Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2014 Contents SBG8 NEWS
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 15 • 2014
Although $150 million dollars
has been spent on Tobago s
Cove Industrial Park and
Business Centre, its man-
agement company, Eco
Company of Tobago (EIDCT) is in the process
of re-assessing the park s investment goals, as
well as its plan for attracting in tenants.
The Sunday BG spoke with EIDCT s chief
executive Bernard Mitchell on the park s
progress, since the first shell was constructed
in 2012. The park is located in Canoe Bay, Low-
Mitchell---who was appointed CEO in March
this year after stints at TSTT and eTeck---said
some of the areas currently under review include
the park s marketing strategy, its regional posi-
tioning and its contribution to GDP.
"When a country invests in an industrial
park, the return is not in the income generated
from the park s tenants but in its contribution
This is a distinction, he thought, people did
"You have the investment that goes into the
park, the taxes imposed on the businesses and
its employees, as well as the multiplier effect,
where when a business is established on the
park, additional business is generated as other
businesses have to supply goods and services,"
He added: "Some of the analyses being
undertaken at present include determining
what the expected year-by-year contribution
to GDP would be." He is at present unsure
what this figure would be. He said: "Some of
the issues we are grappling with right now are
in terms of matching what we ve invested
against what the expectations are."
Mitchell said that, to date, construction has
been completed for all of the core facilities of
the park s 140 acres, with plans to run more
fiber optic cables throughout the park. The
park already has technology that sees it having
the Caricom region s largest street solar lighting
system and a waste water treatment facility
for water reuse at the plant.
Though core facilities like the administration
building, utility buildings and roadways have
been completed, EIDCT is in the process of
starting construction on two multi-purpose
units to add to the two factory shells already
on the park.
The first of the two plants will be completed
by November of this year and the second will
be completed by March, 2015. He said each
factory shell is designed to house two tenants
and the multi-purpose units can each hold 13
"By the end of June, we should have four
signed tenants for the factory shells, apart from
T&TEC and NGC."
The only tenant beside the National Gas
Company and T&TEC, currently operating on
the park is Rojas Engineering, a metal works
Though all four factory shells are expected
to be fully occupied by the end of June, the
75 lots earmarked for land-lease tenants have
not been occupied.
"There are a number of factors to look at.
First we have to look at whether or not people
have alternatives." Illustrating what he means,
he said: "If, for example, we are looking at
investors from Trinidad, we will look at where
their market is located. If their market is in
Trinidad, then it makes no sense for them to
come to Tobago."
From the angle of foreign investors, the
EIDCT CEO said that the same applies, so the
company has gone back to the drawing board
to answer the question: what can we offer that
is so unique they would want to locate here?
According to Mitchell, "Presently what is
required is for us to look at the overall value
proposition that we offer at the park and see
how it compares to other parks in the region,
if we are to attract foreign investors."
He described this as an ongoing process that
is aimed at determining the critical factors that
inform the investment decision-making
process, so as to make sure the park is properly
aligned with respect to attracting foreign busi-
Mitchell said selling the safety and security
of Tobago was a part of EIDCT s strategy to
"The whole issue of safety and security in
Tobago is one of the key factors. Some have
indicated interest in coming to Tobago because
they feel it s safer and they can raise a family.
We have to really focus on selling that dimen-
sion of Tobago as we seek to attract foreign
In terms of investment areas in Tobago, the
Sunday BG asked Mitchell what areas he thinks
has the most potential for financial success.
Mitchell recommended the agro-industrial
and ICT sectors.
"Agriculture, because Tobago has great soil
conditions and expertise in the field and our
high food import bill means that there is a
market for food products. ICT because those
things tend to be energy intensive and we have
a low energy cost."
Adding to that, he said: "Now we have fiber
optic cables at the park, a plus for ICT."
With reporting by Kwame Joseph
Cove Eco Park to reassess goals
In terms of investment areas in Tobago, Bernard Mitchell recommended the agro-industrial and ICT sectors.
Agriculture, because Tobago has great soil conditions and expertise in the field and our high
food import bill means that there is a market for food products. ICT because those things tend
to be energy intensive and we have a low energy cost.
A model of the multi-purpose shell located at Cove Industrial Park
and Business Centre, Canoe Bay, Lowlands.
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