The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) is looking forward to budget day after Tuesday’s announcement by Minister of Finance Colm Imbert that Trinidad and Tobago’s foreign reserves are back over $7 billion after receiving US$644 million via Special Drawing Rights from the International Monetary Fund..
In a release on Wednesday, the TTMA said this development supported its Export Manufacturing Strategy to double non-energy exports by 2025.
The association said, “The US$644 million in additional Special Drawing Rights from the International Monetary Fund, which can, from an accounting perspective, booster T&T’s reserves, allowing for further assistance to be afforded via the EXIM Bank to the manufacturing sector. Such a boost to the manufacturing sector will serve as additional armoury toward promoting and sustaining diversification and exports in the country.”
TTMA’s President Tricia Coosal said in the release, “The Forex Facility is specific to manufacturers to be used for the purchase of raw material, shipping line costs and the purchase of equipment and machinery. TTMA provides support to our members via the dissemination of necessary information needed in order to apply for the use of the Forex Facility. Additionally, TTMA facilities meetings between EXIM Bank and our members to increase the success rate of their applications.”
The TTMA president pointed out that in 2020, through the association’s support, US$100 million was sold to 97 manufacturers, and for the period January to August 2021 US$81.2 million has been sold to 107 manufacturers via the EXIM Bank Forex Facility.
“We are certain before the end of the year, our members would fully utilize the US$100 allocated at the Foreign Exchange Facility at EXIM Bank.”
Coosal said the association was heartened by the Government’s continued support of the manufacturing sector. The TTMA said the announcement meant that there could be an increased allocation of resources to the Foreign Exchange Facility at the Exim Bank, which will act as a fillip toward growing exports.
She said, “This continued expansion and sustenance of the Foreign Exchange Facility, alongside the Government’s booster initiative, via the Ministry of Trade and Industry and exporTT, will work cohesively to realise the goal of TTMA’s Export Manufacturing Strategy, which is to double non-energy exports by 2025. In so doing, the non-energy manufacturing sector would aid significantly in diversifying the economy and remove the reliance on the energy sector to be the prime generator of foreign reserves in the country.”
Coosal said with this development the association was eagerly awaiting the budget presentation.
“TTMA and the business community eagerly await the announcement of the date of the reading of the National Budget Statement 2022 and associated release of funds to continue to drive exports.”