Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2014 Contents JULY 2014 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
Though not yet being
totally compliant with
the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act
(FATCA), the T&T
Centre (TTIFC) has been meeting with
Varun Maharaj, chief executive officer,
is optimistic that the three-member
investor group from San Francisco that
the T&TIFC met with was impressed
with what this market has to offer,
namely with the talent pool, the
telecommunications sector and the
"It s a global financial services firm
that has strengths in finance and
accounting and the health sector in
terms of insurance and processing
insurance claims. What we did, we
arranged meetings over two days for
Maharaj was speaking to the Business
Guardian on Tuesday at the IFC, Tower
D, Floor 15 on Wrightson Road, Port-
of-Spain. He said the investor group
employs 28,000 people throughout the
world and trades on international stock
"This (visit) is the second step in
their due diligence. It would be that
we may see a significant amount of
high-value paying jobs being created,"
Before an international investor
invests in this market, T&T needs to
be FATCA compliant, which it isn t yet.
"It is a direct investment. People who
come here to work, they will be paying
the PAYE if they come under a work
permit to work. We don t see a signif-
icant amount of foreigners coming to
work in these operations; it may be one
or two individuals. By and large, it is to
build the expertise in T&T, use the talent
pool that exists already and raise it to
a higher level."
He said FATCA deals with investment
in financial institutions.
"This is not a passive investment.
This is actual assets that they are going
to spend money on establishing an oper-
ation in T&T. We are not talking about
bringing a mutual fund or investment
vehicle to house it here. This is an
investment which is going to involve
utilising the talents of Trinidadians and
Tobagonians for the international world."
Separate "stand alone" legislation is
being drafted for the operation of the
"We ve looked at and engaged global
financial centres, all the way from Aus-
tralia come back from Singapore,
Malaysia, Dubai, Qatar, London, Dubai.
We have been in discussions with all
of these global financial centres to
understand the problems they have
encountered and what has worked for
"As a result of that, we are developing
best-in-class legislation to address
things such as investor protection and
a number of other issues. They have
reached sophistication over a number
of years and that is why the legislation
that we are putting in place is flexible,
robust and principle based."
Investors needs are also being looked
"We are also focusing on addressing
investor needs or investor objectives in
terms of risk and time horizons. The
other thing we are focusing on is devel-
oping tools for risk management. You
may have an institution that is looking
at currency risk. Then you would have
financial institutions that look at asset
liability management. Then there s the
Government, which is looking at diver-
sifying the economy."
Corporate governance and financial
disclosure are other aspects of the IFC s
operations it is looking to improve.
Maharaj said already the T&TIFC has
created 1,000 jobs since it started.
On June 18, Maharaj and four others
attended the New York roundtable. He
said the exercise was intended to increase
awareness of T&T as a financial centre
to the world, not just the Caribbean.
"We met with some of the top invest-
ment bankers out of New York to talk
about the things the T&TIFC is doing.
The way it benefits T&T is that you
would now have investment bankers
looking to do deals in T&T because
there are opportunities. In addition to
that, it benefits the T&TIFC because it
gives the investor another place to invest
their funds," he said.
"The institutions that come here
would be taxed. The taxation would be
very transparent and very equitable. It
is not an offshore centre. We are not
seeking to be a booking centre. Our
focus would not only be on captive
group looks to IFC
PHOTO: MARYANNE AUGUSTE
Centre still to attain FATCA compliance
We've looked at and engaged global
financial centres, all the way from
Australia come back from Singapore,
Malaysia, Dubai, Qatar, London, Dubai.
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