team’s leading wicket-taker with 11 wickets at a miserly average of 10.27. At the conclusion of the tournament, Badree and his captain Darren Sammy were the only two West Indians to earn spots in the Best XI
team of the tournament. “I think my performance was up there with some of the best performances in terms of getting wickets and maintaining a decent economy rate; for the mere fact I was bowling against some of the best players in the world,” he noted. “We were in the tougher group of the two. It was always going to be difﬁcult. But we did it through grit and determination.” West Indies were beaten by eventual winners Sri Lanka on the Duckworth/Lewis method in the semi-ﬁnals, after coming through a “group of death” that included beaten ﬁnalists India, Australia and Pakistan. Badree, who opened the bowling and regularly got early wickets while maintaining an economy rate of 5.65, said he was “delighted” to have made the World T20 best 11. He added: “I thought I handled the pressure well, especially bowling in the powerplay.” Badree bowled all his allotted overs straight through. This gave batsman a chance to size up not only his honest work but also the vast open ﬁelds in the Powerplay overs. But even with restricted ﬁelds in the Powerplays, Badree was still difﬁcult to get away. He remained focused and ballsy, moving in aggressively and with an energetic snap that sent the ball accurately on its way, with enough rotation
and spit to actively scythe through the ﬁnest so-called specialist openers on show. He was gutsy and resilient, and troubled all batsmen with his variations of trajectory, pace, bounce, and of course, turn. Before the start of the tournament, Badree was behind Narine by just one ratings point. His efforts at the tournament gained him 109 ratings points to ﬁnish on 855, 45 ratings points ahead of teammate Narine. While regional selectors have targeted limited overs cricket for him, Badree, who was overlooked for Trinidad and Tobago’s Regional Super50 campaign in February, said he would still “love to represent my country,” in that format. “I am not going to think of myself as only a T-20 cricketer. Hopefully opportunities will come in other formats as I continue to prove myself.” The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries congratulates Mr. Samuel Badree on his splendid performance
“I think my performance was up there with some of the best performances in terms of getting wickets and maintaining a decent economy rate...” 29
T&T ‘WARRIORS’ TO GET WORLD CUP FEEL Stephen Hart’s Men Off to Face Argentina and Iran Written by Shaun Fuentes – Director of Communications - TTFA
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior National Men’s Team will play what is undoubtedly one of its biggest ever international matches against World Cup favorites Argentina in Buenos Aires on June 4th, a mere eight days before the kick off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil. The encounter has been billed as a farewell clash for the Argentines as they face the “Soca Warriors” before facing Bosnia and Herzegovina in their World Cup opener in Rio de Janeiro on June15th. T&T has had its fair share of appearances against high-ranking international opposition. Unforgettable games against the likes of Sweden and England at the 2006 World Cup, a 2008 friendly in Port of Spain against England and a friendly international against Czech Republic (ranked number two in the world at the time of the match played) in Prague, just prior to the 2006 Finals. But this clash on June 4th is unique and perhaps of much higher proﬁle, more so because of the fact that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi will be in the squad, currently touted as one of the world’s best players. The two-time World Cup champions will also have a star-studded line up comprising the likes of Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero; Napoli front man Gonzalo Higuain; Barcelona midﬁelder Javier Mascherano and Real Madrid midﬁelder Angel di Maria. This will be not be the ﬁrst meeting between the 30
two countries on a football pitch, as T&T did in fact manage a memorable 1-0 victory over the South Americans at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. The stunning result was achieved by a team coached by Conrad Braithwaite and including players like: Lincoln Phillips, Queen’s Park’s very own Jean Mouttet (goalkeepers), Selwyn Murren, Bertram Grell, Tyrone de La Bastide, Hugh Mulzac (defenders), Victor Gamaldo, captain Sedley Joseph (midﬁelders), Alvin Corneal, Kelvin Berassa, Gerry Brown, Andy Aleong (forwards). With Reserves: Pat Small, Arnim David, and Richard Stewart. T&T also defeated Colombia 5-2 and drew 1-1 with Mexico before losing 3-1 to Bermuda in the semi-ﬁnals. Eventually they ﬁnished with
“This is a wonderful opportunity not just for our footballers but also for the country as it will allow us to match strides with one of the best teams in the world...”
the bronze medal by way of a 4-1 win over Canada. In other Pan American meetings, T&T lost 3-2 to Argentina in 1971, also losing 5-1 and 6-0 at the 1975 and 1987 Games. For head coach Stephen Hart, the affair is a unique opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago, being able to face one of the World Cup favorites this close to the tournament. It will not, however, be a ﬁrst-time outing for him, having been at the helm of Canada for a friendly international in May 2010 against the Diego Maradona-coached team in Buenos Aires. The hosts were 5-0 winners before a crowd of 60,000 plus spectators with Maxi Rodriguez grabbing a double and Carlos Tevez, Aguero and di Maria among the scorers a few weeks before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “It’s going to be a match of immense magnitude not just because of the fact that we’re playing against one of the world’s best teams with the world’s best player in it, but also because it’s an opportunity for us as a country to test ourselves and to take everything from such an experience,” Hart said. “We’ve wanted games like these because I believe you have to play against opponents of a higher quality than yourself in order to put yourselves under pressure and better your ability to deal with it both from a mental and physical standpoint.” The June 4th encounter will be played at the Estadio Monumental that has a capacity of 53,000
Trinidad and Tobago Team (against Jamaica in Friendly Match)
and is the home venue for top Argentina club River Plate. Additionally, the TTFA has teamed up with the Ministry of Tourism, which will set up a booth in Buenos Aires showcasing more of Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of Sports is also a key supporter of the National Team and will ensure all is in place for the team’s preparations for the trip. T&T’s journey to South America will see them in World Cup land too. The TTFA was able to book another friendly international against World Cup contenders Iran, this time in Sao Paolo on June 8th. TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee is maybe even more excited than the players abut the upcoming affairs. “This is a wonderful opportunity not just for our footballers but also for the country as it will allow us to match strides with one of the best teams in the world and we will have that opportunity to showcase Trinidad and Tobago in more ways than one. The opportunity to play in Brazil during the same week of the opening match is indeed another fantastic occasion for us,” Tim Kee said. Iran,
one of he Asian giants for the World Cup, is also in the same group with Argentina, and will kick off their World Cup against Nigeria on June 16th. Iran is coached by Carlos Queiroz, who was in line to take up the job as head coach of T&T in 2011 before Otto Pﬁster was handed the position. “This is another valuable training match for us. It will give our players the feel of being in the country that will host the World Cup a week or so later and by the time we are in Sao Paolo, the smell of the World Cup will be in the air” said Hart. “This is important for our players. Just being there and getting the opportunity to engage in a game against another World Cup bound team. Many of these players will be preparing for the next World Cup qualifying campaign for Russia 2018, which will begin some time in 2016. That’s not so far away and for us, this is all part of the build up for the qualiﬁcation.” Hart will be banking on the experience of captain Kenwyne Jones, who recently moved to Premiership side Cardiff City, and has the experience of playing at the 2006 World Cup alongside the likes of Densill Theobald,
Cornell Glen and Carlos Edwards, who will all be in line for selection. English-based duo Andre Boucaud and Justin Hoyte will have to be on top of their games in June, while Ataulla Guerra, Belgium-based duo Khaleem Hyland and Sheldon Bateau, Joevin Jones and Slovak-based winger Lester Peltier will be among the likely names on the roster. Hart will also need goalkeepers Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip to be in top form. Jones will try to ensure that his teammates aren’t overawed by the occasion in La Plata: “It’s a game like any other but of course it will be a much anticipated one for both teams,” he said. “We will have to bring our A-game on the day because we want to make a good impression and it’s an opportunity for us to test ourselves against two World Cup teams. This is what you live for in terms of representing your country on the international stage,” Jones added. Following these two ﬁxtures, T&T will look ahead to the Caribbean Cup Finals later in 2014 and a line-up of international friendlies against other recognized opponents. 31
BASIC MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW OF THE ECONOMY Written by Dr. Roger Hosein
The Trinidad and Tobago economy is driven largely by the hydrocarbon sector and between 2000 and 2013, hydrocarbon output increased considerably, peaking in 2010 at 336 millions barrels of oil equivalent. After 2010, there was a decline in hydrocarbon production as some of the major MNCs in Trinidad and Tobago undertook repair work on their production
direction. The unemployment rate has declined from 12.2% in 2000 to 4.9% in 2013 and since 2004 has been in single digit terms and since 2007 has not crossed 6%. This should be interpreted with care, as the economy has a number of make-work programmes which may be clouding the existence of a higher level of unemployment in the economy.
infrastructure, this exercise has since come to an end. The growth of real GDP remained positive in the period 2000-2008. However, in the period 2009 to 2013 the economy either recessed or stagnated. The growth performance in 2013 was 1.6% as compared to 1.2 in 2012 and -2.6% in 2011, suggesting that growth may have resumed. Indeed several other indicators point in this
Basic Macroeconomic Aggregates in TT, 1991-2013 Barrels of oil equivalent (millions of barrels per annum)
Real GDP Growth Total - 2000=100
Unemployment Rate %
Total reserves in months of imports (Import Cover)
Gross Official Reserves ($US mn)
CAB (% of GDP)
GDP per capita (constant 2000 US$)
The overall strong growth performance since 2000 has led to a rise in the amount of gross ofﬁcial reserves in the economy and this has sprouted an import cover ratio of 12 months in 2013 as compared to 3.81 months in 2000. The HSF has improved considerably through time and FDI inflows into the economy has also improved, but the petroleum sector remains the main beneﬁciaries. Buoyant energy prices (except in 2009) and improved hydrocarbon production motivated a strong current account balance which although dipping to near 4% by 2013 had recovered to around 14.5%. Altogether the macroeconomic changes supported an increase in the economy’s per capita GDP by almost 50%, in constant prices, between 2000 and 2013. Some emergent concerns are the persistence of a foreign exchange
shortage in the banking system. This has caused queues and some manufacturers have lamented that they may lose favor with their foreign suppliers and their per unit purchasing cost may rise if such a shortage persists. Excess liquidity in the banking system remains high and there has been a marginal widening of the interest rate differential between the USA and T&T and this may support capital outflows. Expenditures on transfers and subsidies continue to remain high, especially fuel and some back stepping on this and other areas of government subsidies that are unnecessary, may be relevant at this time, to unlock government spending for more productive exercises.
The table above shows several basic macroeconomic attributes of the TT economy since 2000.
The unemployment rate has declined from 12.2% in 2000 to 4.9% in 2013 and since 2004 has been in single digit terms... 32
TTCSI NATIONAL BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS Written by Lyndrison Lincoln, Research Ofﬁcer
The services sector has been increasing in relative importance to the T&T economy. The sector is responsible for employing over 80% of the nation’s citizens and contributes over 50% to real GDP. The percentage contribution of the services sector to GDP has been increasing since 2010 as reductions in oil and gas production and prices resulted in a decline in that sector. The scope for growth in the sector is signiﬁcant given the wide array of industries that comprise services. As the sector expands, it would certainly lead to inclusive broad based prosperity given the proportion of citizens directly employed in the sector. However, proper measures must be put in place to ensure that the institutional environment is conducive to the takeoff of all of the industries that comprise the sector and not just a select few. It is with this in mind that TTCSI sought feedback from its members on national policy and regulations. Based on responses we have created a document outlining a number of recommendations for the Ministry of Finance to consider in its 2015 National Budget. We summarize some key recommendations below.
E-COMMERCE INFRASTRUCTURE While an attempt has been made in the yet-to-be-approved 2014 Finance Bill to improve the facilitation of e-payments by amending the Electronic Transaction Act and the Exchequer and Audit Act, these measures seem piecemeal at best. For example, from the deﬁnition of “electronic transactions” in the Electronic Transaction Act, it is ambiguous as to whether or not the Act even
considers electronic payment as an electronic transaction. The Electronic Transaction Act seems to focus on providing equivalence for electronic and hard copy documents in legal business transactions. Given this ambiguity, the extent to which protection is extended to individuals and ﬁrms involved in electronic payments are unclear. These legislative amendments should be tightened to remove such ambiguity.
GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE REFORM - REDUCTION OF TRANSFERS AND SUBSIDIES Expenditure on transfers and subsidies accounted for 59% of total expenditure in 2013 (down from a high of 62% in 2011 and 2012) as compared with 56% in 2009. As such, recurrent expenditure represented 85% of total expenditure in 2013 as compared to 80% in 2009. These ﬁgures highlight a disturbing picture of a dangerous and increasing level of government ﬁnancial commitment. Additionally, several respondents to the survey indicated that programmes like CEPEP and URP impact business negatively by diverting labour from the private to the public sector and also by increasing market wages. Consequently, TTCSI believes that spending on transfers and subsidies should be systematically reduced, as in some areas they reduce productivity and lead to economic decline.
PROMOTION OF GREEN TECHNOLOGY While Trinidad and Tobago may be a relatively small contributor to global carbon emissions, there is still an important role for us to play as a regional leader. Last year we
suggested measures which can build the local renewable energy industry and also indicate regional leadership on the issue of climate change. We briefly list these recommendations below as they are still applicable, along with additional recommendations: • Necessary measures should be put in place for the provisions in the Finance Act 2010 that amends the Corporate Tax Act in Section 10 P to have their desired effect. • Present legislation does not allow grid interconnection of alternate energy systems like PV or wind to the utility grid. Part 6(3A) of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission Act restricts the right to supply energy either directly or indirectly exclusively to T&TEC. This Act should be amended to make it easier to legally utilized alternate energy systems. • Further incentives should also be considered for the construction of buildings internally designed to save signiﬁcant amounts of energy. These incentives should be calculated based on the energy savings of the building in the long run. The government should lead on this by ensuring that newly constructed buildings utilize green technology. Energy Efﬁciency or Green Building components should also be incorporated as part of the National Building Codes being developed
TRADE FACILITATION OFFICERS AND COMMERCIAL ATTACHÉS AT T&T EMBASSIES TTCSI urges the Government to appoint Trade Facilitation Ofﬁcers and Commercial Attachés at our embassies and key
Consulates as previously agreed. This has been proposed and agreed but is yet to be implemented. These commercial attaches should have the requisite level of experience in trade, business relations and the relevant foreign language skills to effectively perform their duties in their capacity as a trade liaison and can possibly be ofﬁcers of ExporTT.
INCREASED IMPLEMENTATION OF PLANNED PROJECTS Sector stakeholders have expressed concern over the low level of proposed projects and/or plans that are actually implemented on schedule. It is not uncommon that projects enunciated to the public in one year via budget presentations reach no further than conceptualization stage by the next budget. There is a need for greater follow through on promised or passed initiatives. Each budget should begin with an update on the status of proposed projects in the previous budget. Project management techniques, with the necessary scheduling and reporting frameworks, should also be instituted where possible in implementing Ministries and agencies. This would increase the ability of the populace to hold the government accountable thereby improving the general level of trust and hence industry conﬁdence. There are local professional organizations that can assist with this. TTCSI has also reiterated several ideas from the previous year’s recommendations. These included targeted measures aim at speciﬁc sectors like the education, creative and yachting industries. We hope that these measures would be considered and assist in the further development of the services sector.
THROUGH THE EYES OF THE INVESTOR Written by Patti Mohan
The creative industries, in particular, the ﬁlm industry, are main contributors for sustainable development. These sectors are becoming increasingly relevant components of modern post-industrial economies, which contribute to growth and job creation and at the same time play an important role as vectors of cultural identity. In Trinidad and Tobago, Film is regarded as a viable multi-million dollar proﬁtable industry that employs hundreds of thousands of locals year-round and attracts cultural tourism. The government has identiﬁed the ﬁlm industry as a sector with excellent potential for growth and a catalyst for both direct and indirect employment of people from different sectors of the economy. Over the last 50 years, a number of international feature ﬁlms and internationally acclaimed documentaries have been shot on location in Trinidad and Tobago. In the period 1999- 2010, 328 international ﬁlm crews selected Trinidad and Tobago as a preferred location injecting TT$35 M (US $5.6 M) into the local economy. Despite this, the local sector in some ways remains encumbered by the lack of ﬁlm industry intellect as it relates to the distribution and ﬁnancing process that takes a movie from script to blockbuster premier. To alleviate this problem, the TTCSI in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (TTFC) with the support of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, hosted a workshop “Beyond Borders: Through the Eyes of the Investor” on May 09, 2014 at the Radisson Hotel.
Feature Speaker Ms. Susanne Bohnet, Hollywood Producer
Our country is a unique place with great potential for a �lourishing and sustainable �ilm industry
The objective of the workshop was to stimulate production and distribution of local ﬁlms, understand the challenges faced by local producers/directors, and to identify investment, incentive and support opportunities for producers/directors. Feature speaker Ms. Susanne Bohnet, Hollywood Producer and CEO of Seraﬁni Productions, offered encouragement in the
product that is Trinidad and Tobago, and marketing the country as an attraction for local and foreign investors. She opined what we already know. Our country is a unique place with great potential for a flourishing and sustainable ﬁlm industry. She also shared with stakeholders initiatives for attracting productions, funding procedures and made recommendations for improving the local ﬁlm industry. At her side was Ms. Carla Foderingham, CEO of TTFC, who proudly announced the removal of the 30 percent cap for the Production Expenditure Rebate Programme greeted by loud cheers in the room. Ms. Foderingham indicated that she was informed by the Ministry of Trade that the US$3 million has been increased to US$8 million. The Production Expenditure Rebate Programme provides cash rebates up to 50 percent for expenditures on qualifying local labour and 35 percent on other local expenditures. Ms. Bohnet agreed that the increased cap was very encouraging, as the previous cap was the biggest hindrance for international producers. Participants also had an opportunity to pitch their presentation to various investors at the workshop. Mr. Nirad Tewarie, TTCSI CEO, also shared information on the TTCSI’s venture capital fund with a focus on the ﬁlm industry, encouraging participants to use the opportunity. It is only through partnership and co-operation between the public and private sector can the ﬁlm industry truly maximise its potential. Trinidad & Tobago is steadily gaining traction as a production destination for the ﬁlm industry. Opportunities abound within the local ﬁlm sector with the makers of movies, commercials and other productions being attracted by our skilled ﬁlm crews and technicians, excellent technical capacity and infrastructure hence the need to address the challenges and opportunities which exist to promote the sustainability of the local ﬁlm industry. 37
PROFESSOR NORMAN GIRVAN The Caribbean Man
TTCSI had the honor of working closely with Prof Norman Girvan on many issues related to regional development. He worked as the United Nations Secretary General’s personal representative on the Guyana- Venezuela controversy in 2010. Despite his many accolades, he remained a humble personable character. He was always willing to give his input and assist where needed. He was a very strong advocate on regional issues, particularly as it relates to perceived unfairness and injustice by multinational corporations and developed nations. Consequently he was a true Caribbean man. Prof Girvan will be remembered for his many contributions, in particular his role in the Caribbean Technologies Studies project, where he was a strong advocate for technology transfer for multinational corporations operating in developing countries. He was also a strong supporter for Caribbean solutions for Caribbean problems. TTCSI takes this opportunity to offer its condolences to the family and friends of Prof Emeritus Norman Girvan. The following article is printed with kind permission from the Trinidad Guardian. Joshua Surtees is a staff writer with the Trinidad Guardian.
Written by Joshua Surtees
The gentle rocking sound of Black Stalin's Caribbean Man faded gradually out to silence and the room assumed a respectful hush.
and in a few short months he had died from his injuries, having been flown to Cuba. His ashes were flown home to his beloved Jamaica.
It was Norman Girvan's favorite calypso, a song about a philosophy he spent years pushing for—the Caribbean as a uniﬁed region of communities instead of the detached entities that have existed since the breakdown of the West Indies Federation.
That he went suddenly, without fanfare, and that his passing was marked with decorum and private introspection from the family he leaves behind—wife, Jasmine, son Alexander and daughter Alatashe—was perhaps symbolic of a man who lacked any sense of pomposity or self-importance and was completely unoccupied with status.
Social, economic and political integration was something he realized should be not merely achievable but essential to maximize the potential of the millions of people living in the islands and countries bathed by the same ocean. This vision became crystallized for Girvan, according to Gregory McGuire the economic strategist, at a conference several decades ago at which he told a colleague he entered the meeting as a Jamaican nationalist and left as a Caribbean regionalist. The Lloyd Best Institute, aka Tapia House, was ﬁlled with great thinkers last week for an evening dedicated to the memory of Girvan. His thinking and his words will be deeply missed by his peers, friends and family. Just last December, Girvan had been amongst the great thinkers who had flocked to the Institute to attend the posthumous launch of Lloyd Best's book, Transforming the Plantation Economy. Some weeks later, doing what he loved, exploring the islands of the Caribbean—on this occasion, Dominica—Girvan fell whilst hiking
The work he did was to support others—individuals, communities and nations. Haiti, Grenada, Cuba, Venezuela to name but a few. He hated being overly praised. When he was introduced at the 2011 CLR James Memorial Lecture as "the last great thinker in the Caribbean," he was more than bashful, he was upset. If he was the last, he wondered, than what was left of the Caribbean? An instinctive supporter and encourager of youthful intellectual minds, Girvan refused to accept the notion he was the last. His son and daughter themselves are an environmental economist and law student, respectively. They are young Caribbean thinkers. There were other young minds at Tapia House, remembering Norman. Nikki Johnson of the Oilﬁeld Workers Trade Union recalled seeing Girvan at a concert, his "white head (of hair) rocking back and forth to the music", and sitting amongst a front row of dignitaries who sat stiff, rigid and unmoving.
Johnson read out a letter from the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development, thanking Girvan for his continuous support for Haiti, particularly after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Girvan held up Haiti as crucial as the forerunner of postcolonial Caribbean political expression, even naming his blog 1804 Carib Voices after the Haitian Revolution which ended that year with the slaves having overthrown French colonization and slavery and established the country as an independent republic state. On a night of tears as well as happy memories, the assembled well-wishers and mourners were welcomed by McGuire and Sunity Maharaj, the hosts, to come up to the microphone to share their memories, which they did in various ways and, having done so, all embraced Girvan's wife, sitting digniﬁed in the front row next to her daughter. Muhammed Muwakil, a young radical poet read a poem, which listed Girvan as one of "so many giants to thank." Gillian Moor sang a song with the words "fly me to heaven, fly me home, it's time to go." Introducing the song she told us she had "never had a chance to tell him I esteemed him very highly. If you esteem someone, tell them." Ingrid White-Wilson of the Cropper Foundation fought back tears speaking about a "(political) belief that did not die," thanks to people like Girvan. Addressing his daughter, whom she
sat beside all evening, White-Wilson told her that Girvan's was "not a life that passed but a life lived," and spoke of the adoration and admiration he had for his family. Nicola Cross, daughter of the late Ulrich Cross, said it was an honor to have known him and that as the daughter of another great man she had only later in life learned about the great "non-daddy roles" played by fathers of the stature of the two men. She said Girvan's life work was "a point on a continuum," not an endpoint and said it was essential that younger people in the Caribbean continued the ﬁght to establish a community. Economist Terrence Farrell spoke of Girvan's lucidity and clarity, describing him as the "consummate lecturer" and recalling with fondness and thanks Girvan's assessment of Farrell's manuscript for his 2011 book. "I asked Norman to read it, but of course, Norman being Norman, he didn't just read it as normal people do. He studied it, dissected it and unfolded it." There were joyful contributions amongst the sadness. Venezuelan ambassador, Coromoto Godoy, spoke effusively with a beaming smile on her face about Girvan being "the greatest thing to happen to her in Trinidad and Tobago." Having recently arrived, unconﬁdent about her English speaking, Girvan had seen her at an event and they had spoken. At the end they hugged, she said, "and that hug stayed with me the whole year."
Girvan was the ﬁrst to visit her house and the last to leave when President Hugo Chavez died. Amongst much praising, she thanked Girvan for being instrumental in bringing together Venezuela and Guyana. Burton Sankeralli, unionist and activist spoke of Girvan's socialist credentials and unwavering support for Cuba and Venezuela before he began to sing, mournfully and quite exquisitely, a song by Venezuelan singer Ali Primera called Los Que Muere Por La Vida. The words, translated into English are, those who die for life, you cannot say that they are dead. The last speaker was David Abdullah of the Movement for Social Justice and the night was begun by two intellectuals of the same ilk as Girvan, Ivan Laughlin and Brinsley Samaroo. Laughlin, a former Tapia man in the 1970s, spoke about the New World Group, initiated by Best, which met every Wednesday, "searching to ﬁnd expression out of the minds of Caribbean men and women." He recalled two of Girvan's expressions, "it takes two to tango but only one to reggae,"
The work he did was to support others individuals, communities and nations. Haiti, Grenada, Cuba, Venezuela to name but a few.
and his belief that "community viability is prerequisite sustainable development." Professor Brinsley Samaroo, visibly moved when seated listening to Laughlin, was remarkably stoic when he stood to speak. He said he had known Girvan since the 1960s in London where the two of them as well as Best and other "disciples of CLR James" met every Saturday afternoon at James' home in Stroud Green, north London and would stay talking all day and late into the night, often ﬁnishing past one o'clock in the morning. "Norman was wedded to the idea of a Caribbean community, but not as we have now dominated by Christian Western culture," said Samaroo, "but rather a "Caribbean of communities" encouraging each to promote itself, the First Peoples, Hindus, Muslims, Shango, Orisha, Baptists and so forth, not on the periphery but recognized and empowered." He spoke of Girvan's frustration with politicians and economists' inability to to bring the region together and instead encouraged artists, such as tassa and hosay musicians, to move around the islands to attempt to unify the people, culturally. Looking pained, though half-smiling as he looked to the ground, Samaroo told the room, "let us not mope and be sad this evening. Let us celebrate this glorious life." And that is exactly what happened.
ATTIC SUPPORTS INSURANCE LEGISLATIVE REFORM Written by ATTIC
In most jurisdictions, robust regulatory frameworks have developed over time with the support of other institutional systems to provide an integrated platform for the strength of the ﬁnancial services sector. The international ﬁnancial crisis and the CLICO/CL Financial issues shook the conﬁdence of the public in the ﬁnancial services sector and regulators. While all of this was happening, developments had already been well underway on local insurance legislative reform. Since 2006, representatives of the industry through the Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) have been working closely with the Technical Team at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago on the various draft Bills to ensure a regulatory regime that balances the interests of policyholders and regulators and the realities of the local insurance sector. The stated central objective of the proposed new Insurance Act is to modernize the domestic insurance sector in line with 40
international best practice by ensuring adequate and appropriate prudential international standards for supervision and regulation of the insurance industry and pension plans. The incorporation of current international standards as espoused by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) emphasized improved corporate governance and risk controls, enhanced valuation and risk-based, coordinated supervisory frameworks across the region, aligned with international best practice and is intended to secure our future ﬁnancial stability. While members of ATTIC are fully supportive of any regulatory mechanism that would assure the future success of our industry, the industry has signiﬁcant concerns with speciﬁc aspects of the proposed Bill. One such area is the apparent focus on a harmonization between the banking and insurance industries. This focus ignores the vast differences that exist between the two sectors in respect of
capital, business models, ownership and risk appetite. This is particularly relevant when one looks at the approach to ﬁnes and penalties, which in many instances exceed the capital base of some insurers. This appears to contradict the objective of maintaining conﬁdence and promoting the soundness and stability of the ﬁnancial system. Indeed the simple transposition of rules across different institutional frameworks and sectors may lead to unintended consequences for the substantially indigenous insurance sector. ATTIC reiterates its commitment to modern legislation and adequate capitalisation however this must be balanced with the reality of an environment with limited opportunities for investment growth and with a restricted pool of suitability qualiﬁed persons willing to assume the onerous obligations of directors and ofﬁcers. We trust that the coming legislation ﬁnds the right balance between robust regulation and support for the growth of a critical sector of the ﬁnancial industry.
TATT MOVES TO FURTHER EMPOWER & PROTECT CONSUMERS Written by TATT
The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) recently launched a consumer advocacy initiative in a bid to encourage a stronger consumer voice that will improve the quality of telecommunications and broadcasting services in Trinidad and Tobago particularly for disadvantaged persons in rural communities, senior citizens and the differently abled. The Advocacy Launch held in both islands – in Trinidad and in Tobago – formed part of TATT’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations. This advocacy initiative is a cementing of the work the organisation has done to protect consumers over the past ten years including: • Establishment of a facility to act upon complaints from consumers of telecommunications and broadcasting services • Establishment of a toll free consumer complaint line 800-8288 • Appointment of a Consumer Complaint Committee, mandated in the Telecommunications Act and which reports to the board of TATT • Consistently disseminate consumer empowerment information by way of print and electronic media as well as via exhibitions, workshops conferences and ICT Open Fora hosted quarterly by TATT.
In spite of these initiatives it is still evident that consumers of telecommunications and broadcasting services in Trinidad and Tobago are not sufﬁciently empowered to manage critical issues regarding their services. In her opening address at the launch of the initiative, Mrs. Pamella Benson, Chairman of TATT’s Consumer Complaints Committee, stressed that the aim of the empowerment thrust would be to enable individuals to act discriminately, allowing them to become capable of making informed choices in purchasing goods and services within the industry, remaining ever conscious of their rights and responsibilities. TATT’s consumer advocacy initiative is the basis upon which TATT will continue to develop systems for consumer protection. One of the responsibilities of TATT, as outlined in the Telecommunications Act, is to protect consumers of telecommunications and broadcasting services such as ﬁxed and mobile telephone. Internet, pay television and free-to-air radio and television. Speciﬁcally, the role of TATT, according to the Telecommunications Act, is to develop Trinidad and Tobago’s telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. With regard to consumer protection, the Act mandates this organization to “investigate complaints by
users, operators of telecommunications Networks, providers of telecommunications and broadcasting services or other persons arising out of the operation of a public telecommunications network, or the provision of a telecommunications service or broadcasting service, in respect of rates, billings and services provided generally and to facilitate relief where necessary”. Over the next three years, part of TATT’s strategic plan is to escalate its public education efforts with the aim of further empowering consumers. The organisation is also rigorously pursuing the completion of consumer protection regulatory documents such as Consumer Rights and Obligations Policy and Regulations along with amending the existing Telecommunications Act Looking ahead, the Telecommunications Regulator aims to establish a “Telecommunications and Broadcasting Consumer Court” (Consumer Court) as part of its advocacy initiative. That plan was announced by TATT’s Chairman Mr Selby Wilson to providers and other major stakeholders at a 10th anniversary stakeholder reception earlier this month. The Consumer Court will be a roving entity that will allow TATT, as well as providers, to
Presenters at the launch listen to concerns of consumers. From left Mr. Wendell Etienne, Moderator; Mr. Dexter Morgan, Director of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Trade Industry and Investment; Mr. Rawle Harvey, Communications Officer at TATT and Mrs. Trevonne Clarke Ferguson, Economist at TATT.
hear ﬁrst-hand complaints of consumers of telecommunication and broadcasting services within various districts throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Mrs Pamella Benson, Chairman TATT's Consumer Complaints Committee, who delivered an address at the launch, looks at on at one of the consumer related presentations along with a member of the TATT board Mr. Farouk Gerard Mohammed
It is expected that the Consumer Court will be established within the next year and will allow consumers the opportunity to publicly outline unresolved complaints about quality of service issues in their area. TATT’s consumer advocacy t initiatives are aimed primarily at providing Trinidad and Tobago’s telecommunications and broadcasting consumers with a strong, reliable empowerment platform that will keep the local Telecommunications and Broadcasting industry at the cutting edge of technology.
THE ART SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ASTT) Written by Gail Guy – President – Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago
GIVING BACK Written by Dr. Gerard Antoine
When I think of Trinidad and Tobago I think of the people who have shaped my life. Mr. Gay, my primary school teacher at Arima Boys R.C. School, his standard was academic excellence. Father Foley, at Holy Cross College in Arima, demanded personal accountability; and then there was Mr. Walker. He instilled in us as young men that the way of the transgressor is exceedingly difﬁcult. I left Trinidad for Chicago at age ﬁfteen after of my mother died during routine childbirth. I vowed then to return to Trinidad to serve its people, subsequently establishing the Lucille S. Antoine Leadership Scholarship in honor of her. For the past ﬁve years the Scholarship has ﬁnancially rewarded three secondary school children annually in T&T who are making a difference in their communities. In 1977 The T&T Cadet Force came to Holy Cross College. That was my ﬁrst opportunity to be a soldier, wear a uniform and march in T&T’s Independence Day Parade. Today I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army with two deployments with infantry brigade combat teams to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. During my deployments I never ventured “Outside the Wire”, flew on a helicopter, or went on a combat mission without ﬁrst kissing my Trinidad pendant and making sure my T&T flag/handkerchief was neatly in my ammo pouch. Prior to obtaining my undergraduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia I was an infantry combat medic in the 101st Airborne/Air Assault Infantry Division. The hardships there taught me that the mind’s power far exceeds physical strength. Success is dependent on one’s willingness, determination and 44
discipline. I took the infantry soldier’s mantra of “Follow Me” and made it my own when I attended medical school at Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, DC and throughout my medical career. As I travelled across the U.S. in 1994, during my interview process for medical school I was always asked: Where do you see yourself in medicine 20years from now? I always responded with the same answer: In Trinidad and Tobago “Giving Back”. Twenty years later I am exactly where I said I would be. The ﬁrst annual Caribbean Medical Providers Practicing Abroad (CMPPA) “Giving Back” Medical Conference and Community Outreach Program was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on June 6-8th, 2014. CMPPA is a non- proﬁt organization that I founded in 2006, made up of international medical and non-medical professionals who return to the Caribbean to “Give Back”. On June 6, 2014 CMPPA hosted a physical and occupational therapy; and speech and language pathology seminar. CMPPA volunteers also conducted two cardiopulmonary resuscitation and smoking cessation classes. The following day, a series of lectures by world-renowned Caribbean Medical Diaspora got underway. The panels included: • Dr. Dianne Sandy, MD, Nephrologist and Hypertension Specialist, Cleveland Clinic (Florida); • Dr. Roger Charles, MD, Gastroenterology, Cleveland Clinic; • Dr. Ravi Birla, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston (Texas);
• Dr. Phillip St.Louis, MD, Neurosurgery (Florida); • Dr. Ann Marie Gordon, MD, MPH, FACP, Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine, The Washington D.C. Hospital Center. On the 8th June, CMPPA visited Diego Martin, Moruga, Arima and Chaguanas, providing medical outreach service to the citizens of T&T. The Caribbean Medical Diaspora spans the globe and most members already “Give Back” to local communities. While the desire to return home is met with obstacles, CMPPA helps overcome these challenges.
Dr. Gerard Antoine is American Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and also a member of the Board. With a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia and a Medical Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, he is a lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army and Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Tripler Army Medical Centre, Hawaii. He served as battalion and squadron surgeons for infantry brigades. He is also a member of the International Spine Intervention Society.
The ASTT is a members’ organization comprising new, emerging, established and senior artists and art enthusiasts. Its goals are to advocate for its members, to provide opportunities for its members to exhibit their art, to add value to its membership through opportunities for training and development in the visual arts and to encourage our members to give back to our society through outreach activities as for example our involvement in East Port-of-Spain schools. There is no shortage of activities for the involvement of members. Over the carnival period, the ASTT in collaboration with the National Carnival Commission organised and curated four visual arts exhibitions at the Gallery of the ASTT, Carnival Village, NALIS, NAPA South and Tobago. The Curator for these exhibitions was Peter Sheppard, First Vice president of the ASTT. The NCC has expressed interest in working with ASTT next year and it is likely that these exhibitions would extend to other regions of Trinidad and Tobago.
It offered an opportunity for members to sell their art and other art items in a safe, friendly and welcoming ambience. The membership is in the middle of preparations for its May edition of the Members’ Group Exhibition and the planning committee is being led by Gail P Guy, President. The formal opening of this exhibition will take place on May 15, 2014 and the Exhibition will run until May 30, 2014. This is a themed exhibition entitled “Transitions.” It is also a juried exhibition and it is anticipated that some 200 to 250 pieces of work would be presented by members for inclusion in this exhibition. Ancillary events associated with this exhibition include a “Chalk Art Competition” which takes place on Saturday May 17, 2014 at the Art Society, Corner Jamaica Boulevard and St Vincent Avenue in Federation Park, Port of Spain. There will be accommodation for 15 teams and registration which will be on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis and begin at 9 a.m. Boards and chalk will be provided for entrants. The only requirements are that the team-leader be a member of the ASTT and each member of the team pay a $25 registration fee. The second Members’ Group Exhibition for the year is scheduled for November. This is not a themed exhibition nor is it juried. The only requirements are size considerations and that the exhibitor be a ﬁnancial member of the ASTT.
Also, an Easter Art Market was held on April 26, 2014. This market was organised by the Public Relations Committee under the leadership of Clayton de Freitas, Assistant Secretary. This event was extremely successful and a good time was had by vendors and visitors. This marked the second such market in recent times. The ﬁrst was held in December, 2013. This event has been added to our annual calendar and will be scheduled at Easter and at Christmas.
The ASTT is a member of the TTCSI and is anticipating its participation in the Street Arts Festival that is being organized June 20-22, 2014.
WHAT’S GOING ON
WHAT’S GOING ON JUNE 2014
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COALITION OF SERVICES INDUSTRIES
• TTGBC / TTCSI - BREAKFAST SEMINAR “GREEN BUILDING: MAKING PROFITS SUSTAINABLE”
Annual Meeting – June 10th – Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre
The Trinidad and Tobago Green Building Council (TTGBC) and the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) will be hosting a Breakfast Seminar entitled “Green Building: Making Proﬁts Sustainable” on July 1, 2014 at 8:00am at the Hilton Trinidad, La Boucan, Lady Young Road, Belmont, Port of Spain.
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION TTCA 6th Annual Coral Cup Classic Golf Tournament to be held on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th June, 2014 at the Millennium Lakes Golf and Country Club, Trincity. Team registration: $4,500 per team of 2 players (lunch included on both days of tournament)
• ENERGY CHAMBER OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND EXPORTT
Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) 2014 July 2nd-5th – Centre of Excellence, Macoya,
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO BUREAU OF STANDARDS velebrates their 40th Anniversary on Wednesday 8th July, 2014.
Trinidad and Tobago will be represented at the 10th Getenergy Global 2014 Conference to be held in London, United Kingdom on June 2-4, 2014 by the Energy Chamber and exporTT. The 10th Getenergy Global 2014 is an international conference dedicated to the development of the energy and petroleum sectors.
The 10th Getenergy Global 2014 Conference brings together energy and petroleum leaders, IOCs, NOCs, service providers, universities, colleges and private training providers.
• MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Venue: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper St, Islington, London
• SAN FERNANDO FASHION WEEK TRINIDAD 2014
• INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF T&T Finance and Accounting Conference – October 8th-9th- Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain
Americas Competitive Forum (ACF) – October 8th-10th – Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
Grand Retailer Runway Event 19th June, 2014 Carnival City Lounge San Fernando
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COALITION OF SERVICES INDUSTRIES
Finale Runway Event - 22nd June, 2014 NAPA South Contact us for further details. " Rhythms Of Fashion " 10 Lazzari Street, Mon Repos San Fernando Trinidad 1-868-722-6059 or 1-868-335-4155 Email : email@example.com
Featuring: The Excellence in Services Awards 2014 “I AM” Secondary School Environmental Competition Final Judging and Prize Giving and a host of exciting events - TBA
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO COALITION OF SERVICES INDUSTRIES Street Arts Festival (SAF) 2014 – June 20-22 - Woodbrook, Trinidad
• TRINIDAD & TOBAGO MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
National Services Week 2014 – November 3-7 – Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Trinidad
• TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION TTCA Annual Awards & Banquet 2014 To be held at the Grand Ballroom of the Trinidad Hilton On Saturday 15th November, 2014 Cost of tickets: TBD