St. Kitts and Nevis Participates in OECS e-Payments Forum
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia was the venue for the Competitive Business Unit's two day Forum on E-Payments. The forum was attended by delegates from nine OECS member states with the objective of promoting harmonized rules and regulations in the OECS region for conducting electronic payments.
Rodney Browne founder and Managing Director of eCaribbean Ltd in St. Kitts and Nevis, when asked for his thoughts of the two day forum, said he found the exercise to be quite informative in relation to the prime objective of establishing a harmonised legal framework to enable ePayments across the OECS sub-region. “The workshop was on point, as it clearly identified the challenges facing the region and the need for legislation, so the workshop met that objective.”
One of the common threads identified was that of “culture” he stated, due to a traditional mindset of conducting cash or physical transactions. “Consumers for the most part would frequent a business place to make a payment” he said, “as a result businesses don't adopt an online first mindset to payments when developing websites.” Mr. Browne added.
He referred to this situation as “a chicken and egg scenario”, “businesses including the banks would say that there's little demand for online payments and therefore don't seek to make the option available or if they do the cost is too high, which is a further deterant to the few businesses who may be considering making the investment in providing an online payment option.”
Trinidad & Tobago, Securities Exchange Launches New Website and App
The T&T Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) has launched a new investor education microsite, as part of its continued drive to improve investor education.
The site will be home to content related to investor education in one “go-to” portal which facilitates the inclusion of more dynamic media through the use of infographics, videos and games along with tools and calculators. The TTSEC will also tailor its investor education efforts to focus on different life stages such as teenaged and working years, and pre-retirement.
At the same time the Commission also launched a digital application for tablets and mobile devices, to push investor education messages to the technology driven public. The app offers on the go information curated by the TTSEC and will include relevant news and updates as well as promote investor education through the use of interactive elements.
The application includes the ability to download a fillable complaint form as well as submit queries via an in-app form. Users can select specific stocks to watch from those traded on the T&T Stock Exchange and view the current price and any increase or decrease as well as see a graph of changes over time,as well as other information.
Online Science and Technology Research Database launched
The Ministry of Science and Technology, with the support of the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) moved one step closer toward increasing innovation and funding for Research and Development (R&D) in Science and Technology, with the launch of an online Science and Technology Research Database for Trinidad and Tobago, appropriately named STResearchTT.
STResearchTT is expected to play a critical role in advancing the work of the Draft National Science and Technology Policy, as well as the preparation of a Country Status Report which will allow the local capabilities in scientific research and development to be matched to gaps identified from national science policy and sectoral policy documents. This Report will also make it easier to identify funding allocations for Science& Tech, thereby promoting innovation and commercialisation of technology in priority areas, one of NIHERST’s key objectives.
In delivering the address on behalf of Rupert Griffith, Minister of Science and Technology, Lisa Phillips, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, indicated that “we are indeed at the cusps of discovery with the implementation of this database which will provide critical information on this country’s capability not in only scientific research and development, but in other areas which will support the country’s developmental needs such as ecological sustainability, economic diversification and the improvement of the quality of life of our
citizens.” She further stated that “if we are to remain competitive in today’s world, distinguish ourselves and provide leadership, we must conduct research and development activities.”
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