As Government prepares to deliver the fiscal package on October 5, the T&T Coalition of Service Industries (TTCSI) has reiterated the call for the immediate and full proclamation of the Procurement Act, as a key mechanism for reducing corruption and rebuilding trust in doing business with the Government.
President of the TTCSI Lara Quentrall Thomas who spoke at a recent webinar noted that many processes can be done online now – but only up to a point.
It said payment and document submissions cannot always be done online, adding that In some cases, aspects of the process must be completed in person.
The Global Enterprise Registration Network (GER) gives the T&T business registration website a below-average score of 3/10 for its single electronic window and 4.5/10 for providing information on how to register a business.
Clearly, there is significant room for improvement.
Quentrall Thomas said an integrated digital infrastructure is critical to enable cashless transactions for businesses and creates opportunities for the emergence and inclusion of entrepreneurs.
She also noted that while the 2020 manifesto did provide some solutions for Tobago Tourism, there was little emphasis on what can be done to reboot Tourism Trinidad.
Quentrall Thomas said with the closure of the TTHTI recently, it is now more unclear than ever on the direction and strategy for the local tourism entities.
The TTCSI said it looks forward to the swift implementation of other measures outlined in the manifesto including:
• Tax credits for job creation and exports in all non-oil industries and sectors
• Continuation and expansion of the guaranteed soft loan programs for SMEs
• Waiving of income tax for start-ups and small and medium companies less than three years old
• Reserving 20 per cent of all Government business for SMEs
• Tax credits for businesses that invest in tech start-ups and new technology, engage in technology solutions and digitisation, and / or create employment in the technology industry, particularly young people
• Assisting, financing, incentivising and facilitating entrepreneurs engaged in:
a. Software and Mobile Application
b. User Interface Design
c. Call Centre Operations
d. Quality Assurance Bug Tester
f. Visual Effects and Electronic Media
• Establishing a Tech Investment Fund and Tech Promotion and Development Company available to all viable Tech Start-Ups and new tech businesses
• Encouraging angel investing in tech businesses through appropriate incentives and concessions.