Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry delivered the feature address at the Launch of the National Services Exporters Survey (NSES) 2022 and National Services Exporters Portal (NSEP) on 13 September, 2022. The event was hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, to celebrate the achievement of an important milestone in advancing the Services Sector of Trinidad and Tobago. The completion of the NSES 2022 and the launch of the NSEP will contribute to the overall development of the Sector by helping address some of the challenges with the collection of services data and making connections in export markets.
In her address, Minister Gopee-Scoon noted that despite contributing to the majority of both GDP and the labour force the Services Sector only accounted for approximately 23% of global exports and 4% of Trinidad and Tobago’s total exports in 2021. She stated that “these figures are simply not substantial enough, and therefore the potential of services exports must be unlocked, and the key to enhancing the Services Sector is reliable and accurate data.”
The Trade Minister commended the efforts of the TTCSI in seeking to help address this issue via the NSES, stating that it not only provides information on the export performance and markets of interests of our key Services Sub-Sectors, but also provides pertinent information on some of the exporting barriers that services exporters face. She further added that this information supports the Ministry’s efforts to develop more evidence-based policies and sector development strategies. This sentiment was supported by other speakers including Mr. Mark Edghill, President of the TTCSI and Data Expert Mr. Ian John. Both underscored the fact that data is the new ‘gold’ and that the effective management of data will help drive economic wealth in the Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Edghill expressed optimism that the strategic collection and use of data can and would produce positive outcomes for the domestic economy as, “whatever can be measured, can be done.”
Ms. Vashti Guyadeen, Chief Executive Officer of the TTCSI, also officially launched the National Services Exporters Portal. The Portal which resides on the TTCSI’s website will be the home of the services data generated by the NSES, as well as a local Registry of Trinidad and Tobago services companies. A key function of the Registry will be to facilitate Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings among services providers locally and internationally. At present, 420 services companies representing several sectors are registered and more are encouraged to visit www.ttcsi.org. Minister Gopee-Scoon expressed anticipation that the Portal will act as a gateway between Trinidad and Tobago and the world to promote our services and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities available in the trade of services.
The launch of both the Portal and the Survey results will advance the national effort to create an enabling environment towards the enhancement of the Services Sector. The Government and the Ministry of Trade and Industry will continue to support the work of TTCSI and remains committed to the development of the Sector.