Patricia Ghany re-elected as AMCHAM T&T President
at 27th AGM
(Patricia Ghany, President of AMCHAM T&T)
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) re-elected Patricia Ghany to another term as President of the Chamber at its first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting held today.
Speaking on the theme “Business in the New Normal” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ghany laid out the Chamber’s vision and plans both for society and the role for business. “Our success as a country cannot be measured simply by GDP growth. Neither can our businesses’ success be measured only by profit. From what I have seen in my more than two decades as part of AMCHAM T&T and in my own business, for the most part, the business community has always taken an interest and supported both fence-line communities and the national community,” she said.
“Now, we may need to do a little more and, quite frankly, communicate what we do a little better. This is beyond CSR. It’s about building resilient communities and contributing to the overall sustainability of the country and, hopefully, the region.”
Even in the new normal, Ghany says the old, fundamental rules still apply, especially the rule of law. “Fairness and access to justice are key to developing a conducive business environment but so too are they to building a resilient and cohesive society. In the old normal or the new normal, strong adherence to the rule of law is key.”
“As a country, we need to do a better job of fixing the systems that inhibit social mobility and perpetuate inequality. We cannot fool ourselves by talking about outliers who emerge successfully from structural inequity and try to hold them up as examples that can be easily replicated. As citizens, we should have a vested interest in making our society better. And as businesses, we should see that if the rule of law is assured for those who are often most invisible and on the “margins of society” it will be assured for business too, making the entire economy more efficient and attractive.”
Ghany said to fuel and reward the innovation shown by companies, government, non-profits, and individuals in response to COVID-19 challenges, it will require an acceleration of our country’s digital transformation. “The COVID-19 situation has ripped the band-aid off the need across the public and private sector to enable teleworking and remote learning across most households. To support this new normal, gaps need to be closed in ICT availability, affordability, and adoption for a large cross-section in society, through public and private sector policies and initiatives.”
“We congratulate the GOTT on accelerating the offerings of e-payments for statutory tax payments such as Corporation tax, Green Fund. We look forward to the implementation of a unique National Identification Number system which will allow for the provision of government services in a less disjointed manner and instant verification of information provided by the customer.”
Ghany also recommended that the GOTT recommit Trinidad and Tobago to the Open Government Partnership and provide more data available in a manipulatable format to allow the private sector to extract economic value from our data. She says this should be done with the appropriate privacy protections supported by data privacy and data transparency laws including the full proclamation of the Data Protection Act.
She also urged government to urgently address the deficiencies in the education system as it relates to the appropriate use of IT in the teaching-learning process, the teaching of tech-related skills specifically, and, at a base level, differentiated approaches to teaching to most effectively facilitate learning across the widest group of students.
Ghany said it is imperative that we address issues around the energy value chain since the energy sector will remain the mainstay of our economy. “The Government and private sector have to work more closely to further develop the export capacity of the energy services sector, in recognition that if our petroleum resources were ever to be depleted, we could still have a vibrant, foreign exchange-earning energy services sector.”
On climate change, she says building the new normal will require the integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities to create a stronger business strategy moving forward. “If we do not take action to protect sensitive habitats and species; conserve water, forests and other natural resources; and lobby for more stringent environmental protection enforcement, our ecosystems will collapse.”
At the AGM, the Chamber elected its new board:
· President - Patricia Ghany, Finance Director - Esau Oilfield Supplies Co. Ltd
· Vice President - Gregory Hill, Managing Director - ANSA Merchant Bank Limited
· Vice President - Mitchell De Silva, Citi Country Officer T&T Hub - Citibank
· Secretary - Glenn Hamel-Smith, Partner, Head Banking and Finance - Hamel-Smith
· Treasurer - Dominic Rampersad, President - Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd.
· Bruce Mackenzie, Group Strategy Officer, - Massy Group Vice President
· Caroline Toni Sirju Ramnarine, VP, Corporate Operations - Atlantic LNG Company Limited
· Giselle Thompson, VP Corporate Operations - BP TT
· Simon Aqui, Business Development Executive, Caribbean Financial Services Sector - IBM Trinidad
· Greer Quan, Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean - Pan-American Life Insurance Group
· Katishe Serrette, VP-AML/ATF Compliance - Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago Limited
· Karrian Hepburn, Chief Customer Relationship Officer - Trinidad & Tobago Unit Trust Corporation
· Nicholas Galt, Chairman - Trinidad Systems Limited (The TSL Group)
· Ravi Suryadevara, CEO - Trinidad Valve & Fitting Company
· Jason George, Country Sales Manager - Trinidad, Jamaica and Other Islands United Airlines Inc.
· Richard Look Kin, Group Chief Risk Officer - First Citizens Trinidad & Tobago
Ex-Officio position - H.E Joseph Mondello, Ambassador U.S Embassy Trinidad & Tobago
Ex-Officio position - Nirad Tewarie, CEO AMCHAM T&T
E-zone & the NGC Group of Companies are the Platinum Sponsors of the AGM while PALIG, Atlantic, bpTT & EOG Resources are Gold Sponsors. PWC is a Silver sponsor and Microsoft and Velsoft are Technology Partners.
For more information, interested persons can visit www.amchamtt.com.
For further questions or comments please contact: Nirad Tewarie, CEO AMCHAM T&T at email@example.com.
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