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TTCSI National Services Week 2012:
“The Business of Entertainment” Seminar

 

Friday 2nd November 2012
Hyatt Regency Trinidad
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Presented by:
DR. THE HONOURABLE LINCOLN DOUGLAS
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism
Salutations:

  • Mr. Nirad Tewarie , Chief Executive Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries
  • Mr. Mahindra Satram-Maharaj, Executive Director of the Trinidad Coalition of Services Industries
  • Mr. Derrick Chin, Chairman of Movietowne
  • Guest Speakers: Mr. Ray Paul and Mr. Frederic Bastide
  • Members of the Culture Fraternity
  • Members of the Media

  

Address:
Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon to you all.
I am pleased to address you at the 5th Annual staging of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries’ National Services Week 2012. This seminar entitled “The Business of Entertainment” is being held at a time when the creative sector of Trinidad and Tobago is poised for major growth and development. I must therefore take this opportunity to recognize the work of the TTCSI in leading the drive to advance the services sector as an important segment of the local economy.

 

The government is committed to developing the creative economy of Trinidad and Tobago, whilst fostering a greater appreciation of our varying cultures and heritage. The creative economy of our nation must take its rightful place as a vehicle of financial and socio-economic advancement for all involved within the sector and also the national economy by extension. This is a gradual process, but I am pleased to inform you that we are making key steps in the right direction.

Only this week, two Consultations were held on the Draft Policy Framework for Multiculturalism and the Draft National Cultural Policy. All our stakeholders were engaged to provide feedback on the policy documents in an effort to move closer to creating the official policy framework for the development of the creative sector. The staging of these consultations are on the heels of the government’s plan to inject an estimated sixty nine million dollars in the creative and cultural economy from 2013 to 2015. Ladies and Gentlemen, this government is working towards strengthening the capacity of the creative sector to be a major contributor towards the gross domestic product of Trinidad and Tobago.

The commitment towards fostering the growth of the sector is also evidenced by the successful amendment and implementation of the Corporation Tax Act, the establishment of the National Registry of Artists and Cultural Workers and The Remember When Institute.

The Corporation Tax Act increased the tax break for companies investing in the visual and performing arts, from TT$1 million dollars to TT$2 million dollars. Some of the intended beneficiaries of the Act include:

  • Corporations who contribute to Cultural Works
  •  Performing Artists who seek funding locally
  •  Artists and Cultural Workers who seek employment

 internationally

  •  Researchers and Academics
  •  Performing Artists
  •  Producers of Audio, Visual and Video Work

This incentive will create closer strategic links between the creative and private industries.

The National Registry of Artists and Cultural Workers will facilitate access to the benefits of the Corporation Tax Act. To this end, I implore all artists and cultural workers present today to ensure that you get registered and certify your work with the National Registry. Visit the Culture Division’s website www.culture.gov.tt and get all the information you need without delay.

For too long in Trinidad and Tobago the entertainment industry has been approached more as ‘entertainment’ and less as a ‘business’. The local creative sector is now waking up to the global reality that knowledge and information are two important tools for success in the information age. A United Nations Report on Trade and Development in 2004 forecasted that the global creative industries would grow at an estimated rate of 10% per annum. With the current proliferation of technology on the international stage, it comes as no surprise that the creative and cultural sector is playing a major role in the advancement of economies worldwide.  

 

There is no better time than now for all in the creative sector to seize this golden opportunity to harness the business side of their operations. The business of entertainment is a global business worth billions of dollars and you must play your part in acquiring the necessary skills to prosper locally and internationally. Make the most of this seminar and form linkages amongst yourselves as increased collaboration can only make us stronger.

I must congratulate the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries for organizing this venture and I want you to rest assured that the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism remains a committed partner as we continue to make strides for the creative and services sectors of Trinidad and Tobago.
In keeping with the theme of the National Services Week 2012, I would like to end by saying that the government and the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism is certainly committed to “Staying Ahead of the Curve” through laying the foundation for the sustainable development of the creative industries. Through partnerships with organizations like the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries and all other stakeholders, that vision will become a reality.

Thank You, and good afternoon.

 

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