Inefficient Customs Division 'unacceptable'
Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Vasant Bharath yesterday described the inefficiencies at the Port and Customs and Excise Divisions as an "unacceptable" hindrance and a deterrent to business and investors.
Trinidad and Tobago ranks 126 out of 142 in terms of the burden of Customs procedures, according to the 2012 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index.
Bharath promised that by 2015, Trinidad and Tobago will be in the top ten countries to do business.
Bharath addressed members of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) during a breakfast meeting yesterday at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad), Port of Spain, and listed resolving the hindrances at the Port as one of his key intentions.
The backlogs of goods at the Port of Port of Spain and Point Lisas have long been a point of contention for local traders, as articulated by TTMA president Dominic Hadeed in his opening remarks.
"I know you, the private sector, don't need any more incentives and you don't want handouts. What you want is a clear way to do business," Bharath said.
He said he will be meeting with Customs and Excise today so he can understand clearly the issues with the system, and resolve problems in the shortest possible time.