By News Desk of The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries says it was optimistic that when Finance Minister Colm Imbert began his budget presentation on Monday by stating his top priority for fiscal 2020, it was expansion of exports.
In a statement the association said of particular interest to the TTCSI was the prioritisation of MICE tourism as an area of focus for revenue generation.
TTCSI said it has been in talks with officials about development of the MICE cluster in Trinidad and is confident that this sector has tremendous potential.
The organisation said a number of initiatives mentioned, including increased tax allowance for creative industries, removal of taxes and duties on inputs, and resources for registered farmers will directly impact the TTCSI’s growing membership and we look forward to additional details on these initiatives in the coming days.
“We welcome additional detail from the Minister of Finance with regards to the proposed three billion dollars of Interest Bearing-Government Bonds for all eligible VAT registered businesses, to meet arrears as the delays accessing VAT refunds has had an adverse impact on many local businesses, including the TTCSI. We acknowledge that the economic climate is very uncertain and that a fine line has to be walked between fiscal responsibility and the need for economic stimulus and social spending,” the statement said.
TTCSI said, however, “we do recommend that clear timelines be set for a return to a balanced national budget.”
“The TTCSI and its 47 member associations, representing more than 75 per cent of the local services sector, stands ready to work with the Government on sustainable and inclusive plans for economic growth, national diversification and export development,” the release also said.