Trinidad & Tobago Moves From ‘Red Tape To Red Carpet’ – Starting a Business down to 3 days from 43

Trinidad & Tobago has created an enabling environment for foreign direct investment and will be moving from “red tape to red carpet.”

So says twin-island Republic’s Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Senator Vasant Bharath, who put the spotlight on his country at the 2014 Invest Caribbean Now summit in New York City on June 4th.

Bharath indicated his country has cut the time to start a business from 43 days to three days and sliced the verification of address process to 24 hours as part of its “Easy doing Business” initiative.

Trinidad & Tobago has also sought to diversify away from oil and gas, growing its financial services, agro-business and creative sectors, Minister Bharath told delegates.

Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Senator Vasant Bharath addressing delegates at Invest Caribbean Now. (Sharon Bennett/ICN image)

Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Senator Vasant Bharath addressing delegates at Invest Caribbean Now. (Sharon Bennett/ICN image)

He revealed that his country’s reserves have doubled to $5 billion and unemployment has declined to five percent. A bond offering in London last year was oversubscribed by a multiple of 10. Four hundred foreign firms operate in the country, including Microsoft, General Electric and BP, using Trinidad as regional headquarters. Location on “Brazil’s doorstep” means that the government is diversifying beyond oil and gas and is now pursuing financial services, tourism and maritime services. A 700-acre economic zone is also being developed.

It can’t be done incrementally. It has to be transformation,” Bharath told other Caribbean ministers and U.S. and Chinese political representatives.

Invest Caribbean Now was founded in 2011 by Hard Beat Communications CMO, Felicia J. Persaud. The 2014 ICN summit was presented under the theme, “Advancing Wealth.”

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