QUARTER 1 – FY 2022
As the COVID-19 crisis approaches its second year it continues to usher in a new era of work, business, and socio-economic interactions. The TTIFC (Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre), like all agencies – large and small, public, and private continue to adapt and adjust not only to the changes in the external environment but to the immense expectations placed upon businesses and governments agencies to innovate and move beyond the status quo.
Cognizant of these expectations, the TTIFC began the first quarter of Financial Year 2021-2022 with expanded outreach activities aimed at emphatically:
- introducing its revised vision and mission,
- translating the organization’s mandate to various stakeholders, and
- building out the required enabling ecosystem for fintech integration.
This required a progressive and hands-on approach to identify and pursue opportunities that would deliver results for our high-priority initiatives in the areas of the digitalisation of payments in the Government, financial inclusion, and the creation of a FinTech Hub.
While space does not permit me to list every accomplishment in my message, I am pleased to share some of the successes of the last quarter and give some insight into what you can expect in the coming year.
Throughout the quarter we continued to act as a ‘resourceful ally’ and met with various local and international agencies all with the aim of promoting the Cashless Agenda in T&T.
We met with the United States Treasury Department and the Treasury Division, Ministry of Finance Trinidad & Tobago, to facilitate discussions on best practices for enabling increased cashless payments.
We also hosted a virtual Stakeholder Engagement session for employees of Government Ministries and State Agencies. We were energised by the level of participation, interaction, and feedback from participants. We look forward to having more sessions like this as we foster and encourage communication with members of the public sector on the application and integration of digital payments in government.
The TTIFC completed the extensive groundwork for the development of a Financial Inclusion Survey, the first step in the development of a National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which is expected to be executed in 2022. I invite you to review the Financial Inclusion report available on our website, which outlines the premise for the creation of the survey and the need for strategies to improve financial inclusion in T&T.
Another pivotal development was our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mastercard, which took place in November 2021. This MoU signifies the first time that Mastercard and a Caribbean government partner have agreed to work together to bring digitalisation and financial inclusion into the region. This MoU will help to promote financial inclusion, support small businesses, and strengthen the overall FinTech ecosystem within the country.
Like many countries throughout the world, Trinidad and Tobago has been developing legislation and policies aimed at a clearer, fairer, and more dynamic digital economy. To this end, I had the opportunity to represent the TTIFC at several events and discussions on the topic of digital payments and enabling a digital economy. One such event was the UN Big Data Forum 2021 in December where I joined the Honourable Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance and Mr. Gianpiero Leoncini Director Representative CAF- development bank of Latin America for a panel discussion on the role of Big Data Technologies and Analytics in Economic Transformation.
As we move into the new calendar year and the second quarter of the FY 2022 the TTIFC is focused on expanding its stakeholder outreach and public education initiatives as well as ramping up efforts to drive digital financial services adoption throughout the public sector.
As I close, I must extend my appreciation to the team at the TTIFC who continue to impressively weather the uncertainties and challenges of the past year. They continue to be champions of our cause and work with a level of diligence and commitment that is unmatched.
I urge you to continue reading the newsletter for more details on our work in the last quarter and progress on our initiatives, geared towards creating a FinTech-enabled Trinidad & Tobago.
Chief Executive Officer