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Curtains close on TIC 2017

TTMA president: Most successful convention ever
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, left, congratulates TTMA president, Christopher Alcazar, right, following the official opening of the 2017 Trade and Investment Convention at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, last week. Looking on is: THA deputy chief secretary and finance secretary, Joel Jack, second right, and Karen Darbasie, group chief executive officer First Citizens. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES

Christopher Alcazar, president of the Manufacturers’ Asso­ciation (TTMA), said the re­cently-concluded Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) was the most successful one in its 18-year history.

On the opening day, the Business Guardian spoke to some of the interesting, colourful and innovative booths at the TIC to see what new trends in the business world were on display.

These are some of the stories that partici­pants had to share.


Luthfie Witto’eng, Indonesia’s non-resident Ambassador to T&T, said the Asian economic giant wants to increase trade with T&T.

The embassy is based in Caracas, Venezuela.

Indonesia belongs to the top 20 largest econ­omies in the world and because of this, it is part of the G-20 economies.

The country is a large producer of copper, nickel, gold and coffee among other products.

“This is the first time that Indonesia has a booth at TIC. When I presented my credentials in T&T in 2016, the President of T&T, Anthony Carmona, said there are many opportunities to increase business between our two countries.”

He spoke to the Business Guardian on the opening day of the TIC, last Thursday at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

Some of the products they had on display included: clothes, jewelry, food, and coffee.

“Indonesia is a big country with a population of 250 million people. We also have security and military products to offer foreign countries. Right now Indonesia’s economy has stabilised and we expect strong growth in the future.”

At the same time, he said, both countries have to do more do build more business ties.

“Right now Indonesia exports some paper to T&T and also food products but there is so much more we can do. Our trade with T&T is very small,” he said.


According to Davide Zampini, manager, Global Research and Development at Cemex, the company has new products that will add value to the T&T market.

He told the Business Guardian that Cemex—based out of Mexico and the majority share­holder in Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL)—wants to offer new construction solutions to its cus­tomers in T&T and worldwide.

“This booth reflects who we are and it is made of cement-based materials such as concrete, gravel and other related products. Through the concrete elements in the booth there are things to interact with. Concrete does not have to be grey and dull; there are things that can amaze people,” he said.

Zampini spoke about concrete products they offer that can bend like steel, light-weight products and a porous concrete system that can drain water.

“There are many different innovations that we are bringing about in the industry. This booth is deigned to be interactive.”

He said Cemex wants to understand the needs of T&T’s market.

“A very good product that we are going to promote is our permeable concrete. We un­derstand that flooding is a big issue in T&T. We need to find a good solution for that. This concrete can be used in parking lots, or in dif­ferent areas where there is flooding. We not only offer materials that can drain water but we also offer the whole solution. So we design the concrete that can drain water plus the whole water management system.”


Hasan Arif, sales agent for Anmol Buscuit, was also at TIC this year. He told the Business Guardian that although they have newly en­tered the T&T market, they are confident they will grow quickly.

Anmol is a manufacturer of sweet biscuits, semi-sweet biscuits and cream biscuits in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

“The brand has been in T&T for about one year. We are here at TIC because we want to introduce more people to our products. People in T&T love this product and that is why they have been ordering it. Several supermarkets including Massy Stores are selling them.”

He said so far T&T is the only Caribbean country where Anmol is available but they would like to see the product grow regionally.


Keith London, marketing officer at T&T Bu­reau of Standards, said on Tuesday that they promoted their Quality Intelligence Business Solutions at TIC this year.

“This means using the tools of quality to help businesses with quality control and quality assurance. There may be businesses having problems looking for foreign exchange and they cannot get it. So these businesses are looking for alternatives and substitutes as inputs in their production process.

“How would a business owner know these substitutes can withstand the rigour of their production process? The TTBS is willing to partner with businesses to use the tools of quality control to guide the production pro­cess.”

He said they held seminars at the TIC and described it as “a success”.

“The feedback was promising. People were interested. We are engaging a few to see how best we can help the industry with solutions.”


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