PORT OF SPAIN —Trinidad and Tobago officials announced they have begun the first phase of TTBizLink, a Web site that will allow individuals and companies to connect with the government online for business and trade purposes.

This site is designed to help make business less expensive, speed up the process of conducting commerce and make the twin-island nation a more attractive place for trade and foreign direct investment.

TTBizLink (www.ttbizlink.gov.tt) is designed after the online trade portal in Singapore known as TradeNet. The World Bank ranks Singapore first for having the most open economy for international trade and investment and for being the easiest place to do business. Trinidad and Tobago is committed to increasing its ranking in the ease of doing business within the next five years, a government statement said.

“We knew as a country we had to come up to speed to increase our competitiveness,” Randall Karim, director of Policy & Strategy at the Ministry of Trade & Industry said in the statement.  “TTBizLink does just that.”

Individuals and companies wishing to import and export goods, apply for business permits and licenses, register a business and conduct any other trade activity may submit a single document online at TTBizLink.  The information will be routed to the relevant government agencies for consideration.

According to the Ministry of Trade & Industry, those processes took up to three weeks, but will now be completed within three days.

The system will go live late this month. For now, businesses are being asked to register online in order to be able to access the portal.

TTBizLink has eight modules: Import/Export Permits and Licenses, Import Duty Concession, Cargo Manifest, Goods Declaration, Company Registration, Certificates of Origin, Application for Fiscal Incentives, and Work Permit Applications.

It will connect five government ministries and 13 government agencies all involved in the trade process.

“We want to become a global player beyond energy to attract and do business with the world.  TTBizLink provides the efficiency to be one,” Karim said.