April 24, 2017
NEW JOBS AND MEASURABLE SUCCESSES IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S ICT SECTOR
Trinidad and Tobago has already experienced measurable successes in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, one of which includes the creation of over one thousand jobs for nationals.
At the opening ceremony of the “Internet of Things Forum: Smarter Living in the Caribbean,” the Minister of Public Administration and Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie revealed that Trinidad and Tobago is now being considered a major centre for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
“Two weeks ago, officials of Amazon Web Services…visited Trinidad and Tobago to explore business opportunities. What was not announced then is that Amazon already has a toe-hold in Trinidad and Tobago by partnering with iQor, the business process outsourcing provider, to provide its services to Amazon from new offices, located in Barataria…
“The Barataria location will see iQor moving up from not just voice, but also SMS, online chat, and of course, email in due course. This will make them an employer of over 1,000 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Furthermore, he said, the announcement by BHP Billiton that it is moving its North American Petroleum Accounting and Reporting functions from Houston, Texas to Port of Spain provides additional evidence that “data is the new oil” in Trinidad and Tobago and the ICT sector is one of the pillars for the diversification of the economy.
“By relocating accounting services from Houston to Port of Spain, BHP Billiton…will be exporting accounting services …from Trinidad and Tobago to the USA and other countries in the region. They add to RBC and Scotiabank which are already utilizing BPO services in Trinidad and Tobago…”
Minister Cuffie said discussions are ongoing to attract more companies in the financial services and energy sectors.
According to him, Cabinet approved an offer from the Government of India to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications (MPAC) for the establishment of an ICT Centre for Excellence and Innovation in Trinidad and Tobago. The centre will benefit from Indian training and expertise in ICT even as consideration is being given to locating the centre in the Tamana In-Tech Park, he noted.
“The developments at Tamana and Barataria are just the first green shoots of our data-driven diversification efforts. They are, in fact, located within the wider context of an overall plan for the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s Vision 2030.”
In an era where ICT is burgeoning and influencing every sphere of life, the Minister said the potential of ICT as a developmental tool rests on its ability to transform how our citizens conduct day-to-day activities, how they access information and how public and private entities operate and deliver services.
He also indicated that the Cabinet is considering a refining of the country’s ICT road map, “fastforward II” and there is a push to ensure that Government initiatives are concentrated on strengthening the strategic and effective use of ICT to facilitate fast and efficient delivery of public services and the growth of businesses.
“…we remain convinced that this singular policy will enhance meaningfully, the quality of life enjoyed by our citizens, opening up vistas of possibility for those with ambition and purpose, to realize dreams they once thought unreachable…In short, ladies and gentlemen, the Internet of Things will be in full swing.”
Minister Cuffie delivered the feature address this morning (April 24 2017) at Level 9, Parliament Building, Tower D.