Category: Media Releases

Two (2) Million Invested in the local Pork Industry

“We have walked the talk.” said Secretary Joel Jack at the Venture Capital Equity Fund Limited’s (VCEFL) signing ceremony today. The THA Enterprise (VCEFL) invested 1.9 million in the Pork International Group to assist with the firm’s expansion and its establishment of a meat processing plant on the island. The Secretary indicated that the agreement was as a result of the diligence of the Board and staff of the VCEFL and Assembly who are committed to ensuring that Tobago leads in national diversification efforts. He was hopeful that many more business persons would emulate the determination of Mrs Renette Clinton, Pork International’s Director, who through her exemplary efforts in business and with this partnership, afforded the administration an opportunity to support entrepreneurial activity for women and add value to the agro processing industry.

The fund which was established by the Assembly as an alternative investment vehicle for companies with high growth potential such as the Pork International Group has in the last year, committed an estimated $4 million in support of local businesses with high growth potential. According the Chairman Mr Anthony Pierre, at the first ceremony for this fiscal year, the event emphatically signals that the fund is open for business. He congratulated Mrs Clinton and pledged the VCEFL’s continued support for Pork International as they work towards the establishment of an environmentally friendly processing plant whose activities conform with the island’s brand attributes – clean, green and serene. The Venture Capital Equity Fund Limited is a company established to support private sector investments in priority areas identified in Tobago’s development roadmap – the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan (CEDP) 2.0. The Fund’s mandate is to strengthen qualified fledgling enterprises through public/private sector equity arrangements of between $500,000 and $5 million to enable Tobago’s economic diversification.


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Tobago’s Tertiary Students Benefit From Enhanced Internship Program

Nineteen (19) tertiary level students are beneficiaries of an expanded Annual Internship exercise facilitated by the Youth Energised for Success Programme at the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development. For the first time since its inception interns will have the flexibility of serving in the private or public sector in their respective areas of study. This expansion not only allows for participants to understand the role of the Tobago House of Assembly and its respective Divisions in the governance of the island but also creates opportunities for mentorship in areas tied to their academic pursuits. Placements have been matched closely with the interests identified to ensure personal and professional development occurs.

This realignment provides a more diverse and enriching experience to the interns who come from a variety of backgrounds which in the past could not be fully serviced within the public sector. In light of this the YES Unit has engaged Park’s International, the Eco Industrial Development Company of Tobago, Perfect Weddings & Events, the Tobago Festival Commission and the Scarborough Library, among others to strengthen its offerings.

Participants will be exposed to life skills training and professional development workshops including Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Resume Writing and Interviewing Skills. The programme runs for nine weeks is a strategic initiative which stems from YES Units mandate to assist in the development of Tobago’s young human capital.



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Division of Finance Strengthening Financial Literacy in Tobago

One hundred persons participated in the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development’s seminar on the NGL Initial Public Offering (IPO) yesterday. In addressing the gathering Secretary of Finance, Assemblyman Joel Jack encouraged the attendees to seize the opportunities available to them. He stated that the uncertain economic times coupled with oil prices which are forecast to remain at lower than average levels create a critical need for sound financial decision making.

The seminar provided participants with guidance on investing in the stock market and the intricacies of the NGL IPO in particular. Facilitators from the Unit Trust Corporation’s (UTC) Investment Research and Portfolio Management Services and First Citizen’s Brokerage and Advisory Services shared valuable insight on the IPO and general investment opportunities. The discussions were informative, extremely interactive and yielded positive feedback from those in attendance. Participants from all walks of life attended the two hour session with many opting to subscribe for the IPO following the event.

This is second undertaking of this nature hosted by the Division’s Financial Literacy Secretariat. The first focused on the FCB IPO. In the upcoming months, the Secretariat will increase its public education and outreach activities based on its mandate. The Secretariat’s programmes advocate financial planning and enhancing levels of financial preparedness. It also provides basic information on the banking and economic systems to enable citizens’ informed participation in related activities. The Financial Literacy Unit is continuously working to develop increased awareness of the need for wealth creation and the multi-generational transfer of wealth through financial education.

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Finance Secretary Rewards SEA Students

Two students who wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment in May were rewarded for their academic success by the Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development, Mr. Joel Jack. Chelsea Marie Darlington and Shania Berkeley each received gift vouchers on behalf of the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development. Secretary Jack indicated the incentive was part of a strategic effort by the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development to encourage the extended members of the Division’s family to strive for excellence. Both beneficiaries are children of employees of the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development working in the Accounts Department and Board of Inland Revenue Services. The vouchers were valued at $1,000.00 for books, school and stationary supplies along with $500 in Units from the Unit Trust Corporation. The presentation provided the three options for the recipients to study, save and shop.


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A Taste of Tobago at Summer Fancy Food Show – New York

Tobago producers are showcasing the island’s cuisine at the 61st annual Fancy Food Show, in New York City. The event hosted by the Specialty Food Association is considered one of the largest specialty food and beverage events in the United States. Nearly 200,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks and spices are on show. Five (5) clients of the Business Development Unit (BDU) were sponsored by Tobago House of Assembly’s Finance and Enterprise Development Division. This is second year the Tobago House of Assembly is collaborating with ExporTT and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment, and Communications to ensure Tobago businesses are represented. This year, Cheryl-Ann Lee Yuen (Simply Delightful), Renessia George (Flavour Me Rite), Charmine Springer (Springtime Food Products), Giselle Johnny (Caribbean Exotique/JusRite Creations) and Darilyn Smart (Smart Foods Caribbean) complete the delegation.

The respective agro processing entrepreneurs have chosen to promote a unique blend of jams, jellies, pepper sauce, bay leaf powder, ready to bake pone mix and other condiments. At the event, business persons will have an opportunity to network and explore new opportunities, innovations and markets in as many as fifty (50) countries. Members of the BDU’s Strategic Business Development department have accompanied the participants. Some duties the department fulfils include co-ordinating with various sectors to encourage networking and linkages, identifying the developmental needs of Tobago’s business sectors and helping Micro and Small Enterprises identify regional and international markets for export. This is done in an effort to help foster successful business enterprises in Tobago. The team returns to Tobago on Thursday 2nd July 2015.

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Tobago Takes The Stage At Caribbean Fashion Week 2015

Seven (7) Tobagonian designers will showcase their talent at this year’s Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) in Kingston, Jamaica. The event, now in its 15th year, runs from June 6th – 15th. It is widely recognized as the premier fashion event in the Caribbean, having the distinction of launching successful international careers of designers and models alike. BBC, Vogue Magazine, New York Times, and Essence Magazine usually cover the event. The Division of Finance and Enterprise Development has co-ordinated this year’s participation, having been part of a collaborative effort with two other Divisions in 2014. Returning designers Kirsten Benjamin, Juliet Bernard, Ted Arthur, Lydia Arnaud-Lawrence (L.O.C.K Creations), and Cherie Warner (Cee Wee Designs), will be joined by Cassey Daniel (Yesa! Designs) and Camille Khan (Kamille Kahn Designs), both making their CFW debut. The designers will share creations in leather craft, clothing, and accessories with a Tobago flair.

The group will be accompanied by staff of the Business Development Unit, who will provide assistance with marketing and promotion of Tobago’s fashion sector. The team will also participate in the CFW Business Forum, which will provide training which will help to equip them to better manage the business side of fashion and accurately monetize their talent. It is expected that opportunities for the development of the creative sector will result; a priority area identified by the Tobago House of Assembly. Participation in this year’s CFW, is expected to build on the success of its 2014, which saw six (6) designers showcasing their talents mostly in the “Emerging Designers Showcase” segment.

Notable accomplishments then included Kirsten Benjamin (I Say U Clothing Line) being featured in Essence magazine’s “Looks We Love”, Diamond Linton, who made her mark with the quality of her workmanship, as well as extensive media coverage for Ted Arthur (Ted Arthur Leather Collection), and Juliet Bernard (Krystal’s Fashions) being featured in SheCaribbean magazine.

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