Arlene Mc Comie: ICT-led Business Innovation is Key to National Development

via ICT 2010
Speech by Arlene Mc Comie, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Administration, delivered at the Sponsorship Meeting for the 2010 ICT and Business Innovation Symposium, which takes place in November.

The Honourable Minister of Public Administration, Mrs. Rudruwatee Nan Ramgoolam, Mr. Larry Howai, Chairman of the e-Business Roundtable, Mrs. Glynis Alexander-Tam, Chairman of the Symposium Sub-committee, Mr. Cleveland Thomas, CEO of iGovTT, specially invited guests, Good Morning.

Let me begin by thanking you for your presence here today, we are indeed pleased to see all of you. We are always especially encouraged to see our private sector showing such active interest in initiatives that influence our country’s progression. Certainly our 2nd National ICT Business and Innovation Symposium promises to be yet another high profile forum that speaks well of Trinidad and Tobago’s determination to be the ICT hub of the Caribbean.

As the Ministry responsible for Government’s Information and Communication Technology agenda, the Ministry of Public Administration has been working assiduously toward raising the prominence of ICTs at all levels. The staging of this 2nd Symposium is a partnership effort between the Ministry of Public Administration, iGovTT and the e-Business Roundtable. iGovTT, as you may know, is the executing arm of the Ministry of Public Administration responsible for the implementation and execution of Government’s enterprise-wide and major ICT programmes and projects. The establishment of the e-Business Roundtable, one of the outcomes of the National ICT Strategy launched in 2003, served in many ways to formalize the connection and collaboration between the Private and Public sector specifically as it relates to the execution of large-scaled ICT projects within the business sector.

For the most part, the technical infrastructure is in place for transforming our country into a knowledge-based society and indeed the transformation has already begun. We at the Ministry are now focusing our efforts on increasing uptake and usage of the available technology. We have also recognized that to establish Trinidad and Tobago’s position among the heavy weights of technology we must also throw our support behind projects that feature ICT-led business innovation and thought leadership. It is the Ministry’s firm belief that the sustaining power of ICT can only be realized through fostering forward thinking discussion and active idea exchange with those representatives of countries that are already in a position that our country aspires to as well as those who are in our very position but still have much to contribute.

Our Ministry is once again proud to fund, in part, the Symposium being held later this year in November. We can attest to the buzz that the last Symposium in 2008 created. Participating firms and individuals were excited about the ideas, discussions, debates, networking opportunities and other outcomes that the forum presented. The first of its kind within the country, the 2008 Symposium was well attended and attracted participants from the Business, Education and Public Sectors, the Caribbean, the United States of America and distant countries such as Singapore and Australia. A great deal of learning and discussion took place on emerging ICT tools, ICT trends and the successes of local businesses both small and large that have managed to carve out a solid place for themselves in the international Business and ICT arenas. The Symposium was therefore both a learning and celebratory forum that proved that Trinidad and Tobago has the mindset to be a country leader for the digitalization of a developing economy.

We are ready to continue the work that was started two years ago to establish the Symposium as one of the most important events in our region. This year’s theme is “ICT Innovation: Staying Ahead”. We anticipate yet another high impact forum with something for everyone involved. Again, we expect to draw on the expertise of proven entrepreneurs and leaders in the field of ICT and Business several of whom are present in this very room.

It is our hope that with the continued cooperation of the business community, this event will become a huge attraction not only locally and regionally but internationally as well. Your participation is vital in ensuring a thoroughly enriching experience and well organized showing of our country’s commitment to ICT development. Once again I thank you for your attendance here today and look forward to your continued involvement at our 2nd National ICT Business and Innovation Symposium in November this year.

Thank you.


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