Business advice for new government

The American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AmCham), a statement released just hours after Dr Rowley’s People’s National Movement (PNM) scored a 23-18 victory in Monday’s general election, said the first task of the new government should be to strategise a way forward to deal with the economy. 

The group commended Dr Rowley for signaling his government’s intention to “urgently confront the many pressing economic issues.”

“We look forward to working with the new Government as we have with all previous governments,” AmchamTT said.

The group added: “We also look forward to the appointment of ministers and to sharing our already documented views on the next national budget

AmCham emphasises the need for continued open and frequent consultation and collaboration between the public and private sectors as we collectively seek to find solutions which will promote good governance, social cohesion and economic prosperity for all citizens.”

Vivek Charan, president of the San Juan Business Association, said the group is ready to work with the new government on a way forward for the country.

“Furthermore we look forward to establishing lines of communication between ourselves and the new Prime Minister and his Cabinet,” he said.

Dr Rolph Balgobin, president of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), said his members stand ready to work with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his government “to do what’s needed to be done to take T&T safely through the challenging economic times ahead.”

In a media release, the president and board of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce said: “There are considerable challenges facing our country in the movement towards economic recovery, modernisation and diversification, poverty eradication, health care and security for all. 

“We are confident that, working together with your Government and on the basis of an inclusive national dialogue, you will be able to ensure the necessary political reforms to take Trinidad and Tobago forward.”

The group urged the new administration to use their first 100 days in office to “outline a path that creates an economy that plays into the strengths and addresses the weaknesses of the country. 

“We hope to see greater stress placed on the development of agriculture and self-sufficiency in food production and we are certainly hopeful that the issue of crime and protection of our citizens will be part of any immediate agenda.

“We also hope that development works that began around the country in the past five years will be allowed to go ahead, but if not, we hope that the new Government will provide the country with a clear idea of what projects will be halted and what will go ahead so that the country can be fully aware and understanding of their intentions as far as cutting costs and redirecting investments.”

Daphne Bartlett, president of the San Fernando Business Association, noted that for the first time in 24 years the new prime minister would not be from the southern district. 

Bartlett who also heads the San Fernando Waterfront Development committee appealed to Rowley not to abandon the project which she said is ready for take off. 

Two multi story car parks are included in this plan and she advised that Rowley factor in these considerations when he and his new Minister of Finance plans the next budget.

“We in the southern part of Trinidad would like for the Dr Rowley government to continue to look at us and not only look at the north, north east and Tobago. 

“Turn you head down south and continue the projects identified,” she said.

Underscoring Dr Rowley’s point about rough waters ahead, Bartlett advised him to be very selective in appointing a very capable Minister of Finance to stringently manage the economy.

 

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