As part of an effort to diversify its economy beyond the scope of petroleum exportation, the government of Trinidad and Tobago have established the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Center with a goal to redefine the republic as a premier location in the Western Hemisphere for financial services.
“We have the highest per-capita population of accountants in the world,” says Vasant Bharath, senator and minister of trade, industry and investment, Trinidad and Tobago. “We have reduced the time from forty three to three days to start a business, and from thirty days to one day for National Board of Insurance approval (Trinidad’s national social-benefit plan).”
The region, which is home to Fujitsu’s 87 rack, tier-3 data center in Barataria, Trinidad, already benefits from the capability to support high-level financial operations through its existing infrastructure and projects are currently underway to continue expanding facilities.
In addition to the five under-sea fiber cables feeding Trinidad and Tobago, telecommunications provider Columbus Communications are laying down the additional fiber to create multiple-link redundancy and points of entry to the island of Trinidad alongside the building of a 90,000 square foot tier-3 data center to be unveiled next year.
Conveniently located out of reach of the Caribbean’s infamous hurricane belt, Trinidad and Tobago can offer companies cost savings, boasting the lowest electricity prices in the Caribbean, a strong physical infrastructure and a large pool of skilled labour, bolstered by free education up to PhD level for all of its citizens.
With “money set aside to invest” explains Larry Howai, minister of finance and economy for Trinidad and Tobago, “we are looking for first-movers to set up pilot projects” in the region. With a high level of attention paid by government to the development of the financial services sector, Trinidad and Tobago are hoping to drive increased business investment and activity into the region in order to strengthen the local economy and its reputation as an attractive on or off-shore destination for financial services.
Here is a presentation by the Deputy General Manager Trinidad & Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission