WHO WE ARE
As one of the frontline Ministries within the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is leading the drive to position Trinidad and Tobago as a manufacturing base, and the business, trade, and financial hub of the Americas.
The Ministry’s core responsibility is to grow trade, business and investment, particularly through driving the non-energy sectors of the economy. As the pivotal agency for trade promotion and development, MTI manages and coordinates the trade process to ensure access to international markets for companies located here.
This is closely tied to another critical mandate — the aggressive development of business and industry. In this regard, MTI is formulating more appropriate industrial and services
policies, designed to enhance the capability of the local industrial sector to compete in the global marketplace.
Much of MTI’s activities are geared towards creating a facilitatory and supportive environment for business, especially through developing the most appropriate legislative framework to support business and investment activities. MTI is also responsible for stimulating domestic and foreign investment and is working to upgrade the entire framework for attracting investment — the lifeblood of industrial activity.
MTI conducts its affairs and provides required services with the highest regard and esteem for all clients and customers. The Ministry’s stakeholders are located within Trinidad & Tobago, as well as regionally and internationally, and are drawn from government circles, the private sector, and civil society.
Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry on September 11th, 2015
Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon was re-appointed Minister of Trade and Industry on August 19th, 2020. She has been a Member of Parliament since 2007 and previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In her second term as Minister of Trade and Industry, she aims to continue building upon and expanding programmes initiated in the last five years in an effort to improve the export capacity of the local manufacturing sector and position Trinidad and Tobago as the business and trade hub of the Caribbean. She will also continue to lead the charge towards stimulating domestic and foreign investments while implementing policies to enhance the global competitiveness of Trinidad and Tobago. She believes in continuous stakeholder engagement to ensure participation in the growth and development of all sectors for a sustainable and vibrant economy.
Her personal interests extend to the deepening of Caribbean integration and she believes in and is committed to equal opportunities for personal growth, self-expression and participation in the development process of Trinidad and Tobago, for all citizens.
Ms. Frances Seignoret
Ms Frances Seignoret was appointed the acting Permanent Secretary in 2016. She has over 20 years experience in the Public Service. Ms Seignoret’s most recent appointments were at the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs where she served in various capacities and also acted as Permanent Secretary.
DEPUTY PERMANENT SECRETARY (Ag.)
Ms. Karlene Roach
Ms Roach has been in public service for more close to three decades. Her most recent posts involved work in public sector planning focused on the development of infrastructure for the small business sector, national strategic development planning and operationalization, technical cooperation and socio-economic policy and planning. Her expertise also spans developing and managing work programmes and coordinating the interventions of regional and international development institutions. At the Ministry she has strategic oversight for operational and other areas as delegated by the Permanent Secretary.
CHIEF TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONS ADVISOR
Mr. Randall Karim
Mr. Karim leads a team whose responsibilities include strategic planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation, implementation of business reforms and development and implementation of projects in keeping with the Ministry’s strategic objectives such as the Single Electronic Window for Trade and Business Facilitation (TTBizLink).
Mr. Karim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management (Hons), Master’s Degree in Economics and Master of Business Administration (Distinction) from the University of the West Indies and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the University of London. He is also a graduate of the Executive Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA and is a certified Project Management Professional (P.M.P.).
During his tenure at the MTI, he has served on several Cabinet appointed Committees and on the Board of Directors of state agencies tasked with implementing trade and investment-related policies for Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Karim has served in the MTI for over seventeen years in the capacities of Trade Specialist and Director, Policy and Strategy. He is currently the Chief Technical and Operations Advisor of the Ministry.
Mr. Michael James
Mr. Michael James oversees the division of the Ministry responsible for formulating and implementing strategies to develop and grow business in Trinidad and Tobago. His expertise in business, finance, research and economics in the private and public sector provide an ideal platform for his current undertaking. He currently leads a team which has as a priority focused on stimulating the creative and maritime sectors and enabling strong alliances with sector stakeholders.