The outgoing president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association, (TTMA), Franka Costelloe, is optimistic that export figures will increase, despite 2020 figures for export showing a five per cent decrease to $3.3 billion.
Speaking at the TTMA president’s award dinner at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain on Tuesday night, Costelloe said TTMA is pushing to increase exports from about $3.6 billion to $7 billion by 2025 via a three-phase strategy to stabilise, strengthen and secure the sector.
Costelloe said “Strength will come from our SMEs (small to medium enterprises) and new market entrants to safeguard and secure the sector. With an estimated decline of 30 per cent in 2020, and among new entries with 326 (fewer) exporters, it is imperative that we act decisively in the interest of SMEs to stimulate growth.”
She said “The pandemic has pushed global demands for essentials, particularly medical and food supplies. Of our 1,154 exporters, 18 of them are manufacturers of food and beverages. We are therefore well positioned to capture this demand in the regional markets as we clearly specialise in manufacturing of essentials.”
“In 2020, TT manufactured 220,000 face shields, 1.5 million masks, 357,000 gallons of hand sanitisers valued at over $105 million in just eight months. This was mostly used for local consumption, and we are now asking for a push on that production for export.”