By Soyini Grey of CNC3
Trinidad and Tobago should be using the COVID-19 pandemic to revolutionise its economy.
That’s the assessment of Chief Executive Officer of the T&T Coalition of Service Industries (TTCSI), Vashti Guyadeen.
Quoting a former UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, Vashti Guyadeen says we should not waste a good crisis, and we need to cast an eye overseas to learn from the successes of others.
“We can draw from the example of other countries,” she said. “South Korea is an excellent example in terms of how they have designed their economic deal for post-pandemic development. Many of its measures are focussed on the digital transformation of micro and small businesses, and also are encouraging the greening of firms.”
The TTCSI CEO says some of her members are prepared to operate their businesses prioritising digital delivery and the greening of their operations.
She also says TTCSI is ready to place the issue on the front burner nationally, because the country needs to get things right. But, she says, some businesses have grabbed available opportunities.
“There are some sectors where COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise, meaning that they have been able to use technology to expand their businesses, and I am speaking specifically about the Business and Professional Services Sector,” she explains.
“Our approach has been to look at sectors that have been able to grow within this one-and-a-half-year time frame and find out what we can do to accelerate their growth. We are pushing a strong ‘go global’ campaign for sectors that have been able to pivot,” she added.
Guyadeen says 140 of their members recently graduated from the “Services Go Global: Cariforum Workshop”, which builds the capacity of service providers to capitalise on the Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement, the Caricom Single Market and other trade agreements.