Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 31st 2013 Contents OCTOBER 2013 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
well despite the rivalry in the market. He said the company
did well in "fighting off Digicel in the market."
"They have maintained their market share and they actually
control the corporate market and that is way better than other
countries in the Caribbean. If you look at Jamaica, how Digicel
came and took over their market -- TSTT over the years has
done a tremendous job in maintaining their market share and
keeping out Digicel from key areas.
"Credit has to be given to their management for that. It is
not a mistake that it happened. It was through strategic ini-
tiatives that proper branding and marketing.
"Give them credit, even though they have this transitional
phase they are going through. It hasn t been affecting them
as it has in other markets."
TATT:T&T mobile revenue up by 12.5%
Following the decision by Digicel to remove it s roaming
rates, TATT s chief executive officer Cris Seecheran predicted
that another major player in the regional telecom market may
also remove it s roaming rates.
With two main players in the mobile market, overall the
local telecom market for the second quarter of 2013, attracted
TT$655 million in gross revenue from domestic mobile services.
Between the second quarter of 2012 and the second quarter
of 2013 the telecom market experienced a 12.5 per cent increase
in gross revenue from domestic mobile services.
Prepaid subscriptions increased by 1 per cent between the
second quarter 2012 and the second quarter 2013. And postpaid
subscriptions increase the same amount in the same period.
In total, subscriptions for the second quarter 2012 was
1 858 000 subscriptions compared to second quarter 2013
which was, 1,883,000 subscriptions.
According to its Annual Market Report ended December
2012: "The Telecommunications and Broadcasting sectors
generated an estimated TT$5.3 billion or US $834.1 million in
2012, which as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product equates
to 3.3 per cent."
Looking at how the revenue is divided:
- Mobile Services (highest revenue earner)
TT $2.2 billion
- Internet Services
TT $805.6 million
- Fixed voice services
TT $794 million
Both networks - Digicel and TSTT were asked what per-
centage of total revenue comprised of roaming revenue and
they both denied comment, saying that it was a competition
Regarding regulation, Seecheran said TATT has developed
a regulatory document which has already undergone one round
of consultation and a second round is soon to be done, but
he did not disclose when it will be held. He added that the
authority is looking at the possibility of strengthening its
powers. TATT is working with iGovTT on a National ICT plan.
Continued from Page 6
With a mandate to move
energy exports to US$1.5
billion by 2015, ExporTT
chief executive officer
Christopher Lewis said that means there must
be 13 per cent annual growth in exports.
In October 2012, ExporTT received its new
mandate. Since then, it has organised six trade
missions in foreign countries and has prepared
companies in T&T to be in compliance with
the Food Safety Modernisation Act, forth-
coming US legislation that will impact all food
imports into that country.
"When you break it down (the US$1.5 billion
target), it looks huge, but it represents 13 per
cent annual growth rate and we believe that
is achievable by a targeted focus.
"For example, the new areas we are now
seeking out like the Dominican Republic, United
States, Europe in which we did not have a
substantial presence, we can get a higher than
13 per cent growth rate from those new mar-
kets, while we can get five to six per cent from
our traditional markets, like Caricom.
"The balance between the outreach in the
new markets plus maintaining our traditional
market base would give us the number we are
trying to attack."
He was speaking to Guardian at ExporTT s
office, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain last
Citing Central Statistical Office data, the
export development agency disclosed that
T&T s total exports for 2011 amounted to $95.6
billion (US$15 billion). Of that amount, mineral
products, which comprise oil and gas, con-
tributed 60 per cent of 2011 exports. Chemical
and allied industries (which would include
methanol, urea and ammonia) contributed 28
per cent of exports in 2011, generating $27
billion in revenue (US$4.3 billion).
Energy exports contributed 90 per cent of
T&T s total exports in 2011, with non-energy
exports generating $5.1 billion (US$800 mil-
ExporTT is allocated TT$15 million. In addi-
tion, the entity receives funding through the
Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP)
for its projects and can receive as much as
The assistance which ExporTT provides to
local manufacturers include the cost for trans-
lators and for registering their brands in the
Asked what are some of the products which
T&T can offer to Europe, Lewis said Angostura
Bitters is one example. He added that in going
into the European market, T&T must first
achieve European standards and then be able
to offer a product which is "unique and dis-
Lewis said that outside of the energy sector,
the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector generates
T&T s most exports.
"The food and beverage sector is where a
lot of the manufacturing base is in T&T for
export. Outside of that, we have what you call
the industrial products which will include
household chemicals, personal care products
and paper products, wood related products,
The cottage industry within the F&B sector
is another area where T&T can increase its
exports, according to Lewis.
He said a local survey was conducted involv-
ing supermarkets "for companies which had
their products on the supermarket shelves but
were not exporting. We were looking for the
smaller brands which were not popular but
were on the grocery shelves.
"Based on that, we got 100 F&B manufac-
turers who are what we call, small scale man-
The "small scale" manufacturers were con-
tacted and asked to participate in seminars
where they were trained on how to become
export ready. Some 60 companies participat-
"It s more of a challenge (to teach/train) if
you are a big company and now trying to
export to the States or Europe and they (the
authorities in those countries) tell you there
is need to be spend more than $1 million to
modify your factory."
Referring to services sector, Lewis said energy
services are a "big player" in T&T s exports.
The Information, Communications and Tech-
nology sector as well as Maritime sectors are
all significant contributors to export.
But he is not ruling out the services offered
in the construction sector.
"Services are very exportable. If I am a qual-
ified engineer or qualified architect and once
I can meet the working standards of the
exporting country, I can stay in T&T and pro-
vide services to a foreign country or I can have
a three month contract and share my expertise.
We are at a standard that is generally world
Findings of Market Research
Before a company can export goods/services
to any market, it must first conduct market
intelligence which can be very costly. This is
one of the services that ExporTT offers to
The ExportTT chief executive said the
research breaks down myths and misinfor-
mation that manufacturers may have about
"It highlights what the opportunities are as
well as the taste patterns of the consumer."
"We are involved in market missions. We
are involved in market research. We have done
about six sector surveys to understand where
we are, in terms of challenges people faced
with exporting. We are involved with capac-
ity-building programmes. We trained almost
1000 people so far."
Commenting on the United States market,
Lewis said it is "business as usual" with that
"The American market is still a very viable
market. For T&T, it is still huge. We do export
but it is just a micro percentage of their total
imports. We do plan to do a market survey
mission to Florida as a first step to looking
more deeply into the American market and
how we can do more business there."
The Port of Miami is the closest to T&T
and that s why ExporTT finds Florida attrac-
T&T s first Export Development Forum
(EDF) was held this week.
"We have invited 14 presenters from external
to T&T - coming from London, Geneva, parts
of the Caribbean and United States. There
would 28 local presenters. Our target is 150
ExportTT looks to drive
Christopher Lewis, CEO ExporTT.
PHOTOS BY SHIRLEY BAHADHUR
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