AMCHAM T&T RESPONDS TO THE MID-YEAR BUDGET REVIEW
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) credits the Government for reducing and containing expenditure and hopes that this discipline in expenditure is continued in the future. We look forward to future gains as we use technology to deliver government services more effectively, and improve processes to better monitor government expenditure and evaluate outcomes. We welcome the promises of fiscal transparency and the publication of real-time revenue and expenditure data. Another commendable announcement is the decision to lay legislation on the revenue authority before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. This is in keeping with our call for greater bipartisan collaboration on critical national issues.
However, the most important point to note from the mid-year review is that even with increased revenue from higher petroleum prices and increased gas production over the last six months, as noted by the Hon. Minister “our core revenues from taxation are still fragile and still below $40 billion, while we are running a $50 billion economy”. This means that the deficit between income and expenditure persists to the tune of some $10B and is projected to continue over the next few years. While this gap is expected to be closed somewhat in 2018 by the sale of assets and the establishment of the National Investment Fund this year, such measures are unsustainable and therefore continued emphasis on expenditure reduction and containment needs to remain as a priority.
AMCHAM T&T stresses that concerted effort is necessary to not only reduce expenditure and close the fiscal gap but more pointedly we continue our call for the adoption of fiscal rules, alongside other revenue stabilization measures that would better manage the volatility that we experience in our revenue.
As such, we encourage the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Government to remain steadfast in their commitment to fiscal discipline. As the country uses this opportunity to restructure the economy to return to a period of sustainable growth, we encourage the Government to engage meaningfully with all sectors of the society, including the business community. AMCHAM T&T stands ready and able to work with the Government toward the long term growth of the economy and development of our society.
The U.S. Embassy will be hosting an incoming mission of eight (8) companies from the United States and has partnered with AMCHAM T&T to provide business-to-business matchmaking services. The following companies will be participating in the mission and will be meeting with local companies on the dates indicated. Members interested in meeting with any of the aforementioned companies can indicate their interest via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-868-622-4466 ext. 222 to discuss further.
Space is limited and members are invited to indicate their interest early.
Wednesday 9th May, 2018:
1. American Muscle Docks & Fabrication LLC – The company specialises in boat docks and boat dock hardware, aluminium gangways & all marina accessories. For commercial and residential applications, the company manufactures their own products and have the ability to customize all products to unique specification. View their website: www.AMDocks.com
2. QuiaCle Technology and Consulting, Inc – This company provides strategic consulting technology services and managed services to government organizations, commercial, and not for profit organizations. View their website: www.quiacle.com
3. The Impact Group, LLC – A proven and trusted advisor for non-profits, private businesses, and local, state, and Federal government, their services include: Infrastructure & Data Center Services, Business Process Improvement, Program/Project Management, Service Desk Support, Cloud Migration & Virtualization, Aglie Development & Dev0ps, Information Assurance, and ERP Solutions (SAP, etc). View their website: www.impactgroupllc.net
4. Troy Group – Specializes in security software, printers, inks and toners that add personalized layers of authentication, copy detection, and fraud deterrence to high value documents, thereby assisting to manage fraud, reduce operational risks and comply with government regulations. View their website: https://www.troygroup.com/
5. Zurena LLC – ZURENA is a unique blend of fresh citrus juices, spices, sweetness, and love. It was created by Nigel Smith, an innovator for some of the world’s most admired brands, and inspired by his late grandfather and renowned mixologist, Carlton Smith. Nigel’s goal was to create a simple, yet versatile cocktail mixer that would add an exotic touch to a wide variety of spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. View their website: https://myzurena.com/
6. Zuri Productions – Zuri Productions provides marketing and communications services, specializing in visual storytelling, community engagement and outreach. Their Emmy and Grammy award-winning teams focuses on education, health, employment, environmental services, and economics. View their website: http://www.zuriprod.com/about.html
Friday 11th May, 2018:
7. State Industrial Inc. – The company is a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) District of Columbia based commercial construction firm specializing in the construction of highways and streets, concrete driveways, sidewalks, curb & gutters, sewer mains, pipe, and connections, utility line (i.e. sewer, water), water main and lines. View their website: https://www.stateindustrialinc.com/
8. Synergetic Information Systems – This company provides IT services and solutions for the U.S. Federal Government, the District Government, and other clients. A minority-owned small business enterprise with an excellent track record of performance, Synergetic serves a wide range of clients with a strong focus on customer service and quality deliverables. View their website: www.gosynergetic.com
AMCHAM T&T EXTENDS CONGRATULATIONS
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes on becoming the nation’s sixth President – and the first female to hold this office. It is indeed significant as the inauguration comes on the heels of International Women’s Day and during the world’s celebration of Women’s History Month – the event being a history-making occasion in itself.
Having clearly recognized and articulated the challenges that we face as a nation, and the need for concerted action to remedy these, we remain hopeful that Her Excellency’s tenure will be one of purposeful action toward the betterment of our country and society. This defining moment in our nation’s history should be met with reflection as citizens look back on where we have been; take stock of where we are; and chart a course forward to, in the words of the President, “bring light to the darkness”.
The cooperative approach adopted by members on both sides of the political divide to elect our first female President is noteworthy. AMCHAM T&T has been calling for more bi-partisanship to confront the challenges or country faces. It is our hope that this collaboration endures not only in the Parliament or in the sphere of politics, but across all sectors of society for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.
The task before Her Excellency, President Weekes is not an easy one, but if her career is any indication, we expect that she would be a faithful servant of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, executing her duties impartially and valiantly. We take heed of Her Excellency’s call and stand ready to do our part to walk with our new President toward and into the proverbial light.
AMCHAM T&T’s WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
HYATT REGENCY, TRINIDAD
FRIDAY 9TH MARCH, 2016
REMARKS BY: MITCHELL DE SILVA, PRESIDENT AMCHAM T&T
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen
I am incredibly honoured as President of AMCHAM T&T, to address a room of outstanding women (and some men) as we commemorate International Women’s Day. In an economic climate of such uncertainty, the continuity of this or any event is not guaranteed. I am delighted to say the conference is in its fifth year, continues to grow in size and depth of content and has become a signature event on AMCHAM T&T’s calendar.
Unfortunately, the celebration of this milestone is bittersweet. The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report clearly highlights why we say this. Whereas previously the report estimated that it would take an astonishing 170 years to achieve gender parity, it now estimates that it will take 213.
If this remains true then women today, their daughters and possibly granddaughters, will not have the opportunity to live in a world where true gender parity exists.
As a leading business chamber in Trinidad & Tobago and one whose ambition and reach spans throughout the Western Hemisphere, AMCHAM T&T firmly believes that we must take the lead in discussing the power of women in business and the importance of gender parity in society. We believe that gender parity is an important achievement that has a major impact on how and whether economies and societies advance. Successfully engaging about half of the world’s talent pool, and harnessing their contributions will have a huge impact on the growth, competitiveness and economic transformation.
However, when I reflect on the findings of the Global Gender Gap Report, I believe that we in the business community must honestly ask ourselves – “Are we doing enough?”
Do we look around our boardrooms and ask ourselves “Why is there only one or sometimes no women present?”
Is the business community doing enough to speak out against sexual harassment in the workplace, and are we taking the necessary steps to ensure that organizations are safe and comfortable for all genders?
Are we doing enough to address violence against women? There are some women who feel safer at work that they do in their own homes. Their job is not only a source of financial independence but provides a temporary reprieve from the violence they face. What do we do when bruises turn into sick days and eventually reduced work performance? Do we stick to our K.P.Is and the numbers that influence of company’s profit and loss? Or do we begin to re-evaluate the value we place on the lives, mental health and overall well-being of our workers?
Is the collective conscious of business ready to ask the hard questions and take the necessary steps to press for progress?
While I do not purport to have all of the answers, I do believe this is why this conference and others like it are so important. My hope is that this event not only empowers us, but emboldens us to create a new level of expectancy and accountability of ourselves and our leaders.
I believe that in the same way I am my brother’s keeper, I am also my sister’s keeper, my mother’s keeper, my neighbour’s keeper and even my employee’s keeper. We must continue to come together, to support each other.
Before I close I would like to thank the organizations that have chosen to partner with us for this event. Our title sponsors Scotiabank and bpTT. Other major sponsors, United Airlines, Hyatt Regency Trinidad, McDermott Inc, Esau Oilfield Supplies Limited, Balroops and Caribbean Bottlers Limited, and our media partner Heartbeat Radio.
I thank you for your attention and wish you a productive and successful event.
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad & Tobago, hosted its first Member Business Engagement Seminar on Thursday 1st February 2018 at the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre.
The forum is part of AMCHAM T&T’s and the US Embassy’s effort to create an avenue to address any questions or concerns businesses may have concerning trade and business relations with the United States. Representatives from the embassy were: Kyle Fonay, Embassy Political & Economic Officer; Kevin Ogley, Deputy Consular Officer; and A.J. Jagelski, Embassy Public Affairs Officer.
High on the agenda was the issue of business travel facilitation. Embassy officials stated that the U.S. was very open to and interested in travel and investment between the two countries. They indicated that on average four out of five persons applying for visas are successful with their application.
Another topic discussed was pre-clearance, an issue AMCHAM T&T has advocated for with the current Government and its predecessor. AMCHAM T&T believes offering pre-clearance into the U.S. at Piarco International Airport would offer clear advantages in terms of fostering a better relationship with the United States, as well as positioning Trinidad and Tobago as a portal for increased business travel throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Embassy officials emphasised the importance of the U.S.’s relationship with Trinidad & Tobago, and spoke to the implementation of the U.S.-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016, which is seen as a means of expanding U.S. engagement and its strengthening relationship within the Caribbean. They continue to invest in the TT community through work with organisations in the areas of at-risk youth, community safety, security, disability rights, and entrepreneurship. The panel also addressed concerns relating to taxation, terrorism and anti- money laundering legislation.
A very pleasant good morning to you all…
It gives me great pleasure to address you today on this eight iteration of the AMCHAM T&T National Youth Productivity Forum, affectionately known as NYPF.
AMCHAM T&T is deeply committed to assisting in shaping a better Trinidad and Tobago- a Trinidad and Tobago with a productive work force, positive economic and social indicators and most importantly a T&T in which all citizens, especially our young people, realize that meaningful dialogue and inclusion are the only means that we will we make good choices. The adage that you are tomorrow leaders, ring hollow if you are not equipped to contribute to your schools, communities, and country. You need to understand the shifting world that you are about to inherit. You are not only the future of society, but you are, very much a big part of our PRESENT. And we try through the NYPF to prepare you for that role.
The NYPF engages our young people in the comprehension, articulation and discussion of national and global issues, as well as being part of the solutions by employing the tools of critical thinking, presentation skills (oral and written), innovation, research and entrepreneurship. Students are sensitized to the interconnectivity among the major stakeholders in society – business, labour, government and civil society- and the need for collective responsibility and collaborative solutions and implementation thereof- what we strive for in the ‘real world.’ These ladies and gentlemen are the elements of real education and as Nelson Mandela said "education is the most powerful weapon which you
can use to change the world.”
We are encouraged by the fact that the Ministry of Education, the Tobago House of Assembly, UTT, Office of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Equal Opportunities Commission, First Citizens Bank, Massy Technologies, parents, teachers and corporate sponsors are giving tangible support to this project. Needless to say, we have always been impressed and inspired by the keenness and commitment with which you have aligned yourselves to the initiative. This year we had an overwhelming number of schools register- this is the largest number of schools to register for the Fourm to date, and whilst we are excited to extend the Forum to accommodate you all, I caution you to understand the role and commitment that you have made. As our future leaders, we will hold you accountable to meet that deadlines of this initiative that you have committed. We also expect that you would contact us, in any urgent circumstances. Your participation not only affects your school, but also the other schools in the Rounds, and whist we have had that problem in the past, I am sure we would not have that problem with this group of students!
This Forum has been supported by the Honourable President Carmona, who has been the patron of the Forum for the last four years, and prior to President Carmona the patron of the initiative was the former U.S. Ambassador to T&T Mrs. Beatrice Welters. We hope that the incoming President, the first female President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago would be in a position to also support this initiative. It is important for us to pause here and acknowledge the impact of this country having its first female President -this would definitely assist in making gender equality in leadership normal. AMCHAM T&T strongly supports the nomination, as we believe it would open the eyes of our young people to the fact that leaders come from all backgrounds, colour, races and definitely gender.
The topic of the NYPF this year is “Health..your Wealth… Towards a more Productive Trinidad and Tobago”. According to a recently published Non Communicable Disease Report by the Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago, research has shown that a quarter (25%) of school-aged children (5 – 18years) is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity remains a major concern due to its impact on the development of risk factors leading to chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and strokes later on in life. There has already been the emergence of CNCDs like diabetes in our children and youth populations. Trinidad and Tobago, at 60%, has the highest overall percentage of deaths due to CNCDs within the Caribbean region, heart disease is the Number 1 cause of death in Trinidad and Tobago accounting for 25% of all deaths, the diabetes prevalence rate among adults is approximately 12% - 13% and 50% of persons, 24 – 64 years, already has 3 or more risk factors for CNCDs. This high prevalence of CNCDs in our adult and children populations is related to unhealthy diets (high fat, salt & sugar), insufficient physical activity and low consumption of fruits and vegetables (less than 3 servings per day).
I am looking forward to hearing students passionately impress peers to the wisdom of limiting consumption of unhealthy fast foods and to embrace local nutritional foods and engaging in exercise. We are looking forward to innovative solutions to deal with the Health scourge we are facing.
We have incentivized the Forum, with some of the prizes (cash grants) being awarded to the teachers, who we know go beyond the call of duty to ensure that their students participate and get the additional assistance they need. And yes, we would also give our students some cash grants, and for the project component, the winning school will receive $TTD12,000 (in addition to the teacher’s grant) to successfully implement the project. You would get the details later today, but let me just say that we are using this Forum as a catalyst for creating critical thinkers and an improved learning experience.
We hope that the lessons you learn through this exercise will impact your families, schools, communities and country.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Event: AMCHAM T&T’s Economic Outlook 2018
Venue: Hyatt Regency, Trinidad
Remarks by Mitchell De Silva, President AMCHAM T&T
All protocols observed, Good Morning.
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to be here this morning to address you; a pleasure because every opportunity to engage with the membership and wider Trinidad and Tobago is always welcomed and a privilege as today we bring to you some of our country’s most prominent thought leaders, whose views I am sure you are anxious to hear. That said, please permit me the indulgence of your time, as I attempt to put into context why we are here and our desired outcomes.
Put simply, this event aligns with our emphasis on more meaningful engagement, AMCHAM T&T firmly believes that it is only by encouraging dialogue and creating appropriate forums for views to be articulated, shared and challenged that we will realize many of the objectives that we set ourselves as a country. That said, the burning question is what are those objectives or more importantly what should those objectives be and why? I dare say that many of us in this room may not be entirely clear on the current policy agenda and if and how that agenda will lead to:
1. Improved fiscal discipline and accountability
2. Economic growth and diversification of our revenue base
3. A curtailment of crime and criminality in all forms
That list can go on, but I believe those three areas, broadly speaking, are representative of some of our most pressing concerns, which hitherto have not been addressed either as frontally as we would like, or perhaps in a manner which does not align with our expectations.
On the issue of improved fiscal discipline, in his latest address to the Nation the Prime Minister rightfully highlighted the tremendous strides that his administration has made in reducing expenditure from approximately $60Bln to approximately $50Bln, a significant achievement to say the least.
What we have not heard in the debate thus far and pardon me if I have missed it, are details on measures we are putting in place to prevent a reoccurrence of what I would like to term exuberance in planned expenditure. As our recently appointed Director, Bruce Mc Kenzie highlighted in our post budget event, we have tendency to significantly increase planned expenditure as planned revenue increases. Emphasis on the word planned, especially in relation to revenue. A pattern which AMCHAM T&T firmly believes cannot continue. What we need are fiscal rules, which will impose a discipline on us that has been prescribed by the IMF for Jamaica and Grenada and possibly others, but which at this juncture may be appropriately designed by us to meet our unique circumstances. Let’s not await the prescription but take decisive steps now. This is an area that my former colleague and one of today’s panelists Marla has been long advocating for and I am certain she will have a thing or two to say on this topic.
I am sure all panelists will have views on diversification and each may have a unique and insightful perspective, one possibly more than the others.
Clearly, the need to diversify is self-evident and the questions into what, the scale of those initiatives and whether or not they can augment and or overtake our current main contributor to the national purse are complex and require careful consideration and deliberate measureable actions. It is certainly not my expectation that our economy will be meaningfully diversified in the short to medium term, but it is not unreasonable to advocate that steps be taken today towards that outcome. This is where we, the private sector, need to be decisive and lead the State into the areas that we view as having the potential to shift our revenue base. The recent announcement of a Prime Ministerial appointed committee to act as an interface between the Government and Private sector to presumably achieve that outcome is interesting. Not wanting to be provocative or skeptical, but somehow that initiative feels and sounds as though there is some overlap between it and another that was constituted at the start of this Administration’s term. Let me be clear, AMCHAM T&T supports all meaningful initiatives that are designed to spur and encourage actions that will improve our current situation and outlook, but we are somewhat guarded when announcements are made with limited details provided.
While Ravi will speak more about this in his presentation, I feel compelled to make the point that anti-business language from policy makers, an unpredictable legislative and tax environment and unnecessary bureaucracy all make it more unlikely that capital will deployed in T&T in the midst of a recession. Our hope is that in 2018, the economy further stabalizes, that there is more co-operation between Government and Opposition and that there is more meaningful engagement among Civil Society, Government, Labour and Business on key national issues.
Immediately action is needed to pass anti-gang legislation, cyber crime legislation, legislation to bring us in compliance with our AML /CTF obligations and e-payment legislation, to highlight but a few. There is likely consensus that far too many of our laws are outdated. We need a modern legislative framework – laws that are relevant in the 21st Century – to enable a competitive economy. Our Parliament must do more. For that to happen, we need to see more bi-partisanship. Our country is at a crucial juncture. Our leaders must rise to the challenge.
Turning to my third highlighted issue; much has been said about crime and criminality with a decided focus on prosecutions, arrests and detention. As we all know, these deal and treat with the symptoms of crime but fail to address the root cause. Faster detection, swifter prosecution, greater visibility of law enforcement and regulators alike are essential yes, but a thorough analysis of what gives rise to these issues is what is needed and again the recognition that the benefits of the actions we take today will not be immediate, rather gradual at first and increasingly impactful with the passage of time.
Allow me to emphasize the point on regulatory visibility and enforcement, I think we would all agree that there is a correlation between white collar and violent crime, yet on a relative basis our detection and prosecution of the former appears to significantly lag the latter. All too often the Private Sector’s commentary on criminality is perceived to be skewed towards violent crime, while that may not necessarily be the case it is a perception that for some is a reality. We must change that perception and be equally vociferous about all forms of illegal activity and in so doing share our burden of the blame and shoulder the responsibility for developing solutions by giving generously of our time and talent, something that far too few of us have done. The Private Sector’s efforts in getting procurement legislation passed and a board and regulator appointed are apt examples of what we can achieve if our efforts are focused. We must be willing to give the same level of sustained commitment and sacrifice in matters such as the Revenue Authority and other critical areas that will ultimately allow for the creation of a more just, equitable and safe society.
In conclusion, my hope for today’s event is twofold. Firstly, we leave you with a more informed perspective of our economic reality and secondly, we all recognize that it is only through meaningful engagement and commitment that we will return our country to prosperity.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen
AMCHAM T&T: MORE ENGAGEMENT NEEDED
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T), welcomes the Hon. Prime Minister’s Address To The Nation as part of the Government’s effort to keep the population informed about the current state of the nation’s economy.
We acknowledge that the Hon. Prime Minster outlined several critical issues in his address and intentionally dealt with the macro-issues. Moving ahead, we look forward to more specific information on many of the initiatives proposed by the Government, including those that will deal with the on-going crime scourge. The timely delivery of clear, accurate and detailed information is critical for investor confidence, and is characteristic of a Government that is committed to transparency, accountability and good governance in all its affairs.
AMCHAM T&T recognises that the Government has reduced Government expenditure since coming into office. We encourage them to now enact fiscal rules (detailed in our budget submission) for Government spending to ensure discipline, rigour and accountability.
We understand that managing an economy in the current economic climate is challenging, and acknowledge that hard decisions must be made as we restructure our economy to be competitive in today’s world. We also appreciate the Hon. Prime Minister’s call for all sectors of the society to work together to overcome the country’s challenges. In this vein, more meaningful engagement is required to arrive at the best solutions in the shortest possible time.
AMCHAM T&T would also like to see more bi-partisan co-operation in the Parliament, as this will be a critical component of ensuring that our legislative framework is suitable for the changing global economy.
In this regard, AMCHAM T&T remains ready to engage with and assist the Government in any way needed as we all work towards economic stability, leading to socially inclusive growth and prosperity.
AMCHAM T&T CALLS FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL WORKERS AGAINST HARASSMENT & VICTIMIZATION
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) renews its call for the protection of all workers against gender-based violence, sexual harassment and victimization in any form.
We continue to be unapologetic in our stance for the creation of a society where everyone, irrespective of their gender can be safe: safe to work, safe to play, and safe to speak up.
As issues of Sexual Harassment and Employee Victimization continue to take center stage in the media internationally, we believe that this can create a tipping point for us locally. AMCHAM T&T believes that all leaders in the public and private sector have a part to play to ensure that workplace polices are unambiguous, definitive, clearly communicated and strictly observed. We must make certain that anyone who steps forward to report sexual harassment is protected against victimization. There should always be an open and safe place for women and men to come forward with their allegations. In the same vein, we also believe that all parties (the accused and the accuser) must have a right to a fair, unbiased and thorough investigation.
Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, once stated that “There are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.” As such, AMCHAM T&T remains committed to raising our voice to highlight this issue. In 2015, we partnered with the United Nations Population Fund in Trinidad & Tobago to help bring greater awareness to the business community on the topic of Sexual Harassment as well as other gender-based issues. Since then, we have continued to highlight our concerns in various fora, including our annual Women’s Leadership Conference, and through partnership with various agencies such as Men Against Domestic Violence and One Caribbean Media in the “Leave She Alone” campaign.
AMCHAM T&T would also like to commend every individual who has had the courage to step forward and speak of their experiences, as well as those who provide a sensitive and supportive environment to encourage same.
21st ANNUAL HEALTH, SAFETY, SECURITY, AND ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
TUESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 2017
HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD
It is indeed my honour to address you this morning at our 21st Annual Health, Safety, Security and Environment Conference and Exhibition. During my time here at AMCHAM, both as a member of Trade and Investment Committee and as a member of the Board, I have had the pleasure of seeing this event grow both in depth and scope. I can proudly state that it is now our flagship event, and it is the largest gathering of HSE professionals in the region. We have created a forum where the brightest minds in their respective fields come together to share information, encourage best practices, and elevate H.S.S.E awareness and standards.
As the Pathway to the Americas, AMCHAM T&T continues to stress the importance of looking outwards to the Americas. If we are to be successful in this endeavour we must ensure that businesses hold themselves to the highest standard possible. This will give us a greater advantage as we attempt to compete in the global market. As we remain committed in our thrust to make an indelible impact on free and fair trade, and to positively influence the economics of our nation, we will continue to educate and advocate for HSE excellence in organisations. Good HSE policies make good business sense.
This year the theme of the conference is People, Systems and Sustainability. Given the current business climate this theme is very timely, as all three components are necessary for businesses to succeed and thrive.
If we take a closer look at each element, you will see that we have purposely placed People first. People are the most important asset in any organisation. Every person, no matter their position within the organisation, is important. Leaders must nurture and create an environment which encourages and enables growth, safety and security. This is why we found it important to expand our focus on health and wellness to include mental health.
And to the people, the employees, I would like to make this appeal to you. Know your worth in your organisation and the worth of the organisation. Use your greatest asset, which is your voice. Use it to speak up and to speak out. Use it to build bridges. Use it to ask the hard questions and to find the right solutions.
The other two elements: systems and sustainability, go hand in hand. Businesses can no longer focus only on having the right systems, but they must also ensure that these systems are secure and sustainable. There must be the right combination of safety standards, corporate social responsibility, and environmental protection if a business is to be successful.
As we begin our conference I must implore each and every one of you to be unwavering in your attempts to protect the values of excellence in health, safety, and environmental protection in your businesses. Take the information that you learn here and implement them in your organisations.
Finally, I would like to extend a thank you to the HSE Committee and its chair, Curt Cadet. I must also thank our sponsors. We know that this has been a challenging year for most if not all of our organisations and your sponsorship shows not only the trust you place in AMCHAM T&T, but your commitment to this cause.
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