‘European market ripe for T&T services’
Published: Monday, November 11, 2013

“The services sector is growing worldwide and is certainly growing in Trinidad and Tobago, and as such it is important that we develop, grow and increase the revenue streams from this sector identified for diversification.” So said Trade Minister Vasant Bharath when he addressed the T&T Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) Pitch Workshop at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre.

Bharath commended the TTCSI for the work they have been doing in the service industry as it continues to assist with market penetration, sector development, export capacity building and awareness in the services sector. “From the Government’s perspective, the development of the services sector as well as diversification of services exports is seen as necessary to reposition the domestic economy within the global economy and multilateral trading system,” he said.

“Through the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements, service providers from Trinidad and Tobago now have access to 500 million people across the European markets. “The Government is now moving away from traditional signing of agreements for goods to negotiation of service agreements with countries whom Trinidad and Tobago currently trade with.”

The minister shared his personal experience in the service industry citing the importance of creating uniqueness in your product or service offering to attract and retain customers. He said: “In this knowledge intensive economy, competition is rife for the limited investment dollar, customers have become more judicious and circumspect in their choices. You must get involved no matter what level of the company you are at, understand your target markets, be specific and innovative and know your competitors to send the right pitch.”

Bharath advised services providers to “start looking actively at those market opportunities in the European markets for their products and services since they are not going to be there forever and the time to take advantage of the opportunity is now.” Feature speaker Kamran Elahian, an ICT venture capitalist, urged entrepreneurs to “believe in yourself and your offering. “Do not follow what others are doing, always seek to provide unique compelling value to get people interested,” he said.