The Trade Licence Unit (TLU) and TTBizLink Unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) collaborated with the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) to host a webinar entitled “Understanding TTBizLink and the Trade Licence Unit” on March 4th 2022. The webinar sought to educate over seventy (70) members of the private sector on the e-services offered by the TTBizLink and TLU and how they can be utilised to improve the Ease of Doing Business. Additionally, the interactive session included discussions on the major business continuity measures implemented by the MTI through these Units to ensure the business sector is not adversely affected by COVID-19 mitigation measures.
The TTBizLink online platform allows citizens and organizations to apply for various Government-related trade and business services. Since its inception, it has revolutionized the trade and business landscape of Trinidad and Tobago by improving the ease of doing business. TTBizLink provides (from end-to-end) forty six (46) e-government e-services across twenty four (24) government departments in seven (7) ministries. To date, over four thousand (4,000) companies and over twenty thousand (20,000) individuals currently utilise the platform on a regular basis and over 1 million transactions have been completed on the platform.
Mr. Rodney Ali and Mr. Kushal Beepat, Single Electronic Window Specialists attached to the TTBizLink Unit underscored the scope and utility of e-services offered on TTBizLink by simulating live demonstrations of the Import Permit and Goods Clearance application processes. Moreover, the officers underscored the importance of TTBizLink’s role in ensuring Government’s ability to maintain business continuity throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by digitizing manual processes to allow applicants to access Government services from the safety and comfort of their homes and offices.
In sharing key business continuity measures, reference was made to the implementation of Online Payments systems for the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) and exporTT Limited, along with the electronic delivery of approved permits and licences from the TLU, Plant Quarantine Services, Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Inspectorate, and Food and Drug Inspectorate, amongst several other initiatives. These initiatives further improve processing efficiency and redound to a reduction in the time and cost of conducting such transactions.
The TLU is one of the Government Agencies that leverages the TTBizLink platform to deliver e-services which includes the processing of Export Licences, Import Licences and Goods (Customs) Declarations (Good Clearance Applications). Speaking at the session, Ms. Sandra Peter-Sarabjit, Chief Trade Officer at the TLU highlighted the evolution of the TLU over its sixty (60) years of existence as a key compliance regulator for trade in Trinidad and Tobago. She also shared on three (3) business continuity initiatives implemented by the TLU to make business easier for its customers. These include the Electronic Data Management System allowing for remote and quicker access of files; the issuance of a consolidated import licence for Used Car Dealers; and electronically sending Approved Licences to the Customs and Excise Division.
The TTBizLinK platform is currently being enhanced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and this project will be completed in December 2022.