Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents NOVEMBER 26 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
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Theodore who joined exporTT in August 2015, holds a bach-
elor s degree in economics, a graduate degree in international
relations and has over a decade of experience in import/export,
regional economics, international trade and business devel-
opment (including logistics, sales management and consumer-
He has extensive experience with regional negotiations,
having sat on several governmental and private sector com-
mittees geared towards trade development. This includes
several Caricom technical working groups on the WTO, FTAA
and bilateral negotiations, as well as regional regulatory and
trade-representative bodies. He has also represented private
sector positions on draft legislation such as Competition Pol-
Against the backdrop of a changing and heavily competitive
business environment, Theodore has assisted several enterprises
(both as a regional sales manager and as a private consultant)
in expanding their market reach, increasing their consumer
awareness and growing their profits. A believer in advancement
through innovation, he is excited to work with the exporTT
team on finding new opportunities for local businesses to
become more influential international traders both in Latin
America and the world beyond.
As the new CEO, Theodore is dedicated to helping exporTT
to fulfill its mandate as the "sole national export facilitation
organisation of T&T" and stimulating the growth and com-
petitiveness of its stakeholders as we strive to build a vibrant,
diversified and sustainable export industry.
is one of exporTT s plans.
"What we have been doing is trying to find
ways to make huge changes to the landscape
of trade. With the significant fall in the price
alternative to the dependence on energy. If
we were try to increase our export sales on
a one per cent or two per cent rate, it would
be too slow."
He said T&T s non-energy exports are
smaller than most people think.
"Some people believe that 33 per cent of
the economy depends on non-energy exports.
When you drill into that, some of the elements
regarded as non energy are actually connected
to energy like downstream energy products.
ExporTT sees a smaller percentage of the
economy that comes from the non-energy
sector. It could be closer to 20 per cent and
At exporTT he said they think and develop
plans in a "post-oil" framework.
"This means when we calculate to determine
percentages of the economy in the future that
would be based on non energy, what kind of
growth would we need? The growth of non-
energy exports needs to be by leaps and bounds
and not incrementally.
"With the oil prices being where they are
right now, obviously there is a really serious
work to be done. I came in right before the
change in the Government so there were
requests by the new administration for updates
and change of plans. So we had to think strate-
gically and still do our day-to-day operations."
Theodore said his background is from the
private sector. He has worked in the export
sector for more than 16 years and wants to
add a trade promotion element to exporTT s
"The trade facilitation office in Cuba would
be given a mandate to increase business and
training and the types of services offered would
be more surgical in terms of directly trying to
increase our business in Cuba," he said.
Recently, they have started having "strategic
sit downs" with large exporters.
"We are deciding with them which countries
they want to go to, countries they have not
visited to as yet. We are building strategic
export plans. Let us say Carib wants to go to
a part of the world they have never been to.
When they visit the new market, exporTT is
there with them. I have done it with three
large companies so far and it is at the pilot
He said everyone in the manufacturing and
business community realises the urgency of
changing the way business is done to deal
with the realities of the current economic sit-
He also wants to pair smaller and inexpe-
rienced companies with more experienced
ones in a new programme they will launch.
"Some exporters have already signed up.
One of the blocks of smaller companies getting
into foreign markets is the basic logistics of
going into a market that they are not familiar
with and do not know. For example, what
chambers of commerce to meet, where to stay,
what to eat or the foreign language. If we have
large exporters who know Panama and there
are smaller exporters not in direct competition
with them, then we could get the smaller
exporters to tag along with the bigger ones
ExporTT will also launch a new App which
will be geared to assist exporters in the research
"So when you are in markets and you are
collecting information on the prices of your
competitors, the distribution cycle, what the
App does is to help the exporter streamline
the information to create usable reports.
ExporTT can share information to that App
for the exporters. If we have ten exporters
using the App and they are in a particular
market and you wish to do research then you
can ask for that information which would be
available and they will share it," he said.
He said they are aiming for a launch at the
beginning of February.
"We are working out the specifics of it now
and we are working with two separate App
Theodore said the Latin American market
is very important and exporTT wants to devel-
op skill sets to enable their employees to have
a deeper knowledge of that region.
Participants in the programme include
exporters, exporTT staff, small entrepreneurs
and others in the local export community.
"We are having Latin American specialists
coming in. We are actually increasing our lan-
guage skill set in the organisation. Last week,
we had a graduation of our international trade
graduates. It is the first time in the country
we have a programme to have a cadre of exports
managers with the same training, same lan-
guage, same approach to export problems. We
want to foster a greater understanding among
our export community."
He said there is no alternative as T&T needs
to diversify the economy now and exporTT
is also working with universities so that cur-
ricula can be developed to train young pro-
fessionals for this area.
"If T&T is to become a heavily export-ori-
ented economy, then we need to liaise with
universities and high schools so they can think
of export as a career option. We want to speak
to people entering universities. We want to
see on-the-job training in the export sector
as well for graduates."
From Page 6
Jude Carasquero of exporTT's Cuba office, left, with Kamla Regrello of Sacha Cosmetics, Jesus
Gonzalez of Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment; Johan Grosberg of Tricon Ltd; a
Ministry of Foreign Trade representative; and a reprentative from Sacha.
Cuban visitors receiving Sacha samples at the T&T booth.
Trade fair participants at Republic Bank's seminar hosted at the trade facilitation office.
About Adrian Theodore...
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