The 25 goods exporters and five service firms enrolled in exporTT’s Export Competitiveness Project will be provided with strategic, client focused guidance aimed at improving their overall competitiveness and capabilities of entering and expanding into new markets.
“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has adopted an export-centric and competitive-oriented approach to economic growth and development,” said Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Norris Herbert, at the launch this week.
Referencing the SME Diagnostic Tool developed by Caribbean Export which is being utilized during project implementation, Herbert expressed delight that exporTT was the first Business Support Organization in the Caribbean to adopt the SMEs Diagnostic Tool Assessment as the foundation for building export competitiveness.
These strategies, he added, included the application of the tool’s findings which, once effectively utilized, will target a 20 per cent increase in the non-energy exports over the next five years.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, highlighted the need for similar targeted support programmes catering to the needs of local firms.
“The expected outcome is that through a more tailored programmatic support to firms, the will become better equipped to compete in export markets,” she said.
That sentiment was endorsed by exporTT’s Chief Executive Officer Dietrich Guichard who indicated that the initiative would advance the performance of the beneficiary companies along the curve of export competiveness, enhancing export sustainability deepening and widening their penetration in export markets of interest while also generating much needed foreign exchange.
The Export Competitiveness Project commenced with a competitiveness study of selected exporters which will be followed by a gap analysis utilizing the Diagnostic Tool and the formulation and implementation of export development plans for participating companies over a 12-month period.