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Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

14 Industrial Relations - A key part of Employer Brand Management 18 How mediation could assist in making collective bargaining less confrontational 20 Survival of the fittest - mental health in the workplace 24 Negotiation tactics for successful resolutions 26 Powering your bottom line through employee engagement

6 Strategic initiatives for improving our industrial relations

28 What every business person should know 30 Economic and Financial Statistics 34 Economic Outlook 36 First Quarter 2016 review

8 Productivity and the Decent Work Agenda

38 Transforming the world of payments 40 Energy lay-offs and capacity building 42 Energy Statistics 50 Member Profile 52 Welcome to New Members

10 What do Employment Relations and the Work Culture have to do with Business Strategy?

12 Industrial relations practices and procedures “bottomline” effects

54 Crime & Justice Committee Safe House Project 54 Advertisers Editor: Halima Khan Editorial Board: Communications Committee: Robert Trestrail, Catherine Kumar, Hugh Ferreira, Anthony Agostini, Andrew Johnson, Dalia King, Michele Celestine, Marva Newton Design & Layout: JG Design Caribbean Published by Eureka Communications Limited Suite #2 No.9 Avenue First, St. James, Trinidad W.I. Tel: (868) 622-2017 • (868) 628-1555 Fax: • (868) 622-4475 E-mail: • • • For The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, P.O. Box 499, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago W.I. Tel: (868) 637-6966 Fax: (868) 637-7425 E-mail: • Website: For this magazine contact: Tel: (868) 637-6966 Tobago Division: 2nd Floor ANSA McAL Building, Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago Tel: (868) 639-2669 Fax: (868) 639-2669 E-mail:

Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce


Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

VISION STATEMENT We are the Voice of Business. MISSION STATEMENT To be the champion of business towards the development of a strong and sustainable national economy. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Robert Trestrail – President Ronald Hinds – Senior Vice President Reyaz Ahamad – Vice President Rakesh Goswami – Vice President Luana Boyack – Director Jean-Pierre Du Coudray – Director Jacqueline Francois – Director David Hadeed – Director Jason Julien – Director Kiran Maharaj – Director Charles Pashley – Director Paula Rajkumarsingh – Director Joseph Rahael – Director Karen Yip Chuck – Director Moonilal Lalchan, Immediate Past President Demi John Cruickshank – Chairman, Tobago Division Catherine Kumar – Chief Executive Officer

COMMITTEES - TRINIDAD • Communications • Facilities Management & • Corporate Social Responsibility Maintenance •Crime & Justice • Nova •E-Business, Information • Trade & Business Technology & Development Telecommunications (EBITT) • Health, Safety & •Employment & Labour Relations Environment COMMITTEES - TOBAGO • Business Development & Tourism• Security • Inter-island Transport • Environment HOW TO CONTACT US Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, P.O. Box 499, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago W.I. Tel: (868) 637 6966 Fax: (868) 637 7425 E-mail: • Website: Tobago Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce 2nd Floor, Ansa McAL Bldg., Milford Rd., Scarborough, Tobago Tel: (868) 639 2669 Fax: (868) 639 3014 E-mail:


Information on Trinidad & Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •


Proud Iguana Photos courtesy Anais Sidiqua Khan-George

rinidad and Tobago (T&T) has a population of approximately 1.3 million people who inhabit 4,827 square kilometers (1,886 miles) in Trinidad and 300 square kilometers (117 miles) in Tobago. Trinidad is located between 10º 2’ and 11º12’ N latitude and 60º 30’ and 61º 56’ W longitude or 11 Kilometers (6.8 miles) of the eastern coast of Venezuela. Tobago is located 32.2 Kilometers (20 miles) to the north-east of Trinidad. There are two international sea ports in Trinidad, Port-of-Spain and in Point Lisas. The International airports are located in Piarco, Trinidad and Crown Point, Tobago. Trinidad’s economy is primarily dependent on the petrochemical sector, while the island of Tobago is mainly dependent on tourism.

The twin island republic boasts a multi-ethnic people, diverse culture and unique cuisine. As a result of its cosmopolitan population, the country celebrates a significant number of festivals around the year including carnival, Phagwa or Holi, Divali and Eid-Ul-Fitr. Tobago the smaller island, has a population of just over 54,000 and has an interesting history in that, during the colonial period, French, Dutch and British Forces fought for the possession of Tobago and the Island changed hands more than 22 times – more than any other Caribbean Island.

An Editorial Note from the President


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Strategic initiatives for improving our industrial relations

By Robert Trestrail, President, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce


here is danger in having a visceral reaction to the current economic circumstances in which we, as a Nation, find ourselves. The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce with our Mission “To be the champion of business in the development of a strong and sustainable national economy” has always focused on promoting the development, competitiveness and sustainability of our local businesses. In this context we believe that as a business community and as a nation we ought to take the current circumstances as a golden opportunity to act for the greater and more sustainable good of all of Trinidad and Tobago.

Our current business environment challenges our ability to be flexible and competitive, in part because of the many constraints within which we must make decisions, particularly with issues relating to staffing. The T&T Chamber has been very proactive

and vocal in advocating for modernisation of the labour legislative framework. The change in government last year coincided with steep energy prices declines, foreign exchange shortfalls, business closures, downsizing and consequent retrenchments. The labour movement, as expected, took a strong stand to shelter our workers from this perfect economic storm. During this time the Joint Chambers grouping, comprising the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, American Chamber of Commerce, the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries and the T&T Chamber established an Industrial Relations Committee. That committee has been actively engaged in consultation and dialogue with the Ministry of Labour as part of the National TriPartite effort to share our views on the need for change, the approach to change and the substantive content of the changes and their implications for businesses and employment relations. We continue to participate in these consultations in good faith although we have expressed concern regarding not being privy to the contents of the pre-election Memorandum of Understanding between the Labour Movement and the People’s National Movement. In reaching out to educate our members, the T&T Chamber’s Employment and Labour Relations Committee Chaired by Ms. Natasha Subero was a key partner in bringing this issue of Contact to fruition and earlier in the year hosted a workshop titled “Surviving the Downturn: navigating a worst-case scenario for your business and your employees” with distinguished speakers including Shafeeq Sultan-Khan, Derek Ali and Kashta Ome. We understand that it remains a priority for employers to treat with the underlying causes of dysfunctional labour relations, including legislation, education, communication and trust building. This issue of CONTACT highlights some of the conversations that we wish to encourage among our members and the wider society while we work with government to refine the legislative framework and work with our labour partners on our symbiotic relationship and interdependent future. Our goal is not to put a plaster on a sore, nor are we aiming for a superficial quick fix in the labour environment. We will however continue to strategically use the tripartite conversations, Members’ workshops and other communication avenues with our member, to encourage positive changes in employment relationships and culture in our society. Flexibility, productivity, and a decent work environment are key ingredients in pursuit of our national watchwords, Discipline, Production and Tolerance.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Productivity and the Decent Work Agenda By Natasha Subero, Chairman Employment & Labour Relations Committee


s there any hope in Trinidad and Tobago of getting closer to the productivity ideal of which we dream? Is there real hope of reaching our true national potential in value creation? In our newspapers, we frequently read about labour activists decrying the treatment of workers and the insensitivity of business, and wonder who are the strangers being described. We know that most employers have no desire to have employees work under uncomfortable or exploitive conditions. We are all too aware that employees are the ones who get the job done, and keep the customers satisfied and coming back. As employers, we often gaze uncomprehendingly at the changing rules of engagement in the labour landscape. We wonder, ‘What in the world is wrong with people -what do they expect?’, ‘Why is good help so hard to find?’, we consider that ‘We treat our workers very well but in return, there is no gratitude, no loyalty, no consideration’, and conclude, ‘People just don’t want to work!’ If you haven’t said any of this yourself, you’ve surely heard it said among business owners and managers. Like all other people, business owners and managers are subject to personal challenges, to worries, disappointments and frustrations when they cannot seem to find the key to satisfy those they lead and create workplace harmony. They are nonplussed by what sometimes appears to be a staggering array of creative work avoidance strategies which affect productivity. But as we think wistfully of the productivity cultures in Japan, Germany, Singapore, the U.S.A. and Canada, could it be that we are failing to consider our own complicity in creating situations where so many employees fail to perform? This introspective article takes a look at the employer’s role in creating the right conditions for a productive workplace. It is interesting to observe how successful our nationals who migrate can be. How can these same nationals produce so well abroad but not want to lift a finger here? Theories abound. An interesting one comes from the story of Panorama during the Carnival season. Curt Wellington frequently shares the story of steelpan players during the weeks of preparation for Panorama at Carnival. These musicians are often early to practice and leave in the wee hours of the morning after practice is long finished, as they work individually on perfecting their piece of music. The devotion and conscientiousness they display means that they are capable of it. Why are we not able to inspire and access this level of engagement at work?

It is said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Could it be that BOTH employers and employees in Trinidad and Tobago need to adjust their perspectives and attitude? Poor work ethic among employees is often cited as a reason for workplace tension and employees need to make adjustments to ensure they bring value to their organisations. For the employer, this adjustment might start with the concept which the International Labour Organization (ILO) refers to as the Decent Work agenda. According to the ILO, “Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.” The Ministry of Labour clarifies that a decent work deficit is said to occur when, inter alia: • there are abuses of rights at work; • basic income security is missing, and workplace anxiety, depression and exhaustion are commonplace; • workers and employers are either not organised to make their voice heard, or have obstacles to effective dialogue; and • life at work cannot be properly balanced with the claims of the family. Traditionally, many businesses remain focussed primarily on the bottom line, without due consideration being given to the link between decent work and profitability. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Day of Social Justice 2014, stated: “Experience shows that economic growth, on its own, is not sufficient. We must do more to empower individuals through decent work, support people through social protection, and ensure the voices of the poor and marginalized are heard.” Clearly, Decent Work has a political component, which combined with the employers’ role will facilitate an economic system and society which is seen as fairer and more humane. In the demand to maintain business profitability while sustaining employment and wages, decent work might seem to be a rarefied goal. Furthermore, we may be a bit confused when we see so many immigrant workers in Trinidad and Tobago who appear only too willing to do work for which our locals show contempt. Consider though, that to many immigrants, seemingly lowly tasks are still better than the unemployment, war, persecution, hunger and disease from which they may be fleeing. Immigrants are more driven by sheer instinct to do whatever it takes to survive and to ensure the safety of their progeny. Locals however, view it from another perspective: ‘How I view my work has a lot to do with how you treat with me as I do my work. My sense of identity and self-respect is more intimately linked with my work. I am at a different level of need to the immigrant.’ Closer, possibly, to a need for acceptance and selfactualisation. So being treated like poorly matters, and is in fact deeply wounding. The difference in perspective is depicted most popularly in Abraham Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

Beyond basic productivity, we could find our best employees at the proverbial bottom of the barrel and learn from them if we are open, as Chip Conley describes: “Van Quach came to this country in 1986 from Vietnam. She changed her name to Vivian as she wanted to fit in here in America. Her first job was working in an inner city motel in San Francisco as a maid. … As I spent time with Vivian, I noticed that she had sort of a joie de vivre in how she did her work, which got me curious – how could someone find joy in cleaning a toilet?! Vivian helped me understand that her calling wasn’t to become the world’s best toilet scrubber. What counts to Vivian is the emotional connection she creates with her fellow employees as well as with our guests. She gets inspiration and meaning by knowing that she’s taking care of people when they’re vulnerable and traveling on the road far away from home — as Vivian herself knows what it’s like being far away from home.” How are we helping our employees find connection and purpose in their work? This is where it falls to the organisational leadership to lead, to engage and to excite. Before we even get to the place where we can excite, we have to ensure that we are building our productivity and growth agenda on the solid and sustainable foundation of decent work.

Consider Decent Work as the first step on the road to employee engagement, where employee engagement is the Holy Grail for productivity. Several studies, including Gallup 2012, show improvements to the order of 22% to 140% on productivity and profitability measures correlated with employee engagement. On the other hand poor workplace environments lead to employee dissatisfaction and a decrease in productivity leading to poor organisational performance (Chandrasekar, 2011). Paul Keegan, (INC. Magazine Dec 2014) notes that the paradox is that decent work and employee engagement can be viewed as a transparent bag of tricks and completely ignored if employees think they are seen as mere tools of productivity rather than as human beings. In fact he advocates forgetting employee engagement. “Instead, treat people well, listen to them, and give them room to grow. Don't do that just to squeeze more productivity out of them--they're smart enough to see that coming-but because it's the right thing to do. And if your heart is in the right place, they'll see that too.” This just might be the secret to really being the best that we can be collectively.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

What do Employment Relations and the Work Culture have to do with Business Strategy? By Jane Wight


uccess is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focus.” Andre Beache

Any organisation, business owner or leadership team that understands the important of work culture and the factors that affect it, will understand that it has everything to do with achieving their business strategy. To understand what employment relations and work culture have to do with business strategy, we must first look at each competent. Employment Relations Employment Relations is broadly defined to include the relationships and interactions between employers and employees. It includes all aspects of the employment relationship, including human resource management, employee relations, and industrial relations (or union-management). Employment relationships are governed by: • The provisions of the employment contract and/or collective agreements where applicable; • Common law principles; and/or • Legislative provisions governing specific situations. Trinidad and Tobago Labour legislations are the: • Industrial Relations Act; • Maternity Protection Act; • Minimum Wages Act; • Occupational Safety and Health Act; • Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act.

Theoretically, each organisation should comply with the laws of the land and the agreements put in place. However, the extent to which an organisation chooses to abide by these laws and agreements is dependent on the ethics of the owners, the board and the decision makers. Some organisations still do not pay the minimum wage or abide by the agreements that are in place. They find loopholes and victimise employees; this is the reality of the country and the world that we live in. Conversely, there are organisations that strive to be an employer of choice and they really care about their employees. These organisations have supportive polices and systems and they treat employees with common courtesy and above all, they obey the country's labour laws. What the organisation chooses to do - or not do - has a severe impact on the employment relationship and as a result the work culture. Work Culture Work Culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterise members of an organisation and define its nature. It is rooted in an organisation's goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labour, customers, investors, and the greater community. It governs how people behave in organisations. It determines how results focused, dedicated and engaged leaders and employees are to achieving success. Employee Engagement Employee Engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organisation and its goals. Emotional Commitment

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

means engaged employees care about their work and what their company is trying to achieve. These employees are committed, efficient, positive and involved.

designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals or objectives. It states how business should be conducted to achieve the desired goals.

In the absence of engagement, these employees breed a negative, resistant, unproductive culture. The business norms then simply become ‘get by, stay under the radar and do what is only absolutely necessary’ or in some cases, get away with doing less than expected, especially when ineffective performance management is present.

Business Strategy is management's game plan for strengthening the performance of the organisation, even under conditions of uncertainty. It’s the high level plan of action that is executed by the individuals - from the strategic decisions that leaders make to the day-to-day actions by all employees.

Factors That Foster Engagement are: • Understanding the company’s Mission and Vision; • Having the right tools and resources available; • Feeling they are trusted and treated fairly; • Knowing that their career development is important; • Positive turning points. Having engaged employees leads to higher service, quality, productivity and efficiencies which in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction, which then leads to increased sales and profits. Business Strategy The definition of Business Strategy is a long term plan of action

In today’s world and in Trinidad and Tobago’s current economic situation, it is even more important, indeed it is imperative, to have everyone on the same page; focused and dedicated to the mission and vision of the organisation. If these individuals are disengaged and dissatisfied by the results of their organisation’s choices, they will rarely to go that extra mile or even do what they are paid to do. Far less, if these employees believe that they are not being paid or treated fairly. The question is therefore not - "What does Employment Relations and the Work Culture have to do with Business Strategy?" but "Can you ignore the importance of having effective employment relations and a strong, positive work culture?" The choice is yours. Your move.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Industrial relations practices and procedures “bottom-line” effects By Courtney McNish


ood industrial relations (IR) practices will always produce positive outcomes where the interests and values of employees, their trade union representatives and management are balanced. Those positive outcomes are usually economically measureable with direct bottom line benefits. They are also sustainable, subject only to the ability and willingness of the parties to maintain stable and efficient workplace relationships. The objective therefore, is to find that elusive balance between the profit motive and social gain; between authority and industrial democracy; between discipline and freedom; between conflicting objectives and values; between bargaining and cooperation; between business and community. This will not only help to maximize productive commercial activities but just as importantly, will facilitate a workplace culture of ownership and stakeholder empowerment. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Industrial Relations Act is our guiding legislation that regulates workplace conduct and relationships between employers and trade unions. It establishes a generalised standard of behaviour for the parties to the workplace relationship. That generalised standard of behaviour is embedded in Section 10 of our Act, which mandates our Industrial Court to determine whether the conduct of the parties was harsh or oppressive and/or in accordance with good industrial relations practices. It is therefore understandable that it has taken some time for employers in particular to come to terms with this vague but generalised standard. However, over the past 50 years the jurisprudence coming from our Industrial Court has established a healthy reservoir of precedent by which all parties can be guided. Ill-informed decisions relating to the treatment of employees and workers can ultimately have an adverse impact on operating costs that go straight to a company’s bottom line. Like everything else in business, any strategy adopted should, at the end of the day, be supported by some sort of commercial justification. Fortunately, most progressive companies have come to realise, mainly through experience, that the cost associated with poor IR practices are, in the main, self-inflicted and unnecessary. Many have now found it difficult to resist the well-reasoned argument that the right balance of objective advice and an empathetic approach to managing people and performance will result in smarter business decisions, good IR practises and reduced costs. There are very obvious costs directly arising from bad IR practices, particularly where trade disputes are continuously reported by trade unions against any particular business undertaking.

The cost of trade dispute litigation in T&T has been increasing because employees are more informed and are demanding protection of their rights. Workers and their union representatives will settle for nothing less than fair and reasonable treatment by their employers and complete adherence to the provisions of applicable collective agreements. Therefore, a good manager will weigh and consider all the costs related to trade dispute litigation against the investment expenditure for obtaining specialist advice and industrial relations training. Companies can no longer afford to risk the costly consequences of an adverse award from the Industrial Court. When disputes are arbitrated upon, any finding of the Court against a Company would normally include the award of damages or even reinstatement as appropriate. Either of such awards reflect non-recoverable expenditure and unbudgeted costs in bringing these matters to closure. Even if we go beyond the typical trade dispute as examined, bad IR practices could well include oppressive work systems and work rules or even management practices which are perceived to be unreasonable, inequitable or unjust. These invariably result in passive resistance from the workforce, showing up in deviant workplace behaviour, dysfunctional relationships and ultimately decrease in productivity. All of which indirectly impacts the bottom line. Management time spent trying to defend or remedy the negative fallout of bad industrial relations practices is one of many hidden or indirect costs which are seldom taken into account. One cannot ignore the disruption in the workplace and the impact on employee morale as rumours and versions of the events spread. Consideration must also be given to the economic impact of internal and external reputational risk. It’s a fact that companies with notorious reputations for bad industrial relations practices are hardly ever considered as “employers of choice.” The bottom line consequences of this reality are obvious and quantifiable. Good examples of such consequences are the tremendous opportunities lost for strategic retention and recruitment. The industrial relations climate in any organisation is indeed critical to the financial and cultural health of any business, large or small. Essentially, good industrial relations practices involve the adherence to established procedures and the consistent application of policy in a fair and equitable manner. Once there is proactive engagement of the workforce and its representative trade union, then the rights and responsibilities of the respective stakeholders will be mutually respected. This in turn will minimise the occurrence of industrial relations flashpoints and mitigate against any negative impact on the bottom line.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Industrial Relations A key part of Employer Brand Management

By Gregory Camejo


hen you think of Industrial Relations there is likely to be a picture which forms immediately in your mind. The imagery of strikes, hostile wage negotiations, and grievance procedures, will influence you to develop ideas and assumptions about industrial relations. The prevalent mental picture of the spirited union leader who is filled with Marxist jargon, presenting a charismatic and powerful persona, while jousting with a savvy, restrained Industrial Relations Officer who is tough and unfazed by the Unions tactics, makes us see industrial relations as a war of wills. Industrial Relations is romanticised as a fight between classes, the underdog workers versus the evil capitalist masters. It is the stereotypical white hat versus the black hat scenario. That seems significantly unrelated and very distant from any conversation relating to Employer Brand Management. Modern management and leadership promotes the concept of developing a strong corporate brand. During the process of the development of a corporate brand the company wants to be noticed as an employer of choice, a good corporate citizen and community builder who cares about the customer, employees and wider society. A successful process will enable the company to attract the best talent and foster customer loyalty. However this can be best accomplished under the appropriate industrial relations climate. Industrial relations is most effective when practices within the organisation are based upon principles of equity, justice and consistent process. If an organisation develops the process of consistent dialogue and commits to the principles of equity and

justice within the organisation, the benefits of a healthy industrial relations climate are abundant. The source of industrial relations conflict is a misalignment of interest, it occurs when the employer and employees have differences in the interpretation of behavior, different expectations on how issues should be handled and when a general environment of mistrust between management and workers exist. No employer can develop a successful brand under those circumstances and therefore all employers must strive to have an environment where a good and healthy industrial relations climate exists. Organisations which foster healthy industrial relations will prosper from the effects of an engaged workforce. Employees who perceive that they are treated fairly and with respect will promote their company as a first class organisation. A discerning and onlooking customer - and public - will develop confidence in the organisation and the probability of the success of the organisation increases. Therefore the key to a good industrial relations culture is primarily the development of a culture of equity. Equity can be demonstrated in any of the following ways: • Encouraging the workers in having a say in the work being done; • Creating a transparent and due process in handling of complaints; • Establishing a culture and policy framework which provides for fair treatment at work; • Ensuring that the employees are engaged in meaningful work; • Following a fair compensation system and providing an environment of secure employment.

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

Industrial Relations must also be recognised as part of a wider concept of community relations and as another key to successfully building an employer brand. This is important since employees are part of a wider community and also participate in the system as customers and as citizens. The wider national community judges the employer on how it treats with its organisational community which is represented by the workforce. The wider community finds itself relating intimately with the experiences of workers - being workers themselves - which makes it easy and natural to empathise with the workers who are seen as exploited or ill-treated by the company. It is better for organisations to place more emphasis on relationships and not regulations to build itself into an entity which is seen as having a superior employer brand. The management of relationships within an organisation creates an opportunity for the values and norms of the company to be transmitted and interpreted within a transparent and accepted process. The old saying “trust the process� can be valuable only if the process is trustworthy and to become trustworthy the principles of equity, and justice must prevail.

The workforce is engaged to ensure that the mandate of the organisation is fulfilled in the best way possible and for that there must be a suitable compensation and recognition for that contribution.

Though the organisation is a political environment, since politics is the art or science of decision making, there must be an awareness of the purpose of the organisation. An organisation exists to serve the needs of society and once that need is fulfilled there is a reward or return which the company receives.

Industrial relations is the mechanism by which the goals or interest of the organisation and the goals of the employed work force are managed and therefore if an organisation wishes to seen as an exemplar in terms of its brand it must first master this process.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

How mediation could assist in making collective bargaining less confrontational By Gerard Emile Pinard, CEO of Zatopek Solutions Inc.

Section 2. (1) of the Industrial Relations Act Chap. 88:01 (“the Act”) states that: “collective bargaining” means treating and negotiating with a view towards the conclusion of an agreement or the revision or renewal thereof or the resolution of disputes, and “trade dispute” or “dispute”, subject to sub-section (2), means any dispute between an employer and workers of that employer or a trade union on behalf of such workers, connected with the dismissal, employment, non-employment, suspension from employment, refusal to employ, re-employment or reinstatement of any such workers, including a dispute connected with the terms and conditions of the employment or labour of any such workers, and the expression also includes a dispute between workers and workers or trade unions on their behalf as to the representation of a worker (not being a question or difference as to certification of recognition under Part 3).”


learly, then, collective bargaining means much more than the commonly held perception of being restricted to the negotiation of collective agreements between an employer and a recognised majority union and, rather, applies extensively to the resolution of disputes generally between parties. The Act contains specific provisions for dispute resolution (where bilateral attempts have failed) through the process of conciliation. In the first instance, parties have an opportunity for such conciliation at the Ministry of Labour. It is no secret that the Ministry is at present woefully under-resourced and largely ineffective in making any significant impact in resolving trade disputes and, as a result, the majority of them end up being referred to the Industrial Court as unresolved disputes. Once referred to the Industrial Court, parties have a second opportunity

to participate in conciliation proceedings, this time with the assistance of a Member of the Court itself, provided again that both parties are willing to participate in such proceedings. In the event that conciliation proceedings fail to resolve the trade dispute, then a ruling/judgment is ultimately left to be made by the court, and a binding decision is accordingly ‘imposed’ on the parties. The entire process, from the reporting of the dispute until its final resolution, often takes years and the outcome is frequently to the dissatisfaction of at least one party, and sometimes both. This is at least partly due to the fact that the process of conciliation itself is one in which the conciliator plays a relatively direct role in the resolution of the dispute and often advises parties by making proposals for settlement. In many regards, the conciliator is viewed as an authority figure insofar as determining what is the preferred outcome, frequently assuming the responsibility for proposing settlement terms, and has a persuasive role in guiding parties to an eventual resolution. It is no wonder that in many cases at least one party considers itself to be a loser in the dispute. It is instructive that in the Industrial Court’s May 2016 publication ‘Trends in Labour and Industrial Relations’ it was noted that, for the four year period 2011/2012 to 2014/2015, out of a total of 2,744 matters disposed by the Court only 15.6% of the disputes were disposed of through the conciliation process whereas more than 27% were disposed of through judgments. Responding to recent criticisms of the Court by some members of the business community, the President of the Court, Her Honour Mrs. Deborah Thomas-Felix at a recent Symposium

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

stated inter alia that “the Industrial Court is a superior court of record and therefore it stands to reason if there is a trial someone will emerge a winner and someone will lose”. The President also suggested that critics of the Court’s functions would do well to “take a closer look at the challenges which the Court faces on a daily basis. The challenges for space, for staff, for stationery, for office equipment and for parking, and then you may conclude like I have, that the Judges of the Court and the staff of the Court have been performing remarkably well despite these challenges.” It seems as if the situation is ripe for considering alternative dispute resolution methodologies that seek to minimise the frequency of win-lose outcomes in an effort to preserve industrial relations harmony, particularly in the current challenging economic environment. I would suggest that mediation is one such initiative that is worthy of more robust consideration in lieu of our existing dispute resolution mechanisms. Although similar in many respects to conciliation, mediation differs significantly in that the process involves a truly neutral and impartial mediator who does not assume sole responsibility (or any responsibility at all) for proposing solutions. It is the parties involved in the mediation themselves that are responsible for the identification of their

respective interests and for proposing possible solutions that eventually result in an entirely voluntary mutual settlement. In this case, therefore, there are no ‘winners’ and ‘losers’. Business entities would do well to consider including in their collective agreements and other employee policies suitable provisions for dispute resolution via mediation in addition to the already overburdened and challenged mechanisms that already exist under the Industrial Relations Act.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Survival of the fittest - mental health in the workplace By Akeila Greene, Trade and Business Development Unit

the course of events leading to her institutionalisation. This case brought into the spotlight the issue of the rights, and place of the mentally ill in the workplace. The World Health Organisation asserts that “the single most important barrier to overcome in the community is the stigma and associated discrimination towards persons suffering from mental and behavioural disorders.” The mentally ill is afforded the same liberties as other members of the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago; these unalienable rights to inclusion, respect, equality and dignity must be protected. In the workplace, the mentally ill employee is entitled to equal and fair opportunity and freedom from being discriminated against. An unenlightened public, misinformed about mental illness, violates these rights comfortably without recourse and regard to the well-being of those whose rights it infringes upon. Employers are duty bound to protect the mental and physical well-being of their employees through providing a working environment that is safe and healthy and that bolsters mental strength. Organisations which continue to remain silent on the issue of mental illness and turn a blind eye to its existence in the workplace contribute to perpetuating the stigma. The mentally ill ought not to be defined by their illness.


hether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness” Obama

Mental health, still in its teething stages, is becoming a greater part of public discourse in Trinidad and Tobago. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental illness in the course of their lives. Applied to our local context, onequarter of the nation’s population will be affected by mental illness during their lifetime. Faced with this possibility, as a nation, our perception of mental illness needs to change, as it is only through greater awareness and understanding can we rid ourselves of this long-standing stigma. In 2012, Trinidad and Tobago saw a landmark mental health case, which captured newspapers headlines and the public’s attention. Cheryl Miller, an accounts clerk attached to the then Ministry of Gender, Youth, and Child Development was taken from her place of work and admitted to a psychiatric hospital on suspicion of mental instability. Following her institutionalisation for two weeks at the mental hospital, a judge ordered her release. Miller subsequently filed a civil lawsuit against the Regional Health Authority for unlawful imprisonment and won her case. She was awarded $0.8 million by the court for the embarrassment and public humiliation suffered resulting from her incarceration. The case of Cheryl Miller is a unique one; where an “outburst” and reported abnormal behaviour on the part of Miller triggered

Creative abilities have been shown to flourish in persons with mental illnesses; well-known inventors and scientists are cited as not only having a mental illness but for being highly creative people. Interestingly, one online article highlighted that persons with autism and bipolar disease are becoming sought-after job candidates in some industries. People with mental illnesses may very well be poised to be a key untapped resource, ready to contribute as organisations are faced with increasing demands to be innovative and competitive. An appreciation for the abilities and strengths of the mentally ill paves the way to change our perception and improve how the mentally ill is treated within society. This stigma associated with mental illness is at times unjustified, as an employee is able to function properly and even thrive with a mental illness and function above par than their co-workers. Furthermore, an employee’s mental illness is not always accompanied by behavioural manifestations nor adversely affects their co-workers. In the case of Cheryl Miller, a psychiatric evaluation was conducted by an independent practitioner and revealed that Miller did not pose a threat either to herself or members of the public. Despite this, the stigma and discrimination against employees with mental illnesses remains. Furthermore, we must be cognisant of the fact that an employee suffering from a mental illness is further debilitated by a stressful work environment. A mentally ill employee has to grapple not only with the limited control over their thoughts and emotions due to ill-health but triggers from the external environment. Performing a highly technical and confidential job as an accounting assistant in the case of Cheryl Miller highlights the existence of stress being a major component of her job. Highstress levels negatively affect the physical and mental well-being of mentally ill employees. The absence of adequate social support leads the employee to suffer in silence.



Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

Inaction and ignorance on the part of key stakeholders and the wider public can no longer be tolerated, as a sinister presence roams the country. Recent violent crimes and transgression of the law have also propounded the discourse on mental illness and more reports of court referrals for psychiatric evaluations, such as the the case of triple murder accused Azmon Alexander’s referral for psychiatric evaluation as well as. Vicky Boodram, a former travel agent, facing 140 fraud-related charges. Recent media reports also point to a spike in self-harm and violent behaviour among the nation’s youths. This rise in mental health issues highlights that ignorance can no longer be tolerated; increased awareness and a change from the prevailing misconception can help dispel ignorance. There must be greater will on the part of the state and organizations must also strive to be champions of mental health, as their profitability and competitiveness are dependent on the physical and mental well-being their employees, the lifeblood of the organisation. As Prince Harry stated, “mental illness is not a life sentence.” All attempts should be made to de-stigmatise mental health and open dialogue on the issue; this simple act can make the world of difference.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Negotiation tactics for successful resolutions By Gayatri Selvam


magine a situation where the supply of construction materials is coming later than scheduled or not at all. Upon investigating the situation, it is found that the supplier, also a local gangleader, is asserting his power by controlling the delivery of the supplies. It was initially assumed that another encroaching gang was stopping the deliveries and this would have a posed a far greater risk. The only way to solve this situation was to meet the gangleader to see how to resolve the problem. Visiting him is a security risk and the lead negotiator is accompanied by armed soldiers, a tank with machine guns and a grenade launcher as well as a helicopter. Upon arrival the location an already tense situation is further compounded by the presence of another gangleader, who was unexpected. At this point the negotiator is unsure who will be conducting the negotiation and who will be the major threat and any wrong move could start a war. The negotiator decided to make the first move and stated ‘nobody wants to die today and I have you outnumbered’. The desire to live was the working platform for all parties. The outcome was that a contract was given to both gangleaders for different materials needed and in return information and assurances were received about the operations of the local gangs. This is an actual situation that happened a couple of years and a friend of mine was the armed security that went with the lead negotiator in Afghanistan. While this is a situation that luckily, most of us will not find ourselves in, Negotiations are a part of daily routine. We negotiate all the time with friends, family and co-workers to accomplish different tasks and goals.

Before getting to negotiation tactics, there are critical behavioural traits and attitudinal characteristics that negotiators factor into their approach to any situation. Preparedness – do your due diligence and research not only the situation but as well as the parties that will be involved Biological awareness – be aware of how your body reacts to hunger, stress, sleep deprivation and other sensory inputs. Do not negotiate on an empty stomach if that makes you irritable and more likely to give into demands without thinking. On the flip side don’t negotiate right after lunch if you know that will make you drowsy. Manage your body’s requirements so that you leverage what works for you and don’t place yourself at a disadvantage. Respect is often cited in gangland killings where persons are taken down for showing disrespect. While in the workplace, collective agreement and other trade union / employer negotiation situations, unions often cite disrespect when negotiations break down. So by crossing what might seem to be an invisible line, employers can shoot themselves in the foot event before the negotiations commence. It makes sense that the other side thinks: I cannot trust you if I don’t think you respect me. In its simplest terms, I show respect by treating you like an equal, the way I expect you to treat with me. For negotiators, our body language and tone will betray feelings. How do you really think of the other party? What will they say if they could read your thoughts: I am intelligent, hardworking and deserve to be given a fair chance and equal voice at the negotiating table. Respect shown sets the ground work for better communication and practicing the following useful techniques.

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

There are several guidelines that negotiators generally follow but a book that is oft referenced is “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury. There are five main points that the book highlights to aid with win/win negotiation rather than a zero/sum (all or nothing) negotiation. Separate the people from the problem The situation that was faced in Afghanistan was not an issue about the persons involved but rather about the issue of the supply of the construction materials. The negotiator was a professional who kept the focus on the situation and how to solve it, rather than people present in the room and their relationship to each other. Focus on interests, not positions Quite often the interest of the parties could be blurred that which appears imminent in the situation mentioned above, danger. In many situations the imminent threat isn’t what you see but rather what is driving that which you see. Effective negotiation requires constant diminishment of that which appears to be threatening and using the word of Lord Palmerston, ‘States have no permanent friends, only permanent interests. In negotiations it is critical that your interests are always more enduring than the people representing them. Invent options for mutual gain In any conflict scenario it useful to remember that everyone potentially has something to lose. By focusing on what is mutually beneficial allows for trust to enter a space that would be normally occupied by conflict. This allows for de-escalation of hostility and allows for open communication and the opportunity where the interests of both parties can be discussed without fear of one party having the upper hand. In the negotiation scenario mentioned all parties won with financial gains for the both suppliers/gangleaders and information for the negotiator.

Insist on using objective criteria Focus on the facts not opinions and have a constant and determined reference to that which serves to a) manage expectations b) keep promises realistic c) engender mutual respect. By focusing on that which is mutually regarded as objective it causes realistic hiving around subjects for the purpose of tangible benefits or outcomes. Know your BATNA (Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement) going into a negotiation with ’next best’ options serves to diminish the extremism that exist in a win/loss scenario which are a ubiquitous source of agitation inside of negotiating spaces. Most negotiations are set up as combative situations and by negotiating there is usually nothing to lose but there are multiple things to be gained. Inside a negotiation space contingency plans (BATNA) allow for a sense of calm as you realize there alternatives available and don’t feel cornered.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Powering your bottom line through employee engagement By Marjori Nergman, Ignite Global Consulting


usiness research and behavioural science consistently point to one outstanding factor for business success: an engaged workforce.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment than an employee has towards an organization. They’re not there solely for money. They genuinely want to see the company succeed and be a part of that success. They’re willing to use discretionary effort without being asked. Sadly, according to a 2013 Gallup report, only 13% of the global workforce is engaged. Hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of dollars are wasted in companies each year due to “disengagement”. Leaders, if you don’t actively engage your employees, why would they do any more than the bare minimum? To substantiate this, research continues to prove that a significant part of the work day is spent on non-work activities. Additionally, disengagement translates into a negative impact on your customer. Profits are derived from customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is the product of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is driven by employee engagement. Imagine the increase in productivity and profits if leaders took the time to create a culture that actively engaged employees! Richard Branson shares, "Leaders, put your staff first, customers second, and shareholders third.” Words to lead by. We’re consistently asked by local leaders “How can we engage our employees better? How can we increase productivity and decrease absenteeism without investing a lot to achieve this?” The answers are simple. But they require leaders to be

introspective and open to new, proven techniques, and have the strength and dedication to make these changes. Most of us have been taught that the best way to motivate others is with external rewards, like money, a.k.a. the carrot-and-stick approach. However, by leveraging the work of many successful business executives and researchers, we have found a more successful way. Daniel Pink, in this book DRIVE, who has drawn on four decades of research on human motivation. Pink discovered the secret to high performance and true motivation to be three elements: A. Autonomy - the deeply rooted need to direct our own lives; B. Mastery - to learn and create new things; and C. Purpose - to do better by ourselves and our world. Based on this foundation, here are four key areas that will significantly improve employee engagement at your organisation. 1. Inspire Through Vision and Values People want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. For many employees “meaning” is as simple as a desire to be aligned with the company’s vision and goals and to feel like a valued member of a team. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta found that companies that were clear and genuine in their vision and values (meaning they are used to drive decision-making, not just hang in a frame) experienced a 60% drop in absenteeism and a 75% reduction in turnover. 2. Hire Smart The best way to build a strong team and keep great employees over the long term is to ensure you hire the right ones. Successful

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

companies understand the importance of hiring slow and firing fast. The “right employees” are the most important resource your organisation has. Interviews must focus equally on culture and skills match. This weeds out those candidates who are not a good fit for the organisation. You can always learn a skill, but it’s almost impossible to change someone's personality. 3. Provide Opportunities for Growth No one joins an organszation and wants to remain in that same role for the next 50 years. As humans, we look to grow and develop our knowledge, skills and experience. Make professional development a priority. The more, and better, skills your employees have, the better positioned your company is to succeed. According to 2012 research by SHRM, growth and professional development is among the top demands of job seekers across the globe. 4. Create Trust Experts agree that one of the biggest contributors to employee

engagement is simply creating a culture of trust within your organszation. This means employees have trust in leadership and vice versa. Trust your employees to make good decisions, to think for themselves, to “own” their jobs. Look to implement a technique such as Objectives and Key Results (OKR) to set and communicate goals and results in your organisation. The greatest motivation and highest level of personal satisfaction, comes from achieving goals that we choose for ourselves. This is a small, but impactful list of activities your organisation can implement to increase the level of employee engagement. Remember, engaged employees are not only productive employees. They make your company better, faster, smarter, more innovative and open to change. This is a priority in today’s environment where it’s imperative to stay ahead of your competition. It’s worth the time and energy for companies to build and nourish a culture that prioritises employee engagement.


What every business person should know


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Trade Shows and Exhibitions COLOMBIA


COLOMBIAMODA - July 26-28, 2016 Colombiamoda, Colombia Fashion Week, is one of the premier fashion and exhibit shows in the country. It is built on three pillars: passion for business, fashion trends, and shared knowledge. It is a city event that is breaking ground in Latin America by representing the entirety of the region’s Fashion System. The three-day trade show offers a comprehensive trade exhibit, multiple fashion platforms that showcase designer proposals. It is a space specifically destined for keynote speeches by international strategists. Three different scenarios with one single purpose: connecting you to different creative industries through engaging experiences that convey the infinite nature of the trade.

FIME Miami, Florida - August 2-4, 2016 FIME is a trade exhibition for medical equipment, products, services and technologies and is held annually at Miami Beach Convention Center. It offers everything from hospital equipment to medical disposable products, nursing care, surgery instruments, diagnostic tools, equipment for emergency rooms and laboratory facilities, long-term care products, dental equipment, products for rehabilitation and orthopedics, electromedical devices, medical services up to the pharmacy and much more. FIME attracts suppliers, manufacturers, dealers and buyers who want to meet new suppliers and revive business relationships. FIME offers a multi-speciality conference which seeks to provide an unrivalled knowledgesharing and business networking platform for healthcare trade professionals in the region.

For further information please contact: -+574 444 5086 or Email: Manuela Gómez or Carolina Montoya or Website: HONG KONG Global Sources AsiaWorld-Expo- October 26-29, 2016 Global Sources will be hosting an expo to display some 1,600 booths of fashion items including apparel, fashion jewelry, underwear and swimwear, bags and luggage, scarves, footwear and fabrics. The Global Sources Fashion will be based at Hong Kong's AsiaWorld-Expo. This year the fashion expo goes a step further by including technology and fashion; it highlights the latest trends in fashion and an analyst’s choice which seeks to give unbiased selection of new, innovative, and important products. This trade mission aims to bring together top suppliers from mainland China, India, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. For further information please contact: Global Sources- Tel: + (65) 65472800 or Email: or Website:

For further information please contact: Gel Alejo or Celine Fenet- Tel: +1 941 554 3485/ +971 (0) 4 407 2434 or Email: or Website: PERU GRAFINCA – September 1-4, 2016 Grafinca is positioned as the premier event for leading minds in the world of visual communication, graphic arts, advertising and photography. This event showcases approximately 160 domestic and foreign exhibitors. It is an event which offers a great opportunity for visitors to see, understand and come face to face with market trends, new techniques and leaders in the field. Grafinca facilitates this approach through a proper understanding between customers and suppliers, and achieves strategic relationships that are economically viable, productive and therefore offer greater national competitiveness is for participants and the host country. For further information please contact: Tel: 511 447 7379-241 x4728 or Email: or Website:

Criteria for student selection - Each student must: • Be unable financially to pursue further education upon graduation, • Demonstrate potential and a willingness to learn, • Attend all scheduled training sessions, and • Complete a data entry form outlining goals, skills & identifing areas requiring development. The Chamber’s NOVA Committee’s Jumpstart Programme was established in 1998 and seeks to assist school-leavers to learn about the working environment and to access opportunities for employment. Selected schools and institutions across the country are invited to nominate graduating students to participate in this highly regarded ‘youth development programme’.

Participating company requirements - Each company must: • Pay a weekly recommended stipend, • Assign a mentor to the apprentice and • Complete an assessment review at the end of the apprenticeship.

Further information is available on the Jumpstart Programme from the Chamber’s Secretariat or Cheryl-Lyn Kurban, Project Assistant at 637-6966 ext 228 or

Finance & Economy


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Economic and Financial Statistics Domestic Indicators

The freedom that is extended to media represents a proxy through which organisations and other bodies can gauge how freedom is expressed or censored in nations. As such Reporters Without Borders (RSF) developed the Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking of a country’s performance based upon the organisation's assessment of the State’s press freedom records and history for a given year. This index represents the degree of freedom that media personnel, organisations and citizens enjoy in their respective country, and the efforts made by the relevant authorities to respect and safeguard respect for this freedom. A smaller score and a lighter colour corresponds to greater freedom of the press. How does Trinidad and Tobago?

Table 1: Summary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Press Freedom Index (PFI) ranking 2014-2016 Press Freedom Index PFI 2016 (out of 180) FPI 2015 (out of 180) FPI 2014 (out of 180)

Trinidad &Tobago Rank Score 44 23.29 41 22.39 43 23.28

Guyana Rank 57 62 67

Cuba Score 27.07 27.21 27.08

Rank 171 169 170

Score 70.23 70.21 70.92

Rank 10 9 17

Jamaica Score 12.45 11.18 10.90

Belize Rank 36 30 29

Score 20.61 18.54 17.05

Source: Reporters Without Borders, 2014-2016 There are key areas of concern for Trinidad and Tobago that came out of the Press Freedom Index. Though most media outlets are privately-owned those that are regarded as ‘favourable’ to the government get the lion’s share of state advertising. Under a bill that would create a Cyber Security Agency, introduced in Parliament in 2014, the government would be able to crack down on Internet users making online comments deemed to be defamatory. Moreover, in 2012 there were reports that claimed that the Strategic Services Agency (then the Strategic Intelligence Agency) of the government was intercepting messages and calls of key journalists and other media personnel.

Finance & Economy


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Economic and Financial Statistics Regional Indicators Country

Antigua & Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica St Kitts & Nevis St Lucia St Vincent & the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad and Tobago

Gross National Savings: (Percent of GDP) 2015e 2016e 2017e 14.67 15.15 14.35 8.51 12.11 12.70 8.32 8.65 8.49 9.57 8.67 8.57 0.97 1.25 1.77 17.88 17.75 16.85 1.59 1.75 1.93 7.17 7.62 12.28 21.51 21.09 20.76 11.96 13.07 13.18 17.57 11.41 12.05 21.68 20.79 20.44 – 428 – 4.72 –4.65 26.41 25.79 25.55 17.13 16.11 15.95

Inflation Rate: (%) 2015e 0.47 1.59 0.61 0.72 0.83 1.98 0.26 1.04 10.26 6.10 –2.24 0.53 0.46 5.23 7.76

2016e 1.57 1.32 1.07 1.72 0.29 3.51 2.23 3.46 5.89 6.80 1.74 3.74 1.59 3.19 5.94

2017e 2.17 1.20 1.59 1.96 1.74 4.00 2.38 3.59 5.00 7.10 1.69 2.56 2.04 3.57 5.01

Government Total Expenditure: (Percent of GDP) 2015e 2016e 2017e 30.24 19.61 19.41 20.56 20.67 20.50 44.20 44.17 43.50 32.68 31.15 30.65 32.93 33.05 33.18 18.28 18.49 18.70 25.16 22.82 23.45 33.22 30.74 30.91 22.68 21.87 22.12 27.85 27.29 26.83 32.21 30.59 29.93 29.47 29.48 29.55 32.22 31.32 30.15 30.21 28.54 27.67 35.79 36.27 36.18

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook Database, 2015

International Indicators Advanced Economics - Annual Inflation Forecast Rate Country

Emerging Economics - Annual Inflation Forecast Rate Country

United States United Kingdom Euro Area4 Japan

2015 0.005 0.143 0.066 0.842

2016 0.980 1.531 0.905 0.722

Source: OECD (2015) Annual Inflation Forecast Rate (Indicator)

2017 1.828 1.994 1.308 2.256

Brazil China India Russia South Africa

2015 8.78 1.66 4.28 15.59 4.88

2016 5.81 2.47 4.95 9.45 6.34

2017 4.56 2.50 4.57 6.05 6.22

Source: OECD (2015) Annual Inflation Forecast Rate (Indicator)

The Chamber’s “CONTACT with the Chamber” radio series The Chamber's "CONTACT with the Chamber" radio series is a five minute programme which airs every Tuesday at 7:25 a.m. on the I95.5FM morning show. This programme is voiced by the CEO of the Chamber, Catherine Kumar and is one of the means by which the Chamber communicates with members and the public at large. The series focuses on business-oriented subjects, social responsibility and other issues affecting our country. We also open our doors to all

members interested in coming on board as short-term sponsors of “CONTACT with the Chamber”, for packages of one, two or three months. Sponsorship is at a cost of TT $900.00 per programme. Your organization will be credited on I95.5FM and recognized through other communications produced by the T&T Chamber. The T&T Chamber thanks our sponsor for January - Swiss Yogos, February - Alexandra MRI, March - SCG (Caribbean) Group Limited.

For more information on sponsorship and branding opportunities please contact: Halima Khan, Communications Officer, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Columbus Circle Westmoorings P.O Box 499 Port of Spain. Tel: (868) 637-6966 Ext. 1227 Fax: (868) 637-7425 Email: Website:


Finance & Economy Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Economic Outlook Global economic growth remains mixed and has been downgraded for the second consecutive time by both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) for the period 2016-2017. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update for April 2016 has dubbed global growth as “too slow for too long”. According to the IMF’s January 2016 WEO Update, global growth for 2016 and 2017 was projected at 3.4 percent and 3.6 percent respectively. The 2016 figure has since been downgraded by 0.2 percent (3.2%) while 2017 growth prospects have slid by 0.1 percent (3.5%). Major macroeconomic realignments have been responsible for the mixed mélange of growth prospects simply because they affect countries and regions differently. These realignments include the deceleration and rebalancing in China; soft commodity prices, especially for oil, with substantial redistributive effects across sectors and countries; a related slowdown in investment and trade; and sluggish capital flows to emerging market and developing economies. These realignments— coupled with a host of noneconomic factors, such as geopolitical tensions and political discord—are generating substantial uncertainty and mixed forecasts for the future. The IMF’s chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld, summed up the pace of growth as "increasingly disappointing". Growth in advanced economies is projected to contribute more than half global growth in 2016 and higher in 2017 based on UNDESA and IMF projections. Though economic activity in the ‘global north’ has held steady in comparison to 2015 statistics, growth remains constrained by major geopolitical developments, civil unrests and political tensions in the ‘global south’. The United States projected growth prospects, though sluggish, is expected to remain steady throughout the period 2016-2017. Growth in the United States has declined by cumulative 0.3 percent over the period 2016-2017. The Euro zone faces some serious ramifications following the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Both the UNDESA and IMF have perviously hinted at the possible negative impacts that the exit could be expected to have on global growth, trade patterns and economic confidence going forward. The IMF has been quoted to say it “...would disrupt established trading relationships and cause "major challenges" for both the UK and the rest of Europe”. In Japan, growth is projected to remain at a mere 0.5 percent in 2016, but this is expected to deteriorate turning slightly negative to –0.1 percent in 2017 as the scheduled increase in the consumption tax rate (of 2 percentage points) goes into effect. This meager growth is juxtaposed to an appreciated yen, negative inflation rate, negative interest rates and declining business and private consumption. Emerging market and developing economies are gradually returning to normality but uncertainty has increased, and risks of weaker growth scenarios are becoming ever more tangible. From initial observation, the emerging markets have been growing at a faster rate than the developed world but slower as compared to previous years. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, India, Sub Saharan Africa and even some states in Central America have growth

rates double and even triple the global growth rate. This growth spurt is tempered by looming realities that face the region. UNDESA comments that “persistent employment gap, unemployment (particularly youth unemployment), growing prevalence of part-time employment, job insecurity, and stagnant real wages will seriously undermine the global efforts for promoting “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’” as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), overall growth in 2016 is expected to be negative for a second consecutive year (at – 0.5 percent). However, across all countries in the region, economic activity is expected to strengthen in 2017, with growth picking up to 1.5 percent. The effect of this cumulative decline in the region is spread across differently with South America heavily affected with the crash of the super cycle commodity bubble whilst Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean have generally experienced positive growth rates with the fall in energy prices and a general recovery of the United States economy. Some idea of how this growth is distributed is as follows: Brazil (-3.8 percent; growth has contracted for the same period last year); Mexico (2.4 and 2.6 percent in 2016 2017 respectively); Colombia (fell from 3.1 percent to 2.6 percent over the period 2015-2016); Panama (boasts of the highest growth rate in Central America of 6.3 percent for 2016); Jamaica (2.21 and 2.5 percent for 2016 and 2017 respectively) and St Kitts and Nevis ( 4.7 and 2.5 percent for 2016 and 2017 respectively). As a regional bloc, despite showing some great potential for growth and development, LAC will face economic contraction for 2016 and see modest resurgence in 2017 of 1.5 percent. These projections are all premised on the hope that there will be improvements in Brazil’s current recession, a speedy amelioration of the unfolding socio- economic and political unrest in neighboring Venezuela, and a settling of international commodity prices particular energy prices. If these are not realised shortly, it is expected that macroeconomic conditions can nosedive alongside consumer and investor confidence partially due to political uncertainty and rising economic vulnerabilities. Recession, stagnation, depression, downturn… Whatever one terms it, Trinidad and Tobago is currently facing some tough economic realities. Moreover, initial reports of the extent of the economic malaise have been understated as highlighted by the recently concluded MidYear Review given by The Honourable Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance. Instead of zero growth, the Central Bank reported that real GDP for 2015 contracted by as much as 2 percent. Moreover, the most up-to-date data from the Central Bank has indicated that has been economic contractions in every quarter starting from January 2015. It is expected that for calendar year 2016, the Trinidad and Tobago economy will contract by another 2 percent.


Finance & Economy Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

First Quarter 2016 review Local Market Summary For the First Quarter of 2016 (Q116), Indices movement was varied on the local market. The Composite Index ended Q116 at 1,133.16, down 2.51 per cent or 29.14 points, the All Trinidad and Tobago Index slipped 6.99 per cent or 136.16 points to 1,812.34 and the Cross Listed Index rose a significant 21.79 per cent or 10.79 points to close at 60.30. The advance to decline ratio ended the quarter at 10 to 17.

or 6,456,913 shares. Sagicor Financial First Quarter Dividend Payments Corporation (SFC) was the third volume leader with 9.58 per cent of all trades or 2,727,798 shares changing ownership. Q116 also saw 500 Sagicor Financial Corporation Convertible Redeemable Preference (SFCP) share traded with a value of US$550.00. The price remained unchanged at US$1.10. On the TTD Mutual Fund Market, 2,610,831 CLICO Investment Fund (CIF) units traded in Q116 with a value of $58,959,667.65 compared to Q115 which saw 5,319,157 units traded with a value of $120,742,775.40. CIF’s price fell 0.84 per cent or $0.19 to close the quarter at $22.56. Additionally, 55,703 Praetorian Property Mutual Fund (PPMF) units traded with a value of $170,322.27 and 1,209,616 units of Calypso Macro Index Fund (CALYP) traded with a value of $30,240,397.00. PPMF’s price fell 2.91 per cent or $0.09 to end the period under review at $3.00 while CALYP’s price declined 0.04 per cent or $0.01 to $24.99.

Highlights for the First Quarter of 2016 • The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited (TTSE) has been advised by JMMBGL that the following Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares were listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange on February 11th, 2016: a) 42,783,500 Cumulative Redeemable 6.00% USD Preference Shares; b) 213,500 Cumulative Redeemable 5.75% USD Preference Shares; c) 1,827,548,000 Cumulative Redeemable 7.50% Variable Rate JMD Preference The major advance for Q116 was Shares; and FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited d) 9,434,000 Cumulative Redeemable 7.25% (FCI), which rose 29.74 per cent or $1.49 to Variable Rate JMD Preference Shares. end the three month period at $6.50. Next was GraceKennedy Limited (GKC), up • 20,200,000 Units of Calypso Macro Index 28.40 per cent or $1.15 to close at $5.20. The Fund was listed on the Trinidad and third major advance was Scotia Tobago Stock Exchange effective Monday Investments Jamaica Limited (SIJL) 11th January, 2016. The symbol for registering a 15.33 per cent gain or $0.23 Calypso Macro Index Fund is CALYP. to end Q116 at $1.73. Units in Calypso Macro Index Fund were The First Tier Market registered for Q116 a listed at a price of $25.00 each and are total of 28,468,094 shares changing hands, traded on the Mutual Fund Market. up 65.66 per cent or 11,283,717 shares on the comparable quarter in 2015. When • In view of the recent takeover of Flavorite compared to the previous quarter (Q415), Foods Limited (FFL), the Board of the volumes traded were up 4.79 per cent or Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange 1,301,368 shares from 27,166,726 shares. The Limited (TTSE) approved the de-listing value of shares traded rose 9.21 per cent of FFL subsequent to which the TTSE from $214,659,676.87 in Q115 to submitted an application to the Trinidad $234,425,964.12 in Q116. Q116 on Q415, and Tobago Securities and Exchange despite the increase in trading activity, the Commission to have FFL de-listed. In value of shares traded fell 52.60 per cent light of this, trading in FFL was from $494,529,488.51. National Enterprises Limited (NEL) was suspended with effect from Tuesday 05th the major decline for Q116, falling 38.91 January 2016. In Q116, National Commercial Bank Jamaica per cent or $6.37 to $10.00. Next in line was Limited (NCBJ) was the volume leader National Flour Mills Limited (NFM), down • Prestige Holdings Limited (PHL) was capturing 33.85 per cent of the market with 23.70 per cent or $0.64 to close at $2.06. appointed as the licensee of 9,637,430 shares traded. This was followed Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) followed Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: by JMMB Group Limited (JMMBGL) with with a 12.28 per cent decline or $0.49 to SBUX) for the Trinidad and Tobago 22.68 per cent of the volume traded for Q116 end the quarter at $3.50. market and plans to open the first

Finance & Economy Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

store this year. This marks a tremendous Key Rates achievement for Prestige Holdings as Starbucks stores will join their brand portfolio with KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays and Subway restaurants. For Starbucks Coffee Company, the Trinidad and Tobago market will represent the company’s 16th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Fixed Income Market Summary for the Fourth Quarter of 2015 According to the March 2016 Monetary Energy Prices Policy Announcement released by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), headline inflation, on a year-on-year basis, accelerated to 3.40 per cent in February 2016, up from 2.40 per cent in January 2016 but a decline from 6.20 per cent in February 2015. As stated in the report, food inflation measured 9.40 per cent compared to 4.50 per cent in January 2016. The introduction of VAT on previously exempt items may have Global Market Indices contributed to the increase in food inflation. Excess reserves at the CBTT rose just above $4 billion in the first half of March 2016. In March 2016, the yields on the 6-month and 1-year Open Market Operations (OMOs) rose to 1.75 per cent and 2.79 per cent respectively from 1.72 per cent and 2.74 per cent in February 2016. The Central Bank has maintained the Repo Rate, the rate at which it lends to commercial banks, at 4.75 per cent.


Finance & Economy


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Transforming the world of payments By Jean-Pierre Saint Victor, BNY Mellon Treasury Services


ever before has the payments business undergone such a period of transformation, and been influenced by so many factors. The evolution of payments is being driven firstly by the growing strength of the emerging markets, resulting in new trade corridors and increased cross-border payment volumes. Secondly, banking regulation has stepped up considerably in recent years, helping to enhance security, standardization and transaction transparency, yet also impacting the focus of bank innovation. And thirdly, driven by advances in technology, the expectations of retail customers – in terms of factors such as speed, access and flexibility – are filtering into the corporate payments space. These elements are driving the need for banks to adapt and develop a multitude of enhanced capabilities to meet shifting industry and client demands. Drivers of change: demographics The middle class population of emerging markets is growing significantly, fuelling trade, capital and investment payment flows to and from these regions. The increase is most notable in Asia, but Latin America and the Caribbean (together known as “LAC”) has also seen huge demographic change in recent years, with middle class growth soaring by 50% from 100 million to 150 million in the first decade of the new millennium. According to The World Bank, this trend is only expected to increase, with 310 million people – 43% of the population – projected to fit into the middle class bracket by 2030. With only 24% belonging to the middle class in LAC as recently as 2005, this is a dramatic shift in the region’s demographic composition. In Central America and the Caribbean (CAC) specifically, this figure is expected to jump from approximately 16% to 22%, while its middle class share of the entire LAC region will increase from 7% to 10%2. This rapid global middle class growth is resulting in both increased inter- and intra-emerging market trade flows, in turn fuelling cross-border payment volumes, meaning that banks must increasingly factor proficient multicurrency solutions into their offerings to cater to this demand. Drivers of change: regulation At the same time, the banking community has been required to implement a host of new regulatory standards (such as Dodd-Frank and FATCA) in the wake of the global financial crisis, a task that has absorbed bank resources and taken focus somewhat away from client-centric innovation. Yet the enhancements made to bank systems in order to comply with these regulations have also provided added value for clients, including improvements to security and transparency – which in turn aid cash management capabilities. Furthermore, efforts by regulatory bodies to increase standardization (such as the International Payments Framework between the USA and Europe, and the China International Payments System – CIPS) are helping to drive global payment efficiency. Harmonization between markets and systems will only grow in importance as the increasingly cross-

border nature of payment traffic will underscore the need not only to be able to navigate the complexities of global and local regulatory environments, but to upgrade all process elements relating to oversight and control. Drivers of change: technological innovation Financial technology (“fintech”) is becoming an increasingly active sector, shaping the way in which payments are initiated and processed. Mobile payment solutions in LAC are proliferating (consider Zuum, Oi Carteira, Meu Dinheiro Claro, Transfer, Plata, Wanda and Yellow Pepper, to name but a few), and real-time payments are becoming ever more widespread (demand for realtime payment systems in Latin America has been rising since 20073). An increasing number of countries are therefore adopting domestic, retail real-time payment systems (Brazil’s SITRAF, Mexico’s SPEI and Chile’s TEF, for instance). With payments in the retail space becoming increasingly sophisticated and user friendly, demands for similar properties in the corporate payments sphere are growing. And while developing a real-time system for corporate payments would be a huge undertaking, it is one that must be considered as expectations for real-time processing is only likely to grow. A further challenge This combination of shifting demographics, regulatory change and a fast-moving digital age is heralding a shift in the very nature of transactions, and banks need to traverse this new landscape with skill – and greater speed – if they are to keep up and prosper. But the challenge for banks does not stop there; a growing number of non-bank providers are entering the payments space. Not only do these new players operate under fewer regulations than banks (allowing them freer rein to experiment with their approach to innovation), but they are also free of legacy systems, which means they have a completely “clean slate” upon which to build fresh solutions using the latest technology capabilities. Collaborating for the future With the payments landscape undergoing such considerable change – and with the degree of change only expected to increase – banks need to adopt a “future-proof” strategy. Implementing a flexible, agile payments platform that is capable of easily adapting to evolving client and industry demands can help to ensure that banks are nimble and able to react quickly to changes, opportunities and threats; and ultimately allow their global client base to benefit from enhancements and new offerings faster than ever before. Yet for many local banks, significant investment into sophisticated technology platforms can be a challenge simply beyond their reach – particularly during a period of heightened regulation in which they are required to dedicate resources to achieving greater compliance requirements. Local-global bank collaboration can be an ideal solution. Establishing such noncompete partnerships enables local banks to benefit from enhanced product offerings without committing to substantial investment, while knowledge and experience can be shared and leveraged to help both parties add significant value to client service and overall transaction experience. With the payments space undergoing such rapid change, banks need to ensure they are equipped with robust solutions that can be easily sculpted in line with the shifting transaction environment. Such capabilities, used in conjunction with strong bank partnerships, can help to ensure banks are positioned at the center of clients’ needs, and are primed and ready for the new era of payments and the changes to come.

Energy Update


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Energy lay-offs and capacity building

By David Renwick, Energy Journalist HBM (Gold)


everal thousand people have been laid off in the oil and gas sector in Trinidad and Tobago, following the fall in the prices of both oil (US$42.64 a barrel at the time of writing) and gas (US$2.06 mmbtu) and the consequent reduction in upstream companies cash flow.

A year or two ago, companies were doing the exact opposite – hiring new people as the price spiralled upwards, in the case of oil to about US$112 a barrel. The energy sector has never been much of an employmentgenerator in Trinidad and Tobago – no more than around 3% of the labour force. But these people were well paid; way above the average middle class salary in non-energy business activities. So their loss of office should have some impact on consumption, particularly of goods and services in oil belt areas. But what it also does is provide another golden opportunity for laid-off workers to translate to becoming self-employed oil producers in their own right. It has always astonished me how vociferous the executives of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) tends to be about improved pay and benefits for its members working for, say, Petrotrin, but how silent they have been on the idea of turning those self-same workers into self-employed producers. The reason, of course, is because the OWTU has always had a “gimme-gimme” mindest and not an entrepreneurial one. But who better than the people who drill for, and extract, the oil on behalf of their corporate employers to do the same thing on their own behalf?

When what is now Petrotrin launched its lease operatorship (LO) and farm out (FO) programme, many of the companies that took on the challenge were contractors, who had hitherto provided drilling and other well services to the company. They simply transitioned quickly to being their own upstream bosses. Its now time for individual workers themselves to make the same leap. I am sure many of the banks in and around San Fernando would be supportive. After all, one of our top drilling companies, led by Charlie Brash, started out in precisely that fashion. By his own admission, Mr. Brash, a North Trinidad boy, knew next to nothing about energy before he emigrated to South Trinidad. I have reason to believe the Ministry of Energy and Energy Iindustries (MEEI) wants to see more private sector locals going into the upstream. The biggest local presence in the upstream in Trinidad and Tobago is Petrotrin. It lifted 34,193 b/d from its land and nearshore (Gulf of Paria and south east coast marine assets) on average in 2015. There are currently five other local upstream firms – Trinity Exploration and Production, Trinity Exploration and Production Galeota Ltd (both owned by the same shareholders), Beach Oilfield Ltd., Neal and Massy Energy Resources Ltd., Mora Oil Ventures Ltd. Among them, they produced the grand total of 1,696 b/d on average in 2015 – hardly an impressive amount, which starkly illustrates the poor representation of the local private sector in the upstream. That figure is eclipsed many times over by the likes of Repsol, BHPBilliton and bpTT and I would suggest it should be MEEI policy to increase the local private sector role in the upstream. The first of minister Olivierre’s 14 objectives for her (presumably) five years in the Ministry is, in fact, to halt and then reverse, what has so far appeared to be an ineluctable decline in crude oil production. Liquids output (crude oil and condensate) averaged 78,630 b/d last year, which was 5,253 b/d below production in the first month of the year (83,883 b/d). Its therefore clear that crude output continues to trend steadily downwards and new production in 2015 did not compensate for the overall decline in existing wells. So, how do we reverse that situation? Well, by sinking new development wells, which most of the LOs and FOs are pledged to do and devoting considerable attention to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) which Range Resources, a Canadian company, has made a point of pledging to undertake. But production can also be added-to by bringing new players into the mix and this is where the footloose oil workers come in. The Ministry can ensure that Petrotrin, which holds most of the productive and potentially productive, acreage in south Trinidad, reactivates its successful LO programme and hands low or nonproducing wells over the retrenched workers, who can then proceed to retrieve the additional oil which the company itself has failed to do in the past.

Energy Update Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016

In due course, then, I expect to see some new names in MEEI’s monthly table of crude oil and condensate producers. Small producers, by definition, are supposed to have small costs and are probably able to live with the current oil price in a way that the bigger boys may struggle to do. Of course, if none of the retrenched oil workers possess an entrepreneurial spirit, then we will still have to depend on Petrotrin and the big international producers to answer the call of increased production. As bpTT produces more gas from its Juniper and, soon, Angelin projects, it will add to the total of condensate that becomes available. BHPBilliton should itself be upping its average output of 7,742 b/d last year. Repsol needs to go beyond its 2015 average of 12,383 b/d. Perhaps BG Central block, now the responsibility of Royal Dutch Shell, could be persuaded to yield more than last year’s 675 b/d. And then there is “stranded oil” which sits in reservoirs all over south Trinidad and only requires the judicious, and cost-effective, application of EOR methods to bring more of it to the surface. This is a bee in the bonnet of our leading geologist, Dr. Krishna Persad, who has been advocating an assault on such oil for some time. His argument is simple – that this is known oil, does not have to be “discovered” by expensive exploration and can best be lifted by one of the leading methods of EOR – carbon dioxide (CO2) injection. Trinidad (not Tobago) emits CO2 in abundance, from its petrochemical plants at the Point Lisas industrial estate and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities at Point Fortin. Right now, it is simply being vented to atmosphere. Rather than that continuing to happen, Dr. Persad advocates the capture of this

gas, its transportation to South Trinidad where the stranded oil is located and its injection into reservoirs to recovering a substantial portion of the “left-behind” oil that can add tens of thousands more barrels to domestic production, refining and export.

The pipeline to support the project will be costly, of course, but set against the value of the oil retrieved, will provide an excellent return on capital. Persad’s proposal received the enthusiastic endorsement of the former minister of energy, Kevin Christian Ramnarine, who had asked the state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) to look into it. He had also authorised a grant to the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), to research the application of CO2 from Point Lisas in EOR projects, which must be ready by now and needs to receive some sort of action from the new Minister. This is doubly important, since CO2 can also be used in the recovery of heavy oil, of an API gravity of 18 degrees or less, for which there is also considerable potential in Trinidad and Tobago. The fact is, whatever Minister Olivierre has to do to rectify the alarming crude oil production situation, she must do. Her predecessor came into office with the intention of restoring oil output to an upward trajectory. He was unable to do so. In 2010, the country produced an average of 98,246 b/d. Five years later, when Ramnarine demitted office after his party lost the general election, output averaged 75,894 b/d in the month of September, 2015, when the election was held. That’s a 22,352 b/d drop in crude production during the period, a highly unsatisfactory situation. Ms. Olivierre has to ensure that something similar does not occur during her tenure.

La Alamandier 1/2pg


Energy Update


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Energy Statistics In this second issue of CONTACT for 2016, we here at the T&T Chamber continue to monitor and evaluate the energy sector of Trinidad abd Tobago based on the most available and current data. The data place emphasis on natural gas and crude oil production under both a time-series and cross-sectional analysis. Table E.1 – Crude Oil Production by Company for January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (Barrels per day) Company BG

Table E.4 - Ammonia Production for January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes)





























































































































































































Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.3 1 Note: Figures in RED/italic are preliminary

Table E.2 – Natural Gas Production by Company January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (mmscf/d) Company
































































Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No12. & Vol 53 No.3

Table E.3 – Natural Gas Utilization by Sector for January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (mmscf/d) Sector

141,387 161,383 172,401





























394,367 372,952 429,106

387,607 400,888 454,082

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.3

Table E.5 - Ammonia Export for January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Company YARA TRINGEN I TRINGEN 2 PCS NITROGEN



































132,799 137,853

































406,525 395,028

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.3

Table E.6 - Methanol Production January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Company TTMC I











March 2016
























































Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 Vol. 53 No.3










Power Generation







Ammonia Manufacture







Methanol Manufacture














Iron & Steel Manufacture








Cement Manufacture








Ammonia Derivatives








Gas Processing




























Small Consumers

January February

172,698 153,871 176,128






Liquefied Natural Gas

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No. 12 & Vol. 53 No.3

Table E.7 - Methanol Exports for January to March 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Company











March 2016





















































Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.3

Energy Update


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Energy Statistics

Chart E.5 Ammonia Export (Tonnes)

Chart E.1 - Crude Oil Condensate Production (barrels/d)

Chart E.6 Methanol Production (Tonnes)

Chart E.2 Natural Gas Production (mmscf/d)

Chart E.7 Methanol Exports (Tonnes)




Chart E.3 Natural Gas Utilisation by Sector (mmscf/d)

Chart E.8 (a) Urea Production (Tonnes)


Chart E.4 Ammonia Production (Tonnes)

Chart E.9 Urea Exports (Tonnes)

Pigeon Point Heritage Park Tobago


Contact • Vol.16 No.2 June 2016


he acclaimed and award winning Pigeon Point Heritage Park is widely known for it’s clear, calm waters and all the amenities that you can possibly ask for to enjoy a full day at the beach, including excellent food, cocktails and drinks - even shopping!

The park however has a lot more going on now than just a beach excursion. A series of upgrades and projects over the last year has resulted in a facility that really is “More than just a beach …. ” Conferences & Seminars – perhaps the most exciting addition to the amenities at Pigeon Point is the hosting of Conferences, Meetings, Corporate Dinners / Functions at the recently completed Heritage Pavilion. With approximately 6,000 sq. ft. of function space, The Heritage Pavilion incorporates a number of elements such as the entrance portico, the gazebo, the high pitched roof lines and central lantern roof feature and the timber siding with

exposed timber framing, to creating a strong set of references to traditional Caribbean Architecture. The general symmetry of the building also contributes to a strong sense of place, history and tradition, in which these central features of the portico and gazebo take on strong ceremonial characteristics. The use of coral stone is an attempt to integrate the building into its natural beachfront setting and makes reference to another historical building technique used extensively across the Caribbean. The setting and view of the calm Caribbean Sea are unrivalled from this spectacularly designed beach front facility. There are also a variety of catering and recreational options are available to ensure your event is a success and easy to co-ordinate. Meetings - For those with smaller requirements, the private Coral Meeting Room caters to such needs with appropriate break-out space. Catering options are also available regardless of the size of the event. Accommodation - The Bungalow offers the only overnight accommodation at the park. This cosy unit offers 3 bedrooms and comfortably accommodates a maximum of 6 persons. There is a full kitchen, living and dining areas, patio and laundry. All rooms have individual air-conditioning to ensure each person’s comfort level, Direct TV is available in the living room and complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the unit. A gas BBQ pit is included. Whether your next trip to Tobago is for business or pleasure, be sure to take time to visit the upgraded Pigeon Point Heritage Park!

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Increasing WiFi access in Trinidad and Tobago lobal leaders consistently pursue initiatives towards securing greater connectivity and narrowing the digital divide by ensuring their citizens have increasing access to affordable, cutting edge Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), in particular the Internet.


It has become common place for persons to keep in contact with their children; friends and colleagues using the internet and internet based applications as well as for keeping abreast with the news, conduct research and remain entertained while on the go. Students and professionals from public and private sector organizations constantly remain connected, perusing reports, writing memoranda and preparing emails. This increased productivity augers well for expanding output from private and state sectors alike, particularly those with revenue generating and infrastructural development capacities. Widespread access to the Internet will facilitate increased communicating on the go. This is particularly important in the current era, when wealth producing sectors require close management and timely injections of innovation and invention. Wider access will be particularly beneficial for those persons with difficult financial circumstances, or for those who reside in underserved areas. In Trinidad and Tobago the Government announced measures in its 2015/2016 budget presentation that will commence a process towards further narrowing the local digital divide, with the implementation of a Free National WiFi Initiative, throughout the country. The Honourable Colm Imbert, Minister of Finance stated “we cannot improve our productive capacity and create a vibrant and competitive economy without a nationwide high-speed broadband network – the centerpiece for creating a knowledgebased and innovative society”.

allow citizens access at specific transportation hubs and hospital waiting rooms and Phase 3 will cover other specified public spaces. The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (the Authority) will be significantly involved in this initiative, as Phase 2 of this project will be implemented via Universal Service. The Authority is responsible for promoting Universal Service in Trinidad and Tobago as prescribed in Section 28 of the Telecommunications Act which states: 28. (1) In accordance with the policy established by the Minister, the Authority shall determine the public telecommunications services in respect of which the requirement of universal service shall apply. Thus the free public WiFi will be deployed in accordance with Section 28 of the Telecommunications Act which mandates that in accordance with the National Universal Service Policy the (3)…“Authority shall periodically determine the manner in which a public telecommunications service or value added service shall be provided and funded in order to meet the requirements of universal service for that service, including the obligations, if any, of the providers and users of the service. (4) The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister, require that closed user group services, private telecommunications services and value added services as well as the users of such services and all telecommunications services generally, contribute to the funding of universal service”. The (Telecommunications) Universal Service Regulations 2015 includes specified mandatory universal service initiative for providers of telecommunications services in Trinidad and Tobago, either on a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis. The Universal Service Regulations seek to: i. Facilitate the provision of affordable and accessible basic telecommunications services to everyone especially population groups within the access gap and persons living in underserved areas such as one hundred per cent of the population would have access to basic telecommunications services; ii. Ensure that the deployment of essential ICT infrastructure in key geographical areas such that there is universal geographic coverage of basic telecommunications services throughout Trinidad and Tobago iii. Implement a Universal Service Funding mechanism that would require that concessionaires and other entities as may be required to contribute a percentage of their gross annual revenues to the cost of providing basic telecommunications services (except public mobile telephony services) to communities and population groups that fall within the access gap. While a significant section of the population can afford and/or have access to the Internet as well as other ICT services, coverage has not yet reached the desired 100%.

The Free National WiFi initiative therefore moves in the direction of ensuring all citizens have access to ICTs in keeping with the GORTT’s National Universal Service Policy the aim of which is: ‘to promote Universal Service for all citizens by facilitating the orderly and systematic provision of telecommunications services throughout Trinidad and Tobago taking into account the needs of the public, affordability of the service, and advances in technology. Realization of this policy will create a thriving, digital economy and knowledge-based society with opportunities for accelerated growth and investment in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.’

The Authority’s Quarterly Market Update for Quarter 4, 2015 shows the level of Internet usage by the country’s 1.3 million population: • Fixed Internet subscriptions –penetration rate of 65.4% • Mobile Internet Subscriptions – penetration rate of 47.8%

(From “Universality Policy of Trinidad and Tobago,” by Ministry of Public Administration)

Greater access to technologies has proven to be of benefit not only to individuals, but also at the national level. If used wisely, ICT has the capacity to leap-frog Trinidad and Tobago out of financially challenging waters and bring the country into developed nation status.

This initiative will be implemented in three phases starting with Phase 1, the provision of WiFi service on some of the country’s buses. Phase 2 will

Roll out of the Free National WiFi initiative will result in widened access to the Internet to citizens, inching this country closer to achieving 100% coverage.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

GBS - Shared services business model By Brenda Lee Tang, head of ACCA Caribbean


ver the past 20 years, an increasing number of companies have started to use shared services, outsourcing and global business service to improve their quality, lower costs and increase efficiency.

Shared services is a rapidly-developing business model that has become a major component of financial transformation for businesses. The industry currently employs more than 750,000 finance professionals around the world, and it looks set to grow into the future too. To meet the skills demanded by working in this sector, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) recently launched its Global Business Services (GBS) Qualifications, a suite of three qualifications which are the first dedicated to finance and accounting in shared services and GBS. Based on its expertise in this field, ACCA has specially designed this new professional qualification for the shared services sector, at three levels: • Certificate in Global Business Services: Includes an independently-assessed online course and covers all the basic knowledge and skills required by global shared services employees. • Diploma in Global Business Services: Includes the five modules of the above certificate and ACCA syllabus-related financial and accounting management knowledge. This Diploma boosts employees' financial expertise so that they can succeed in more challenging roles. • Advanced Diploma in Global Business Services: Places a greater focus on advanced financial management, management accounting and performance management, improving employees' high-end professional skills. Successful completion of the GBS Qualifications not only helps employees acquire the specialist knowledge required for shared services work, but also takes their studies in the ACCA Qualification a step further, laying a firm foundation for their progression to fully-fledged finance talent. In view of the growth of the shared services sector around the world, ACCA has listened to the needs of CFOs and companies and introduced this suite of qualifications to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the sector. But GBS is more than just meeting efficiencies. It represents a fundamental shift in how businesses think about and manage shared services and outsourcing. Potentially, GBS places a new premium on the value that the retained finance function can actually produce by freeing it to perform higher-level tasks. It could be a game changer for finance by redefining the value it brings to business and to its clients. Challenges remain for many organisations when it comes to ensuring that people working in senior shared service and transformation roles do not face additional barriers in making the transition to the top finance job of Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

This was the main finding in a report from ACCA about shared services and the challenges it faces. Speaking to CFOs and leaders in Shared Services, the report revealed that while some organisations increasingly prize the value of the finance transformation experience for finance leadership, leaders in the area continue to see some difficulties in making the transition. The report also considered whether finance shared service and transformation roles are valuable in the career path to becoming a CFO. Drawing on the insights of executives from some of the world’s leading enterprises such as Deloitte, Pepsi, and Accenture, the report provides honest advice for those who may be considering a finance transformation career move. It identifies a number of factors impacting the value of time spent in a service delivery or transformation role, which include: the maturity of the shared service operations; the compatibility of the role with the skills historically viewed as most valuable in the CFO role; the level of sponsorship from business leaders that shared services has in the enterprise; the prevailing corporate culture, and the timing of the move made. But it also stresses the beneficial skills gained such as change management and operational leadership that can be valuable for the top finance job. CFOs today need to be able to bring real strength in areas such as transformational leadership and change, the ability to run finance operations efficiently and understand the value and use of technology. Senior finance transformation roles provide opportunities to gain some of these very valuable skills but the report suggests, as always, that career moves here need to be planned carefully if the ultimate ambition is to be CFO. As shared services models continue to evolve, and with growing interest in global business service initiatives, some see emerging career opportunities outside of the finance function, and expect transformation leaders to be able to pursue broader based executive roles. For ACCA and many of its members, GBS represents a genuinely different way of running, managing and governing the back office, incorporating finance, to create more value. When functional silos are broken down and processes managed end-to- end, there may be new opportunities not only to create additional operating efficiencies and reduce cost through added scale, but also to generate revenue and produce insights that enhance business performance. Back in 2013, we asked a number of finance professionals about the skills needed to operate in the GBS world – what we found was that for finance professionals, GBS models represent yet another step on the skill-set development ladder. Although capabilities such as virtual management, change management, governance and commercial skills remain important, successful performance is predicated upon attaining even more capability. In a GBS structure, having deep finance skills is no longer enough as professionals must work within a cross-functional, matrixed construct. This can only be seen as a good thing, with the finance professional often leading the way in bridging gaps and breaking down silos. GBS demands a culture shift. There is no doubt, however, that the ways in which finance professionals interact with professionals in other functional areas becomes of paramount importance. Barriers between processes must be broken down to fulfil the promise of GBS. To lower these barriers new capabilities must be developed, including influencing skills and the ability to compete for and manage resources in other functional areas. This is a challenge, but with the right development and training, success can only be the end-game for those working in, or considering working in, the GBS sector.


Member Profile Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

• JMMB Bank (T&T) Ltd currently offers a full service range of personal, business and electronic banking solutions oriented around your financial life cycle. With financial tools as the mortgage and car calculators and online banking services, clients are empowered to manage their finances while enjoying the option of easy access anywhere, anytime. • JMMB Investments (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited – JMMBITT, incorporated in October 2011– began offering a range of Repurchase Agreements and Fixed Income investments in January 2014. Having acquired AIC Securities, currently known as JMMB Securities in April 30th 2014, JMMBITT has become a full-fledged Broker-Dealer The JMMB Group is a unique financial services Group that is offering equities, portfolio management and investment advisory founded on the principles of love and having the best interest of services. all at heart. Co-founded by the late Joan Duncan, JMMB opened for business in November 1992 as the first Money Market Broker Together the JMMB Group- Trinidad and Tobago companies in Jamaica. As a possibility thinker, Joan Duncan created a company deepen the JMMB Group’s presence in the country and clients are based on love that provided great investment opportunities to all afforded an even more diversified bundle of financial solutions, Jamaicans regardless of their status and was committed to serving available across the business lines its clients, team members and shareholders through this shared vision of love. That central ethos is very much alive throughout JMMB GROUP’S FORMULA: Vision + Values + Expertise = Phenomenal Success. the Group today. Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, JMMB has operations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. The Group’s lines of business span securities dealing, stock brokering, foreign exchange trading, insurance brokering, banking and remittances. In Trinidad and Tobago, JMMB’s subsidiaries are JMMB Bank (T&T) Limited formerly Intercommercial Bank Limited and JMMB Investments (Trinidad & Tobago) Limited, – JMMBITT. Our Financial Solutions in the Trinidad Market

The achievements of the JMMB Group have been the direct result of the hard-working team’s expertise and commitment to its core philosophy and a strategy hinged on comprehensive financial solutions that meet the needs of its client base, as well as its regional diversity and its continued financial growth. JMMB continues to be focused on providing exceptional care to its diverse client base of over 220,000 individual, corporate and institutional clients served across the region. JMMB is listed on the Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica Stock Exchanges.

Are you looking for an ideal location to host your Private Meetings, Training Sessions, Product or Media Launches, Christmas Cocktails or even your Wedding Receptions?

Then your Chamber is here to meet your needs!

Duncan Campbell Meeting Room

WM Gordon Gordon Board Room

Leon Agostini Conference Hall

Events have become the hallmark for many Corporate Communications and Marketing Divisions and finding that ideal venue is perhaps one of the most important aspects to the success of all activities. At the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce we pride ourselves in providing rooms for small and medium sized functions. Our venue, at Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, has been rented by many members and non-members.

Named after the Chamber’s first President, our Leon Agostini Conference Hall, accommodates Theatre seating up to 200 persons and Banquet seating of 180 (rectangular tables) or 120 (round tables). Our Duncan Campbell Meeting Room can accommodate Theatre seating up to 40 persons and Round table seating up to a maximum of 16 persons. Our special offer to weekend clients is the WM Gordon Gordon Board Room which accommodates up to 14 persons in comfortable executive style.

As a “One Stop Shop” we provide complete services - Wheel-chair access, Parking, High Speed Internet access, Catering, Audio and Video, all in our air- The Chamber’s staff stands ready to assist and will work with you in ensuring the conditioned facility. Our rates are among the lowest, given our secure and scenic success of your event. Upon request we will assist with the coordination at a location. As a member of the Chamber your rental fee is discounted by 10%. reasonable fee.

We invite you to contact Eustace Pierre at 637-6966 ext. 286 or so that a tour of our facilities can be arranged. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you.

Member Profile


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

The Guardian Group

Guardian Group is the single brand of the largest indigenous financial services and insurance group in the English and Dutch Caribbean. The group has grown steadily and currently serves markets in 21 countries across the Region including the Eastern and Northern Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and the Dutch Caribbean. The Group includes the parent company, Guardian Holdings Limited, Guardian Asset Management and Investment Services Limited and Guardian Group Trust Limited in Trinidad and Tobago; Guardian Life of the Caribbean and Guardian General Insurance Ltd. in Trinidad and Tobago and

Barbados; Guardian Life Limited and Guardian General Insurance Jamaica Ltd., in Jamaica; Fatum Holdings N.V. and all of its subsidiaries in Curacao and Aruba and across the Dutch Caribbean. In 2012, Guardian Holdings Limited announced the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Limited (Globe) which was later merged with West Indies Alliance Insurance Company Limited to form Guardian General Insurance Jamaica Limited. The growth of the group of companies continued in 2013 with the successful acquisition of the issued share capital of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Antilles) N.V. from the RSA Group and Maduro & Curiel’s Bank by Fatum General Insurance N.V. (Fatum) a subsidiary of Fatum Holding N.V. Guardian Holdings Limited has earned its reputation of strength and stability among the leading financial institutions in the Caribbean and its subsidiaries Guardian Life of the Caribbean and Guardian General Insurance Company have both been rated “A- Excellent” by top rating agency A.M. Best, for yet another year. Guardian Group has the premier portfolio of non-bank financial institutions, which are diversified by various lines of business in the English and Dutch Caribbean. It holds the number one position in Trinidad and Tobago and has secured either the number one or number two positions in all other markets. Guardian Group’s financial performance for 2015 reflects Total Revenue of TT $4,757 million; TT$ 5,152 million in Gross Premiums Written and an asset base of TT$ 22 billion. While the companies within the group remain separate legal entities, they all now carry a single brand name, logo and tagline, solidifying Guardian Group as the single largest brand in the insurance and financial services sector in the English and Dutch Caribbean with a rich legacy of over 167 years.

Welcome to New Members 1st CLASS IMAGE & COMPANY LTD. Address: #43-45 Frederick Street, Port of Spain Tel: 627-3038 Category: Bronze CARIBBEAN CURE LTD. Address: 8D, Royal Court, Glencoe Tel: 770-4500 Category: Bronze CAMILLE SEARS-CARTER WELLS Address: P.O.Box 4390, St. Ann’s Tel: 680 7238 Email: Category: Bronze FRESH START LTD. Address: #25, Senior Street, via Manning St., Diego Martin Tel: 637-1479 Fax: 637-4902 Email: Website: Category: Silver

GLOVE MANUFACTURING LTD. Address: #28, Exchange Development, Exchange Lots, Couva Tel: 221-3495 Category: Bronze NATIOINAL ENTERPRISES LTD. Address: Level 15, Tower D, IFC, Port of Spain Tel: 625-0015 Fax: 624-3029 Email: Website: Category: Platinum PHYSIOTHERAPY SERVICES LTD. Address: #66, Pembroke St., Port of Spain Tel: 681-7226 Website: Category: Bronze RAMPREM ENTERPRISES LTD. Address: LP#33, Chatee Trace, Warren Road, Cunupia Tel: 221-1738 Category: Bronze

SURVEY TRINIDAD & TOBAGO LTD. Address: #37 Tenth Street, Barataria Tel: 638 3865 Fax: 638 2981 Email: Category: Bronze T&T BUSINESS ETIQUETTE & PROTOCOL SPECIALISTS LTD. Address: #300 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Petit Valley Tel: 479-8501 Fax: 632-0651 Website: Category: Bronze

Crime & Justice Committee Safe House Project


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •


he Crime and Justice Committee is a long-standing committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Originally called the Crime and Delays in Judicial Hearings Committee, it was rebranded in the 1990s to the Crime and Justice Committee in order to be responsive to our evolving society and to address a broader spectrum of activities. Apart from engagement with policy-makers and key stakeholders in the criminal and justice systems, the Committee has initiated or supported several projects that help to develop communities and individuals. Some of these, such as the Dispute Resolution Centre and Crime Stoppers Trinidad and Tobago have grown into independent bodies, while others, such as the Neighbourhood Crime Watch and the Police Safe House were being maintained with the sole objective of our being a good corporate citizen. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is a key partner and collaborator in some critical projects of the Committee and one of the most valuable of these collaborations has been the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Facility (Safe House) initiative. In approaching the T&T Chamber in 2007, the TTPS cited “The dramatic escalation of crimes relating to domestic violence and other forms of abuse is always of major concern to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. Over the years, police officers have usually been the first persons responding to survivors of abuse. Most often they were faced with difficulties in securing immediate and suitable accommodation for these victims which resulted in these persons spending long hours at stations or even returning to the abusive situations. “In our continuing efforts to enhance our capabilities and competencies in dealing with matters of domestic violence as well as address the need for emergency protection for potential and actual survivors of abuse, the House … was established and became operational on April 17 2000.” By 2007, however, the facility which had been “repaired and upgraded” in 2002, was again noted by the TTPS to be “in need of urgent repair and further upgrading.” The above clearly demonstrated the concern and commitment of

the Police Service to enhance its capabilities in treating with victims of domestic violence, and, under the purview of the Crime and Justice Committee, a decision was taken in 2008 to provide assistance in the areas of repairs and maintenance, furniture and furnishings and food items for the Safe House. The T&T Chamber was able to direct approximately $58,000 to the Safe House Project, thus allowing it to be re-furbished, re-stocked and handed back to the TTPS in 2009 with the commitment to maintenance by the T&T Chamber. In 2012 a formal handing-over ceremony was undertaken with the T&T Chamber re-committing to making donations to cover maintenance and consumables such as food items and toiletries. At that time, it was noted that the ongoing support had been made possible through several members of the T&T Chamber including First Citizens, BP Trinidad and Tobago, Climate Control and Standard Distributors, as well as Trinidad Tissues, Multifoods Corporation (VEMCO), JMH Enterprises, Hi-Lo Food stores (Massy Stores), National Flour Mills – companies which have continued to donate supplies to the Safe House up to the present day. Today, following a period of disuse as a result of damage to a sewer line (later repaired, thanks to the Water and Sewerage Authority), the Safe House continues to operate with collaboration between the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Crime and Justice Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Funding and in-kind donations from T&T Chamber members continue to ensure that this facility remains open and available to women and children in transit who are at risk and were referred by NGOs, or who have been victims of abuse and have approached the TTPS. This project is one of the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives which the T&T Chamber has undertaken over the years, and which has been sustained largely through the commitment and support of its members. The T&T Chamber says a warm “Thank-you” for the often unsung contributions from our members. To the Police Service, the T&T Chamber extends gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference.

Advertisers ACCA

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One Caribbean Media Limited

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ACI (Advanced Cardiovascular Institute)

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Oscar Francois Limited

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ANSA McAL (Burmac)

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Pigeon Point Heritage Park Tobago

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ANSA Motors McEnearney Motors

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BEI International Limited

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RBC Royal Bank

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Republic Bank

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Concepts in Freight Ltd.

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Schneider Electric Data Center

C&W Business

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Southern Sales & Service Co. Ltd (KIA)


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Southern Sales Car Rental Division

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Le Grande Almandier

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Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago

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The National Insurance Board of Trinidad and Tobago Limited

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London Consulting Group Massy Motors (Volkswagen)

Inside back cover

TRINRE Insurance Company Limited

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Outside back cover

Massy Technologies

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Trinidad and Tobago Securities & Exchange Commission

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MRI of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd

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