The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $25 million loan to Trinidad and Tobago to help the Caribbean nation improve its trade facilitation processes, part of an effort to boost and diversify the economy.
The loan will help strengthen the country’s Single Electronic Window for Trade and Business Facilitation Project (TTBizLink), a secure business portal created in 2009 that simplifies foreign trade and business processes by providing around-the-clock access to relevant government services. The platform seeks to substantially reduce time and costs of trade and business transactions for private sector users while gathering and sharing relevant information among government agencies to simplify processes and optimize revenue collection.
The loan will support business processing reengineering and risk management for government agencies, an e-payment solution, the connection with Ports and Customs systems, an intermodal logistics platform, and the interoperability with other single windows, among other things.
More than 70 countries around the world have implemented single-window systems, and multiple studies have shown that they experience substantial cost and time savings and enhanced transparency and interagency collaboration. Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and Peru are among the countries in Latin America that already have experienced significant improvements thanks to their single window programs.
The IDB loan is for 25 years, with a grace period of 5-1/2 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.