The Investment Directorate formulates and implements the investment portfolio of the Ministry in order to contribute to the country’s macroeconomic investment performance measures. This is done by attracting inward investment especially in the non-energy sector and creating an enabling environment to retain such investment.
CORE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INVESTMENT DIRECTORATE
The Investment Directorate is charged with:
NEGOTIATION OF INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS
The Investment Directorate is in charge of negotiating Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs)/ Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) for Trinidad and Tobago.
What is an IPPA/BIT? – International agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. Currently there are twelve (12) signed IPPAs with the following countries:
Canada China Cuba France
Germany Guatemala Mexico South Korea
Spain Switzerland United Kingdom United States of America
The Investment Directorate also formulates policies and actions aimed at improving the domestic investment climate. The goal is to build investor confidence and make it easier for businesses to establish and expand investments. This function also entails creating and maintaining relationships with foreign and domestic investors, and multilateral and governmental agencies.
In 2017, a new Framework for the Approval and Facilitation of Investments in the Non-Energy Sector was created to reduce bureaucracy and red tape faced by current and potential investors. As part of this Framework, an Inter- Ministerial Committee (IMC) was established to facilitate investments and improve the service standards for all investment approving Ministries and Government agencies.
As part of investment facilitation, the Directorate also processes applications for the following incentives:
Fiscal Incentives are benefits granted to large-scale manufacturers or processing enterprises and ICT service companies under the provisions of the Fiscal Incentives Act, Chapter 85:01 (as amended). Based upon the provisions of the Act, a Company can qualify for exemptions from; Value Added Tax, Customs Duty and Income Tax on dividends or other distribution, other than interest, out of profits or gains derived from the manufacture of the approved product during the tax holiday period.
Import Duty Concessions
Companies engaged in manufacturing and processing industries can apply for the grant of Import Duty Concessions which allows them to import their raw materials, machinery and equipment and in some cases packaging material free of import duties.
Exemption from Income Tax
This incentive provides for tax exemption for letting or initial sale of newly constructed commercial buildings or multi-storey car parks. This initiative was introduced in the Finance Bill of 2013 to encourage the construction of commercial buildings and multi-storey car parks.
Responsible for the facilitation of various grants offered under the Ministry of Trade and Industry:
Grant Fund Facility
The Grant Fund Facility, established by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, provides new opportunities to develop small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that: are involved in the production of high value-added products and services that can compete in export markets; and
Foster the economy’s diversification thrust.
This facility is administered by ExporTT Limited and assists SMEs in designated sectors, with the acquisition of new capital requirements/expenditure. Through this facility, local business persons can access individual Grants from the fund up to a maximum of $250,000 per beneﬁciary to ﬁnance 50% of the cost of the acquisition. (The Grant does not cover working capital, land and building costs, and installation costs).
Research and Development Grant
The Research and Development Facility is a grant fund to provide financial support to the non-energy manufacturing and services sector. The aim of the project is to stimulate and support investment in new and advanced technology and innovation as a competitiveness enhancement tool for enterprises in the non-energy manufacturing and services sectors.
The Directorate is also charged with the promotion of investment opportunities in the non-energy sector. This is done through oversight of two State Agencies:
InvesTT Limited was established in 2012 as the national investment promotion agency. The agency’s overarching goal is to implement Government investment policy, act as the point of access for potential foreign investors in all sectors of the economy as well as to facilitate all requirements, including regulatory approvals necessary to establish a business.
Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (eTecK)
eTecK manages and optimizes the use of its existing industrial parks on a commercial basis and develops and improves the infrastructure and operations of new modern economic zones through, inter-alia, public private partnerships that can expand and diversify Trinidad and Tobago’s economic base. The Company also manages the assets of the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre and Magdalena Grand Beach Resort.