AMCHAM T&T CEO Calls for TRUTH and REALITY in Facing T&T’s Economic Woes
“According to the data, this is the worst recession that we have been in since the 1980s and therefore how we get out of it and what we do requires the truth,” said AMCHAM T&T CEO, Nirad Tewarie while delivering the welcome remarks of Day Two at AMCHAM T&T’s 23rd’ Annual Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE) Conference and Exhibition.
While AMCHAM T&T does not think that we are facing an 80’s style gloom and doom situation, Trinidad and Tobago will have to face the truth and answer to indisputable facts regarding our economic reality. “Official statistics don’t tell the whole story. To give just one example, the central government’s debt is recorded to be 62% of GDP and continues to show an upward trend. However, this recorded debt does not include the TT$40 billion exchequer overdraft, upcoming payables or VAT refunds. Therefore, it does not reflect the government’s true indebtedness,” said Tewarie.
The AMCHAM T&T CEO says the business community has a responsibility to go into the numbers and not get caught by promises that are not based on reality. “Where there is spending promised and cuts are promised but at the same time balancing of budgets and economic growth, we have to ask some questions and we have to use our connections and our resources to ensure that we are pushing the parties to come up with sound economic plans because if we don’t, what therefore is our reality?”
“We saw that GDP growth projected at 1.9% in 2018 and turns out to be -2%. How can we have those things? How can we plan? Can you plan your businesses based on that? So how do we plan a country?”
The business community is going to have to organize and demand that both the government and the opposition provide economic plans based on reality especially with this being an election year. AMCHAM T&T believes any person who is seeking political office, regardless of the party, should lead by truth and reality.
“We have heard the National Budget; we have heard the opposition response. AMCHAM T&T is not concerned with the politics of the matter, what we want is the truth,” said Tewarie.
AMCHAM T&T says all truths are easy to understand once we can discover them. If we want to understand our truths, we need the right tools and the right data to reveal those truths for our companies to succeed. “We have two options: we can complain, or we can put our shoulder to the wheel, and do what all resourceful Trinidadians have always done, and find ways to thrive once again,” said Tewarie.
To move forward, AMCHAM T&T believe we must look at how things are linked and be able to identify the risks especially now that our economic system is a real issue as we plan for businesses and for the future.
Speaking on the issue of risk and security at the HSSE conference Tewarie said: “We have to think of risk very differently and whether you are in the cybersecurity, or security and HSSE part of the business, seeing how all of these things linked is going to be important and putting that in the national context and in the international context is going to be even more important.”
For further questions or comments please contact: Nirad Tewarie, CEO AMCHAM T&T at firstname.lastname@example.org or 728-8274
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