ISSUE 25 – Article 1

July 21, 2020





Omar Sultan-Khan

This edition of the Quarterly is our 25th and marks a significant milestone in consistently reporting on our ongoing work as the agency responsible for Financial Sector Development. Over the years, we have updated you on the first Finance & Accounting (F&A) Shared Services Centre to be opened by Scotiabank, facilitated in part by the Trinidad &Tobago International Financial Centre’s (T&T IFC’s) lobbying for legislative change; our co-hosting of Latin Finance’s Caribbean Investment & Finance Forum; various training programmes offered by the T&T IFC to upskill our F&A professionals; and in more recent times our focus on making Trinidad & Tobago a FinTech-enabled Financial Services Hub.

This issue details how the T&T IFC, in the face of COVID-19, was able to leverage our Business Continuity Plan and maintain seamless operations over the April-June period. Apart from our everyday activities, we hosted a ‘virtual’ inward mission for a prospective Australian-based F&A Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investor; completed training in Data Analytics and Data Science for over 200 persons and progressed the operationalisation of the FinTech Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FinTech TT).

This is not to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on global markets and, by extension, the feasibility of investors being converted in the short-term, and the macro- and micro-economic challenges we are facing and will face in the near future. However, it speaks to our nation’s overall resilience and ingenuity that allowed us to manage COVID-19 in a manner that was independently acknowledged, as it prevented community spread and saved lives. COVID-19 offered a moment of tense reflection – highlighting gaps that must be filled but also showcasing our innovative capacity.

In this regard, the T&T IFC believes that full implementation of our FinTech Roadmap, which was developed in late 2018, and in particular its pillar of ‘making T&T a Cashless Society’ will assist greatly in the national recovery efforts. Therefore, to support government’s policy development in this area, we submitted a position paper proposing short- and medium-term recommendations to create the enabling ecosystem for FinTech development. At the same time, we continue to collaborate with the Central Bank and other regulators, and have onboarded Chandradath Maharaj as our Vice President, Financial Markets Development to head up these and other related efforts. You can read more about these developments in this Quarterly.

I wish to recognise the ongoing guidance of the Board during this time, and the unwavering commitment of the Management and Staff who rallied and delivered consistently during a particularly dynamic quarter.