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Official accuses Trinidad private sector of being lazy

By Trinidad Guardian

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Ryan Lewis

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — The pri­vate sec­tor must play a big­ger role in dri­ving the na­tion’s econ­o­my said Ryan Lewis, Di­rec­tor, Trinidad and To­ba­go Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (TTMA).

“The bud­get is read and done by the Gov­ern­ment but the big­ger ques­tion is what is the pri­vate sec­tor do­ing. That is where the jobs will be, where you all are look­ing for. A lot of you all will want to go in­to new in­no­v­a­tive busi­ness­es. So what is the pri­vate sec­tor do­ing to pro­vide more jobs for you? I be­lieve in the last 10 years the pri­vate sec­tor has been lazy. I think that the pri­vate sec­tor has been de­pen­dent on the Gov­ern­ment.”

Lewis spoke yes­ter­day at the St Mary’s Col­lege, post-bud­get pan­el dis­cus­sion held at CIC, Port-of-Spain.

He said there need to be new in­no­v­a­tive jobs dri­ven by tech­nol­o­gy.

“How many app de­vel­op­ers do you think there are in the coun­try?” he asked.

Lewis said that man­u­fac­tur­ing is 6 per­cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) and it is the coun­try’s fu­ture.

How­ev­er, he said T&T has been los­ing its com­pet­i­tive­ness and it will no longer be the busi­ness cap­i­tal of the re­gion if it con­tin­ues along this road.

“T&T has al­ways been the en­vy of the rest of the re­gion. We were the busi­ness cen­tre for 30 years. What it will take is a pri­vate sec­tor plan sup­port­ed by the Gov­ern­ment frame­work.”

He said the aim is to dou­ble man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put by 2025.

“The man­u­fac­tur­ing strat­e­gy put for­ward by over 100 stake­hold­ers in the in­dus­try along with con­sul­tants is cen­tred around dou­bling man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put. We are talk­ing about TT$15 bil­lion by 2025.”

He added that the world is at the stage of the 4th In­dus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tices must be re­flect­ed by this era of glob­al de­vel­op­ment.

He al­so en­cour­aged stu­dents to use their sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion to build their fu­ture as he said many of the oth­er stu­dents they are in school with, they will be do­ing busi­ness with them one day.

Econ­o­mist Dr. In­dera Sage­wan said that T&T has to move away from the old en­er­gy mod­el in­to new­er ar­eas like wind and so­lar-dri­ven en­er­gy.

“Why did the Gov­ern­ment not go mas­sive and pro­vide us not with a fis­cal in­cen­tive for sailor wa­ter heaters but with a se­ri­ous in­cen­tive to move from tra­di­tion­al­ly gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty to so­lar-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty homes at the com­mu­ni­ty lev­el?”

Allyson West, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Fi­nance who al­so spoke dur­ing the pan­el dis­cus­sion said that the Gov­ern­ment is play­ing its part en­sur­ing that peo­ple who do not have ac­cess to com­put­ers and WiFi can ac­cess it.

“It should not be that you have to live next to a Rit­u­als to be able to say that you can ac­cess WiFi in ‘x area.’ You should be able to get it whether you are in Moru­ga, Siparia, Point Fortin, To­co. So we are work­ing on that as well as the fi­nal project, the in­tro­duc­tion of e-gov­ern­ment ser­vices. We should not have to lin­ing up for hours to pay tax­es and to re­new your dri­vers’ per­mit,” she said.

TTMA director Ryan Lewis makes his presentation during the St Mary’s College post-budget panel discussion at the school yesterday.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

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