4 months ago

CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018)

The first issue of the rebranded CONTACT Magazine — with a brand new editorial and design direction — produced by MEP Publishers for the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce

the chamber in action

the chamber in action The President’s pages Welcome to the new-look Contact! As you can see, we have made some substantial changes to the Chamber’s magazine. We have given it a new look and feel, a new design. We have re-thought and re-angled the editorial. The result, we hope, is something more like a general-interest business magazine than a corporate statement. In fact, we’re thinking of Contact as a forum, a meeting place where members, and business readers generally, can discuss and debate business issues and ideas. So please treat the arguments and ideas in these pages as the views and opinions of the respective writers, not necessarily of the Chamber itself. Just as a debates commission can host and preside over an election debate without necessarily agreeing with anything the candidates say, so the Chamber can host and preside over a lively business discussion in Contact. Please make use of the magazine as a forum. We welcome your feedback on this new-look version. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for future coverage. We welcome your letters, whether about material in Contact or about general business issues (just mark letters “Contact for publication”). We also welcome your advertising support, whether for informing members and readers about your goods and services, or as a corporate presence in the Chamber’s own magazine. The main theme of this issue of Contact is national transformation, appropriately enough, and we make no apology for returning to that vexed question. As it happens, the Chamber is very much in agreement with the broad argument running through the articles about how to implement change in Trinidad and Tobago. We all know that our economic situation is dire; virtually every social and economic sector is crying out for change and rejuvenation. But the problems are so complex that many people feel overwhelmed, open to change but not knowing where to start. We want to intensify the national debate about that: where are we, where do we need to go, what can each of us do about it? Large-scale change requires large-scale buy-in, and that can’t develop until the nation has a clear idea of what it needs to do. Each one of us, therefore, has a patriotic duty to embody the change we want to see. Every one of us is either a problem or a solution. But if, together, we can develop clear goals, and all pull in the same direction, is there anything that Trinidad and Tobago could not do? Contact magazine is just one of the services and connections the Chamber provides for its members and for readers further afield. In these pages, for example, you will find a first-hand story written by a veteran mediator about the experience of mediating an industrial dispute at the Dispute Resolution Centre. 04 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

The DRC is a fully autonomous organisation. Opened in 1996, it was first developed by the Chamber, and we continue to enjoy a very close relationship with it. I hope the story will remind readers of the services offered by the DRC in preventing and settling conflicts and disputes in the workplace. Among other services is our MVA (Membership Value Added) programme, under which our partners offer attractive discounts on services ranging from insurance and couriers to hotels and restaurants. There’s good value here waiting to be taken up, and I urge all our members to get with the programme! I would also like to remind members of our Business Insight facility, which offers “training for business by business”. It provides remote access to live events and to video recordings on business issues, as well as hooking up entrepreneurs with consultants and mentors. There are video sessions, for example, on economic transformation, surviving the recession, and financing innovation, not to mention an export toolkit, all subjects very relevant to our current theme. Make the most of them. Ronald Hinds President, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce 05 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

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