Trinidad & Tobago has launched an exclusive ministry for digital transformation, arming it with $280 million (US$41 million) in funding.
The ministry will use the funds to boost the nation’s ICT infrastructure and establish internet centers in nooks and corners of the country.
These centers will be designed to enable people to access government services online, in addition to providing digital training to young graduates as part of boosting the country’s tech talent pool.
“It is not like the original TTconnect centers. Now, you can get training there, you can access services there and you can go to use devices there, so it’s a very different model,” reported Trinidad Newsday quoting the Digital Transformation Minister Hassel Bacchus as saying.
Expensive telecom services have long been a barrier to digitalization in the Caribbean country. Internet service has remained costly, although years have gone by after the government broke the monopoly of state-run operator TSTT.
The announcement comes weeks after the government announced financial incentives, such as tax breaks, for technology firms wanting to launch operations on the island.
Companies operating research and development (R&D) centers will be entitled to claim incentives up to 40% on their expenditure.
Meanwhile, an investment summit is currently underway on the island, with reports suggesting that more than 600 companies are participating in the event.
More than 50% of these companies are foreign-based, and there are also outsourcing firms among them, according to Newsday.