Google eyes Trinidad and Tobago to strengthen digital capacity

The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development is pleased to announce that the Latin America and the Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) and Google have selected Trinidad and Tobago as one of three countries to kick off training initiatives aimed at strengthening digital capabilities in the region.  The other two countries are Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.  This announcement was made on Wednesday May 2nd via LACNIC.
 
Trinidad and Tobago was chosen because of our Competitive Advantage in the Information Technology enaled Services (ITeS) sector which include:
•           Geographic proximity to major target markets and the countrys’s similar time zone to the US and Canada - the world’s largest markets for ITeS;
•           Language and familiarity with culture of the target markets and the rest of the region;
•           Economic stability; and Trinidad and Tobago’s
•           Education system and quality of human capital.
 
In addition, the Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP) of the Ministry of Planning and Development has made significant advances in promoting the ITeS sector and local entrepreneurs in this area.  In April 2018, six companies led and or owned by local entrepreneurs received a total of TT $3.2 million for development of training programmes in areas such as film production, animation and IT business development.  In November 2017, the GSPP hosted 300 local entrepreneurs and public service representatives who were trained by Facebook representatives in digital marketing, also in 2017, representatives from Google conducted training sessions with 50 tertiary level students and 50 entrepreneurs in the use of Google software.  Because of the headway made to date by the GSPP Google and LACNIC have also decided to partner with the programme to bring this training to IT professionals, entrepreneurs, students and the public service.  The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago through the Global Services Promotion Programme welcomes this opportunity to enhance the skills and economic building capacity of our nationals via this training programme.
 
“For Google, this program complements our efforts and investments in Central America and the Caribbean aimed at bringing our services closer to their users, including, among other initiatives, deploying Points of Presence (POPs) in Trinidad and Tobago and other possible locations in the region. Together with LACNIC, we will work on these courses that seek to contribute knowledge and build local capabilities in this area which continues to grow and offer employment opportunities in the region,” said Gabriel Recalde, Public Policy Manager for Central America and the Caribbean at Google.  The project seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and local connectivity, more specifically, the flow of traffic. “In order to promote the development of a digital market, we must work both on strengthening the Internet and critical infrastructure, as well as on developing the digital services that will be offered,” noted Laura Kaplan, Head of Development and Cooperation at LACNIC.
 
The courses will be developed by LACNIC and Google professionals, partnering with local Internet ecosystem allies in each country such as the GSPP as in the case of Trinidad and Tobago.  It is anticipated that the programmes will commence during the second half of 2018.