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Contents Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

18 FOREX: Bad Management or Bad Spend?

20 Surviving job loss

22 What every business person should know

24 Economic and Financial Statistics

8 Crime, Corruption and Competitiveness in Trinidad and Tobago

26 Economic Outlook

28 Nine Month 2016 review

10 Change Starts With Choice

32 Progress With Cross-Border Gas

36 Energy Statistics

44 Welcome to New Members

12 Meandering the Challenges and Opportunities of the Caribbean's Water and Wastewater Sector

14 Investment and Development - Official and Unoffical

46 Advertisers Editor: Halima Khan Editorial Board: Communications Committee: Robert Trestrail, 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.3 September 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 Jean-Pierre Du Coudray – Director Jacqueline Francois – Director David Hadeed – Director Jason Julien – Director Mark Laquis – 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 Gabriel Faria – Chief Executive Officer

COMMITTEES - TRINIDAD • Communications • Nova • Corporate Social Responsibility • Trade & Business Development • Crime & Justice • Health, Safety & • ICT Pro TT • Employment & Labour Relations Environment • Facilities Management & Maintenance 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:

4 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Information on Trinidad & Tobago

Stollmeyer’s Castle, St. Clair, Port of Spain


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-ofSpain 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.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Corporate Social Responsibility


he Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee was established in November 2007 as one of the Chamber’s special focus committees providing support and assistance in areas relevant to its members. The Committee’s mission is to build a platform for learning, advocacy and technical assistance that enables every business to be an active partner in creating a socially and environmentally sustainable Trinidad and Tobago. Corporate Social Responsibility is a commitment by companies to contribute to sustainable development by working with employees, their families, other organisations, communities, government, and the society at large, to improve the quality of life and the environment in ways that are good for both business and social development. The Committee’s mandate is to serve the learning needs of its members, as well as to provide advocacy and technical assistance

using practical, realistic and adapted approaches that enable these organisations and individuals to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness with which they undertake CSR activities. This approach encompasses working not only with members, but engaging other Chambers, civil society, public sector and international organizations. Objectives: • Learning The CSR Committee provides members and other stakeholders with access to relevant CSR related course materials to assist in developing an understanding and appreciation of CSR, both conceptually and in practice. This enables members to better incorporate CSR into their organisations and foster more responsible business practices. • Advocacy The CSR Committee provides a forum for advocacy with key stakeholders to facilitate an enabling environment that encourages private sector investment in CSR related activities. • Technical Assistance The CSR Committee is working with its members through outreach forums, workshops and individual meetings to assist in the implementation of CSR activities and initiatives that are strategic in nature, in line with their core business practices and focused towards sustainable development.

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! 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.

Duncan Campbell Meeting Room

WM Gordon Gordon Board Room

Leon Agostini Conference Hall

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.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Crime, Corruption and Competitiveness in Trinidad and Tobago By Anthony Deyal


rime may not pay but it costs. Statistics from the Global Competitiveness Index show that the cost of crime and corruption to Trinidad and Tobago is high and increasing rapidly even as the economy shrinks.

In 2012-2013, the Global Competitive Index ranked Trinidad and Tobago at 84th out of 144 countries. In that evaluation, the “most problematic contributors” were Inefficient Government Bureaucracy (17.7%), Crime and Theft (16.9%), Poor Work Ethic in the National Labour Force (15.2%) and Corruption (12.7%). In the present period, 2016-2017, Trinidad and Tobago has dropped ten places to 94th but this time with six fewer countries in the evaluation, 138 instead of 144. “Poor Work Ethic” in the National Labour Force topped the chart at 19.8% (an increase of 4.6% or more than 25% over a four-year period). During that time, despite wage increases in almost every sector, the work ethic fell so dramatically that it became the most important negative influence on the country’s competitiveness. What this proves is that increases in salaries and better working conditions are not matched by improvements in productivity. The Corruption level increased to 14.4%, up by 1.7%; the Inefficient Government Bureaucracy became slightly more efficient (13.9%, down by 3.8%) and Crime and Theft fell to 11.9%, down by 5%. However, before we rejoice we should examine the 2012 and 2017 Crime Indices for Trinidad and Tobago from the datagathering organization Numbeo. In 2012, Trinidad and Tobago was not included in the top 75 “crime” troubled countries globally. Venezuela, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Malaysia and the United States were the top 5. Now, in 2017, Venezuela remains at No.1 and Trinidad and Tobago is at number 10. Puerto Rico is in eleventh place (down from third) and the United States, Number 5 in 2012, is in 53rd place. While we need to take into consideration that many crimes, including rape, are un- or under-reported, and others like fraud, rape and incest may remain undiscovered, the statistics give us the big picture and help us to see the correlation of crime, corruption and competitiveness. More, the crime figures compiled and released by the Police Service are not consistent

with the murder figures and can be accounted by the police reluctance to respond to crime reports and to even go to the scenes, perpetually claiming a lack of transport. Police stations, brand new and much acclaimed, are locked tightly overnight. It is on this basis, the murder figures tend to give a more accurate picture of the state of crime in the country. In 2012-2013, when the US was fifth on the crime “hit” parade, it was seventh on the Global Competitiveness Index. This year, 2017, it is No. 3 on that index and 53rd on the crime charts. Switzerland and Singapore were first and second on the Competitiveness Index in both 2012 and 2017. Switzerland was at 64 out of 75 countries in 2012 and 115 from 125 in 2017. For the same periods, Singapore was 69th and 124th respectively and almost at the bottom of the global crime chart. This link between crime and competitiveness is too close to be coincidental. The Jamaica Gleaner on October 5, 2016 made the connection, “Jamaica scored a marked improvement on the Global Competitiveness Index to rank 75 among 138 countries, its second best standing in a decade. Crime and government inefficiency, however, weakened the country's gains.” Mike LaSusa, in a report on “Crime, Corruption Hurt Economic Competitiveness in LatAm” pointed out, “It comes as little surprise that crime and corruption appear to be holding back economic competitiveness in Latin America.” He supports the call by many law makers and experts for “a nuanced and holistic approach to tackling the economic impacts of illicit activities.” In that sense, what we need is not a “one size fits all” or “cookie cutter” approach to crime but a sophisticated and multi-faceted strategy against the different types of criminals and those, including the police and politicians, who both support and depend on them. The “underground” economy from drugs, prostitution, protection rackets and other criminal activities does not contribute to the competitiveness of a country but reduces it. As corruption increases, the work ethic and productivity fall because people no longer need to work hard to earn money or keep jobs. In Trinidad and Tobago, the situation is compounded by the make-work, free-money projects run by the Government which are famous for “ghost” employees and gang- or “Community”- leaders as supervisors. In 2012, Transparency International’s Global Perception of Corruption Index ranked Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) at 80 out of 174 countries. In 2013, the country slid to 83; in 2014 it reached 85; in 2015 it actually rose to 72 but last year, 2016, it plummeted to 101. When taken together with its rise to Number 10 on the crime table and fall to 94th in the Competitiveness ratings it is clear that in this country, crime, corruption and competitiveness are all linked, perhaps inextricably. So what caused the drop in crime in the United States and other countries? Generally, the crime rate drops when the economy gets better, and rises when it sours. This may explain the situation in Trinidad where the prescriptions and best practices for dealing with a recession have been largely ignored including reducing, instead of increasing, taxes; putting more money into circulation, especially for infrastructural projects; supporting local investment;

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

encouraging foreign investment; and ensuring that productivity measures are in place and rigidly enforced. The Economist cites the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) as the best governed in the world and has highlighted approaches in their management of economic and crime issues that have been successful. These include small differences or gaps between the rich and poor; cohesive and cooperative communities; a strong social security network that helps to reduce crimes of desperation; and an extremely high focus on finding and punishing perpetrators of serious crime. Unlike the police in Trinidad and Tobago, those in the Nordic countries never give up. If they believe that spending 10 manyears on catching a single murderer or rapist will lead to success, they can, and will, do so. In 2012 there were 383 murders. In 2016, there were 463 murders. The solution or completion rate by the police averaged about 15%. Excluding domestic crime, the rate is about 11% or less. In the first twenty-five days of 2017, as the recession deepened, there were 40 murders. Unemployment has increased but so too have wages for the workers in the government-managed petroleum sector who are already among the highest-paid employees in the country. There have been no serious attempts

Global Competitiveness Index Variables Overall Ranking/Place Inefficient Government Bureaucracy Crime and Theft Poor Work Ethic in Labour Force Corruption

2012-2013 84 (out of 144) 17.7 16.9 15.2 12.7

2016-2017 94 (out of 138) 13.9 11.9 19.8 14.4

QUICK FACTS CRIME: (NUMBEO Crime Statistics) • In 2012, Trinidad and Tobago was not in the top 75. • Venezuela, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Malaysia and the United States were the top 5. • In 2017, Venezuela remains at No.1 but the other four at the top are Papua New Guinea, Honduras, South Sudan and South Africa (down to fifth place from second) in the five-year period. • Trinidad and Tobago is at number 10. • Puerto Rico is in eleventh place (down from third) and the United States, Number 5 in 2012, is in 53rd place. • In 2012-2013, when the US was fifth in the crime “hit” parade it was seventh on the Global Competitiveness Index. • This year, 2017, the US is No. 3 on that index and 53 on the crime charts. • Switzerland and Singapore were first and second on the Competitiveness Index in both periods. • In terms of crime, Switzerland was at 64 out of 75 countries in 2012 and 115 from out of 125 in 2017. • For the same periods, Singapore was 69th and 124th respectively and almost at the bottom of the global crime chart.

to insist on and implement productivity and performance targets even in the make-work, free-money government projects. However, direct and Value Added Taxes (VAT) have increased. The middle-class, those whose salaries pass through the tax net, is being so deeply driven into the valley of debt that they may soon disappear altogether. Small businesses are shutting down. The government-owned Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (PETROTRIN) will be privatised if a buyer is found who is naïve and wealthy enough to pay the huge sums earned by, and owed to, the highly inefficient labour force at a time when world-market oil and gas prices are extremely low and may get even lower. Given the link between crime and competitiveness, the increase in corruption and murders, the decrease in productivity and work ethic, it is evident that when the next global competitive report comes out, Trinidad and Tobago will have even more bad news. It might still be possible to reverse the fall the way the United States did in the five year period 2012-2017. However, this will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, if the same people continue to do the same things the same way and while the money drains out of the Central Bank and forensic audits become the norm, the bodies will continue to pile up at the Forensic Centre.

• In 2012 there were 383 murders in T&T. In 2016, there were 463 murders, an increase of 80. Other sources including the Trinidad Express and Police Complaints Authority (PCA) • In 2010 the police killed 49 people, in 2009 and 2014 they killed 46. Between 2000 and 2011, police killed 256 people. In 2015 the police were investigating 45 police killings. • The actual Police Complaints Authority (PCA) statistics show that in 2012 it investigated 22 fatal shootings, 16 non-fatal shootings, 4 deaths in police custody and 2 attempted murders. • Between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015, the PCA received 230 allegations of criminal behaviour involving the police. These included 7 fatal and 4 non-fatal shootings, 7 murders and 90 assaults, 16 larceny and 11 for misbehaviour in public office. QUICK FACTS CORRUPTION: (Transparency International Global Perception Of Corruption Index) • 2012: Ranked at 80 (out of 174 countries) • 2013: Ranked at 83 • 2014: Ranked at 85 • 2015: Ranked at 72 (an improvement of 13 places) • 2016: Ranked at 101(a drop of 29 places)




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Change Starts With Choice

HS 071310 Peas (dried) – US$ 7, 674, 000 HS 071320 Chickpeas – US$ 7, 557, 000 HS 071333 Kidney beans – US$ 4, 763, 000 HS 071340 Lentils (dried) – US$ 3, 945, 000 Within a home-gardening scenario, several peas and beans have proven to be successful. Expanded local production of these can bring about greater local biological diversity while allowing consumers to retain their tastes and preferences through creative import substitution strategies. Acknowledging that further feasibility studies are needed, it remains a fact that a large percentage of the T&T diet is dedicated to legumes or pulses. We must encourage greater local content to preserve food and nutrition security so that healthy and affordable food is available to the population at all times.

By Omardath Maharaj


he population of Trinidad and Tobago remains generally optimistic as the Government seeks to evenly share the burden of adjustment in the current and anticipated economic circumstances facing our country. This is without denying the fact that the cost of living, unemployment and economic hardship is on the rise hence the necessity for all of us to do more towards preserving food and nutrition security at the household level and for policymakers to act aggressively to stabilize sentiment. At the household level, one can discuss dubious consumer confidence in the quality of some foods offered for sale, whether imported or produced and processed locally or even question the impact of our food choices on the natural environment. Put together with family recreation, environmental protection, and efforts toward greater sustainability of the local food industry; opportunity exists for creative and innovative ways to get greater local content into the national diet. It requires that we move past traditional approaches if we expect different results. Rather than contemplating food as a financial burden, concerted effort must be put into encouraging food production at home and in public spaces, however small, which brings the greatest return within our environment – both economic and ecological. This must be supported by a greater broadcast of home gardening courses, seeds and seedling availability, and other forms of public awareness, education, and engagement by related Ministries and Agencies. It also opens opportunity for private intervention in the provision and dissemination of goods and services to this end. For example, according to UN COMTRADE statistics, between 2013-2015 Trinidad and Tobago would have imported over TT$ 115 million or 33, 461 tons in some peas and beans (dried forms) alone.

However, the overall strategy to be adopted must not merely be directed at ensuring food security for all, but must also achieve the consumption of adequate quantities of safe and good quality foods that together make up a healthy diet. Empirical evidence as revealed by the Ministries of Health and Education over the years suggest that, among other lifestyle diseases, there was an increase in obesity and dietary risk within the school-age population thereby impacting their future productivity and the cost of healthcare to our nation. Together with my daughters, we’ve set out on a new home gardening project. It not only strengthens my thoughts on the general shift of the family diet but supports their understanding of upcycling, homesteading and starting conversations and friendships around community and urban agriculture on our street. On a phased basis, growing your own fruits and vegetables helps to reduce carbon emissions by limiting travelling to supermarkets and stores, reduce chemical inputs in food production and its release in the natural environment as well as reduce food miles, among many other considerations. Home gardening allows us to know where our food comes from, how it was produced, and to appreciate the circumstances of the men and women who feed our country. Upcycling is a great way to reuse materials and reduce our footprint. At no cost, we obtained tires left at the roadside. From a creative idea suggested by a farmer friend at Superior Farms, we decided to use the discarded material as plant pots given the aridity and poor soil quality in our yard. Empirical evidence and an understanding of the local food industry suggest that over recent years, less and less people got involved in the food production sector as farmers. Fewer households were also getting involved because of a buoyant economy and other lifestyle changes. Home gardening should not only be considered if needed to plug any food and nutrition insecurity but as a necessity.

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

How can you be part of a movement to positively impact our country and your own livelihood in 2017? • Acquire basic planting tools. • Recruit relatives, friends and neighbours to share in your success before it happens. • Prepare yard space for the tires. If neither is available, use appropriate containers. • Start with the soil. Ensure it is loose; add compost, manure or organic matter. We mixed dirt, manure from small ruminants and peat moss from a hydroponic system after harvesting. • Make sure you plant in a sunny area, especially for vegetables, as they need 6-8 hours direct sunlight. • Water thoroughly, except when it rains. Here is when you rest. • Start small where you can manage the number of plants and tasks, and then scale up as the motivation, savings and appetite increases. Oh, remember to add some patience to process. Another choice we made was producing cheese at home. But this is another conversation on homesteading and self-sufficiency.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Meandering the Challenges and Opportunities of the Caribbean's Water and Wastewater Sector An interview with Mr. Alphonsus Daniel, President, Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) By Natalie Dookie


ater is Life and Sanitation is Dignity,' these are the watchwords of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA). Established in 1991 as a regional non-governmental organisation, the CWWA brings together water and sanitation stakeholders to advocate for the protection of public health and the promotion of sustainable development. A 2016 presentation by Dr. Justin Ram, Economics Director of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), stated that an average of 47.5Million Litres per Day (MLD) of potable water is consumed across the Region, with an average of 92% of the population having access to water. Trinidad and Tobago has the highest regional consumption rate 1,025 MLD, followed by Jamaica at 137MLD. Poor regional infrastructure and high levels of inefficiency account for Non-revenue Water (NRW) averages of 40 to 50% of the total water generated. According to Alphonsus Daniel, President, CWWA, "World Bank statistics show that approximately 32 Billion M3 of water is lost annually to leakage, and 16 Billion M3 as a result of non-revenue water losses due to theft and poor metering. In fact, globally as much as 35 to 60% of the water produced daily is wasted, resulting in an estimated US$14.6 Billion loss. in developing countries the level of NRW is much higher, averaging at 60%. Therefore, the principal challenges facing the regional water and wastewater sector are an ageing infrastructure coupled with a sustained lack of public sector investment. In Grenada, for example, there are existing pipelines which date as far back as 100 years old. Guyana, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands all average above 60% NRW, this is treated water which is lost as a result of leaks and 'potholes', the surface depressions on roads and highways. Inaccurate billing systems and corruption and theft are often cited as the second most important factors affecting the sector." "Climate change impact has emerged as one of the region's major long-term challenges as small island states are the most vulnerable and least able to adapt to these changes. Key regional water sector concerns are sea level rises which can result in saline intrusion of underground freshwater aquifers and divergent rainfall patterns leading to increased drought conditions or heavy precipitation. In Saint Kitts and Nevis which sources approximately 69% of its water underground, when it experiences severe drought due to a reduction in rainfall, it has to undertake

load shedding to manage its limited supply. Alternatively, the challenge faced by Dominica is increased rainfall resulting in flooding and landslides which has washed out critical water infrastructure." "Worldwide 80 to 90% of water used daily converts into wastewater which includes water used for the flushing of toilets, cooking, showers and the washing of clothes. There is a lack of sustainable wastewater technology in the Region, and as much as 90% of our mechanised sewage systems do not work. In fact, the Caribbean only treats 25 to 30% of its wastewater, and the rest goes into the rivers and seas." But it's not all doom and gloom in the water sector, Daniel shared his insights on regional projects, "Opportunities in the water sector abound as there are a lot of multi-lateral grants available for feasibility studies and conceptualisation of new projects. The sector requires extensive leak detection and mapping, pipeline replacement, upgrading of current infrastructure, investment in new systems and a renewed thrust for water management efficiency projects. The CDB is currently funding a study to design methods to de-silt the John Compton (Roseau) Dam in Saint Lucia. The Bahamas also recently undertook a NRW project with a goal of achieving 40% reduction over 10 years. When this project was signed in 2012, The Bahamas was experiencing a 58% NRW and losing 6.87 Million Gallons of Water per Day, within the first two years of implementation its Daily Water Loss was reduced by half. In addition, Belize has successfully invested in pipeline replacement and pressure management, and Jamaica received an Inter-American Development Bank grant to improve water supply sanitation across 18 communities. There are also a number of studies being developed under the United Nation's Green Climate Fund for water supply and sewerage, sea level rises and the protection of plants from flooding." "Green projects to build resilience against extreme weather events caused by climate change, such as the harvesting of rainwater and increased focus on water conservation, will begin to innovate the sector, and funding can be sought from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize and the OECS Secretariat. In Saint Kitts and Nevis retro-fitting is already taking place, as well as the advancement of 'green' projects to recycle

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

wastewater. Consumers can get involved by re-engineering their homes through the installation of low-flush toilets, low-usage shower heads, installation of water sensitive fixtures and solar pumps to name a few. There is an ongoing EU project incorporating the use of solar water heaters and waste sensitisation education for schools and other social infrastructure. The private sector should become more involved in these partnerships to retrofit and upgrade public spaces, and even industries." On the future of the Caribbean's water and wastewater sector, Daniel says, "The CWWA wants to work with regional stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the sector. There are a number of recommendations we would like implemented including increased regional cooperation with respect to the building of dams and other large scale infrastructure, reduction of NRW which can be considered a 'new' water source, and the adoption of sustainable technology which local operators are trained to maintain. In addition, the CWWA wants regional utilities to increase knowledge sharing and transfer, and opportunities for shared training and development. We are developing this experience through the Water Operators' Partnerships (WOP), and are undertaking our first initiative in Haiti, where we have already identified the areas for development

and approached the CDB for funding. Most importantly, the Caribbean Region needs a CARICOM water and wastewater sector policy, and the CWWA has been actively lobbying and advocating for this to become a realisation, it is through these shared interests and experiences, we will then be better positioned to collectively mitigate our current challenges."



Feature Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Investment and Development Official and Unoffical

Table 1 - Table Outlining Priority Sectors Official Government Framework - Areas identified as having many of the Ingredients necessary for Successful Penetration of international markets Agriculture and Agro- processing

InvesTT Website – Available industries Agribusiness

Maritime Services – shipbuilding, ship repair, dry docking and yachting services

Clean Technology

Fishing and Fish Processing

Creative Industries

Aviation Services – aircraft maintenance and repair

Downstream Energy

The Creative Industries – film, music, entertainment, fashion and design

Information and Communication Technology

Financial Services – making Trinidad and Tobago a regional financial centre


Software Design and Applications – making Trinidad and Tobago a technology and innovation centre

Maritime Industries

By Crystal Liverpool


he United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently forecast that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to Latin America and the Caribbean could decline by as much as 10 percent in 2016. Waning business confidence as evidenced by softening private consumption has resulted in weak domestic demand coupled with potential currency depreciations. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there has been a decline in announced Greenfield projects which declined from 17 percent from 2014, to $73 Billion, led by an 86 percent decline in the extractive sector in 2015. In Trinidad and Tobago, 2015 figures indicate a fall in direct investment by 52 percent to $US 583 Million from US $1,214 million in 2014. Added to this, commercial banks have increased their holdings abroad resulting in an enormous decrease of net foreign assets from $US 66 million in 2014 to $US 421 in 2015 – a decline of 738 percent. In the investment sphere, UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor October 2016 highlights the role of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in determining trends through their Survey of Investment Promotion Agencies. The industries that are regarded by IPAs are generally felt to be reflective of the areas for development, economic endowments and specialization. If IPAs are any indication there are stark differences between developed and developing regions. For developed countries, the trend for IPAs is to cover information and communication, professional services, computers and electronics as the most promising industries while IPAs for developing and transition regions are covering industries such as agriculture, food and beverages and utilities. Specifically for Latin America and the Caribbean, IPAs selection of the most promising industries for attracting FDI locally were in the areas of Food and Beverages, Other Manufacturing and Information and Communication. In comparing the priority government sectors in the Official Government Policy Framework and the industries featured by our local IPA’s website (, indeed there appears to be a degree of consistency with the exception of a few sectors – namely Fish and Fish processing, Software Design and application, Aviation Services, Clean Technology, Aviation Services and Financial Services.


Although fish and fish processing is highlighted as a priority industry in the Official Government Policy Framework and can be viewed as a sub-sector of agriculture and agribusiness there are no investment opportunities specific to fish and fish processing that are being publicly promoted. Similarly, for aviation services and financial services. Other available investment projects such as a Power Interconnection project and Silicon Industrial Cluster for example fall in the area of Clean Technology, an area which is not highlighted as a priority in the Official Government Policy. The same is true for the Blue Haven Hotel et al for the area of Tourism. This comparison assumes that priority areas for trade and industry should also be the same priority areas for investment. But is this necessarily so? According to the policy framework, ‘Diversification is not easily achieved in a small country of limited land mass and a relatively small population… it requires the building up of several different capabilities, such as entrepreneurship, management, a culture of innovation and an ability to adapt quickly to changes in the global economy’. Thus, while having a comparative advantage in a product or industry can allow local firms to successfully penetrate foreign markets, developing a culture of innovation and ability to adapt quickly to changes in the global economy can only be brought about through this competition. This can be a result of joint ventures with foreign firms or a commercial presence of a competing firm in Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, from an administrative point of view, there are benefits to the consistent promotion of priority sectors in all spheres – transparency, predictability and synergy between our state enterprises which occurs when there is unwavering clarity on the sectors and subsectors that are being pursued. This is not to say that the Government should discard any advances for investment but instead develop and promote a Guidebook on the general rules for investors and procedures to contact the relevant authorities for consideration of exceptions.

Feature Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

In light of the negative global outlook of declining Greenfield projects it is encouraging that the Government has indicated that a number of projects are being considered for development in the area of Maritime, Tourism and Manufacturing such as: • the construction of two marinas; • the development of dry docking and ship repair industry; • the development of sites and facilities in Maracas, Las Cuevas, Manzanilla and Vessigny; • the development of infrastructure and amenities for cruise passengers; and • the completion of phase one of the Tamana InTech Park. Indeed, the completion of the projects can provide a much needed stimulus to economic growth outside of the energy sector. However, as part of the long-term strategy of diversification, there is a need to actively seek out private sector partnerships, both local and foreign, to ensure efficient management and the development of a culture of innovation.




Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

FOREX: Bad Management or Bad Spend? By T’Vaughn Lewis, Trade & Business Development Officer - T&T Chamber


he lingering issue of foreign exchange shortages, though not a new issue, has certainly secured a top spot in the minds of businessmen and consumers alike in Trinidad and Tobago. Major banks and other financial institutions have begun to ration foreign exchange. Alongside rationing, we have seen the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD) depreciate five percent against the USD between the period January 2016 to December 2016. Moreover, as revenue streams continue to dwindle and fiscal debt balloons, it seems that further currency depreciation and tighter rationing methods could be the order of the day as we go deeper into 2017. Managing the Economy…or Not As previously stated, these issues are not new, nor is the issue of managing our economy efficiently. World Bank data, for the period 1973- 19821 – a period when T&T benefitted from an oil price boom – highlights how current gross domestic product (GDP) burgeoned exponentially from US$1.309 billon to US$8.14 billion. This was an increase of approximately 522 percent in a matter of just nine years! By the year 1980, net foreign exchange reserves stood at fourteen months of imports - one of the highest in the region at the time. By 1986 however, Trinidad and Tobago’s proceeds from oil revenue fell by US$719 million; unemployment climbed from seven percent in 1981 to seventeen percent by 1986. Literally overnight, the economic fortune of Trinidad and Tobago was reversed. The then Multinational Monitor was moved to comment that, “…by the beginning of the 1980s…the oil boom slowed as quickly as it had come; production in the country declined and Trinidad and Tobago's petroleum income fell. Crude oil production declined from over 80 million barrels in 1978 to 61.6 million barrels in 1986.” The government had, simply and abjectly ,failed to use the rents from the energy sector during the 1970s to meaningfully diversify other sectors of the economy - and the deleterious effects were clear to see. Trinidad and Tobago literally moved from “rags to riches” and back to “rags” overnight. Businesses and consumers were forced to line up at commercial banks with their Exchange Control Order {ECO}2 forms to take to the Central Bank to acquire foreign exchange. What about today? Have we learnt from that ordeal? Trinidad and Tobago faces a similar situation like that of the mid1980s. Central Bank data shows that from the period January 2014 to December 2016, the average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Crude oil price fell from US$93 per barrel to US$43.20 per barrela decline of fifty-four percent. Likewise, Henry Hub natural gas prices slid from US$4.40 per mmbtu3 to US$2.5 per mmbtu; this represented a forty-three percent reduction. The economy contracted by 6.7 percent as at June 2016 year-on-year. Since the collapse of oil and gas prices in 2014, the Trinidad and Tobago economy has lost

TT$20 billion in annual revenue. Today, similar to the the mid1980s, businesses and consumers are faced with severe currency shortages. Although we do not have to contend with the ECO form today, the scarcity of foreign exchange has led to damaged credit and severed credit relationships; a thriving black and parallel currency markets; as well as further currency devaluations. Food Import Bill-US$4 Billion? As at May 2016, approximately eight-five percent of our foodstuff was imported and valued approximately US$4 billion. The prevalence of this epidemic was reinforced when the former Governor of the Central Bank, Jwala Rambarran, outlined the top consumers of foreign exchange in a controversial, but highly statement. The top demanders, interestingly, were firms that specialized in importation (mainly food and other consumer durables), distribution and automobile dealership. Tellingly it can be seen that when oil and gas prices were high, imports surged at the expense of the local manufacturing and agriculture sector. The procyclicality of our economy was vividly shown between 2012 to 2014 the era when energy prices were in their “golden ages”. In this period, imports in the balance of visible trade rose from TT$43.97 million to TT$ 89.554; the net public sector debt was inflated from 38.3% to 46.3%; and TTD-USD rate appreciated by 0.41 percent. Ultimately, as “petro-dollars” flowed freely into the economy, both public and private borrowing became cheaper and the TTD became overvalued against the USD, i.e., imports became cheaper at virtually every stratum in the economy. Some argue that the ongoing strain placed on the Central Bank to meet the shortfall between demand and supply is as a result of consumers' insatiable demand for foreign goods and services. This was evident in the voluminous number of credit card transactions which prompted the Minister of Finance to implement an Online Purchase Tax (OPT) to stem the hemorrhaging of foreign exchange to foreign merchants. One bank even went as far as applying a monthly limit on credit card transactions originating outside of Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to manage the situation. The Way Forward So which is it? Bad management? Or bad consumer spending? From the analysis above, it is clear that there is joint responsibility for the ongoing foreign exchange situation by successive administrations, firms and consumers.. Better management and saving of petrochemical rents throughout the economy could have been realized through better investment and capital expenditure. There also needs to be a dynamic shift in the way businesses think of doing business. Emphasis – particularly in the short term - should be on businesses that are net exporters who earn their own sources of foreign currency, even as businesses are nudged into more exportoriented activitiy. As such directed investment should be placed in areas that have significant export potential. Lastly, consumers need to understand that their consumption patterns affect the activity of local businesses. Choice is a reality of the modern world, and businesses supply the goods and services that consumers demand. At the same time e, consumers must come face to face with the reality that our habits must be tailored with our revenue prospects as we go forward as a nation. Above all, there needs to be a concerted effort to drive diversification, transformation and innovation in our economy. For many decades, there have been discussions and recommendations, but we have now reached a point where action is the only solution.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Surviving job loss

By Dixie-Ann Dickson

“Why is this happening to me at this point in my life?”


his was the question that rang out in Kelly’s (not her real name) mind when her employer called her into a room and announced that she was being retrenched. The 32-year-old petroleum engineer wasn’t surprised when it actually happened, as the 12-year-old oil company was on a retrenchment drive. She was the last four of 20 employees in her department to be sent home. Even though Kelly was able to live through two previous episodes of retrenchment, when the reality struck, it was a hard pill to swallow. “I had just gotten married five months before my retrenchment, I was four months pregnant and I was at a good place in my career and everything was falling nicely into place,” Kelly expressed, as she went down memory lane to November 2015. Kelly said it was a very emotional time for her. “I first felt disappointed because I contributed to the formative years of the company and I worked my way up from ground zero to being the “go to” person in my department. Kelly said she also felt angry because she was happy with her career. Kelly’s job was to analyse reservoirs to determine its feasibility for exploration.

One year and two months later Kelly’s major challenge is securing another job. “It’s difficult getting a job outside the energy sector, as it’s perceived that your skills and expertise are specific to that sector.” On the contrary, Kelly said she developed other skill sets namely project management and did other courses, in order to become more marketable. Kelly’s frustration grew. “I tried everything possible even “dumbing down” my resume to reflect

my CXC passes only and still no success. At that point Kelly said she gave up mentally. So how is Kelly navigating her way through this economic challenging time, well with no savings and her future plans on a standstill, Kelly says she is thankful for her husband and family support. However, with one salary, the food bill has been cut; eating out and buying clothes are no longer options. Kelly said it’s a major adjustment to the lifestyle she had. “It’s been tough. I feel sad and angry at times, as I questioned my decision to work for my previous employer, as opposed to another job offer I got at the time and they have not retrenched any of its workers,” Kelly said. Known for her go-getter attitude, one that keeps her fighting, Kelly’s coping mechanism now is the joy she gets from spending quality time with her son and watching him grow. “This is my job now-taking care of my son and husband, until I can add financial value to my family.” For Denise (not her real name) it’s prayer and faith in God that is giving her the strength to manage daily. She is also thankful for her family’s support because she didn’t know how she would make it. With four dependents, reading for her first degree and completing a diploma in events management, Denise said it’s not an easy task. “I am spending more than what is coming in.” Denise is thankful she has her make-up artistry and events management skills to help pull her through. I have been fortunate to tap into my network and assist with a few small jobs. “This brings in some income as little as it is,” she remarked. Denise was retrenched five months ago as an executive and administrative assistant. She applied for several jobs and attended four interviews, but nothing materialised According to the Central



Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

Bank data, for the past three years unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago has been on the rise. From 2014 to 2016, the unemployment rate consistently rose from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent and up to Q2 in 2016 the rate was 4.4 percent. However, as early as April 2016, Minister of Labour Jennifer BaptistePrimus suspected that the figure was over 5000. One of the major factors cited for this rise in unemployment is retrenchment. Retrenchment is not only devastating to the individual, but has far-reaching implications on the individual’s family, society and the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, as economist Dr Ronald Ramkissoon said, it’s expected that unemployment would continue to rise for approximately the next two years. While it’s devastating for some and thousands have been sent home, Dr Ramkissoon explained that once unemployment is under five percent, the economy is still considered to be at full employment, which translates to 'things are not so bad’ --yet. But this may not be a view shared by the average ‘man on the street’, as he/she wrestles with the financial pressures and copes with the challenges that come with being

unemployed, while waiting for the economy to turn around. Salaries are often a company's highest bill and in an attempt to increase profitability and competitiveness, in an economy under stress, companies often downsize. As Dr Ramkissoon explained, the sad reality is some companies are unable to hire, as they have to manage their finances in order to stay afloat, and unfortunately employees may have to accept little or no wage increase. His recommendation for a turnaround in the economy is for more emphasis should be placed on growing the export sector. According to, a job seems to imply a person's way of seeing themselves; it is a measure of their self worth. Loss of one's work is more than the loss of income; it deeply affects the concept of self identity. The site also gave some tips in coping with loss of jobs, such as: Be honest with those around you about your retrenchment; Do not blame yourself; Do not to withdraw yourself from society or potential opportunities; Begin networking as soon as you can; and Seek financial advice and plan the use of your severance package.


What every business person should know Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Upcoming Trade Shows and Exhibitions TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: TIC 2017- 6 th -9 th July 2017 TIC 2017 is an annual trade and investment convention that attracts exhibitors and investors from all over the world. It is truly a multi-sectoral tradeshow that endeavours to bring together local, regional and international businesses players. For this year, TIC 2017 will offer 200 Booths, 500+ regional and international buyers, including Country Missions and representatives of large regional distributors, 2,000 local professionals and decision makers from the private and public sector, 800 small business entrepreneurs; multi-sectoral exhibits from 200 companies (50% local, 20% regional, 30% international) with country pavilions from around the world; media coverage from throughout the region. TIC 2017 will be hosted at the Centre of Excellence, 17A Macoya Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad. For further information please contact: TIC 2017 Secretariat, #42 Tenth Avenue, Barataria, Trinidad or Email: Exhibitors; Buyers or Website: TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: The 6th Caribbean Facilities Management Conference & Expo 2017 - July 17th -18th, 2017 The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the month of May will be hosting its 6th Caribbean Facilities Management Conference & Expo 2017 through the efforts of its Facilities Management and Maintenance Committee. This year’s event theme is – “In Praise of FM: Delivering Value in Uncertain Times”. It is targeted mainly towards professionals involved in the management, maintenance, sustainability of buildings, facilities and infrastructure, Business Continuity and Risk Management, this Conference is a MUST attend! Attending firms will: • Gain key competencies so you can deliver more value to your organisation; • Improve your facility management costs and your operational efficiency; • Earn CPD certification through your attendance; • Enhance and supplement your knowledge in specific areas of FM best practices; • Gain new ways of thinking to drive success in your role as core FM professional or if you are in an adjunct role For further information please contact: Mrs. Sharmin Boodoo–(868) 6376966 x 1252 | (Registration);

Ms. Hadassah Farrell – (868) 637-6966 x 1285| or Ms. Lauren Maynard-Edwards– (868) 637-6966 x 1239 | (Sponsorship and Exhibitors) or Website: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FIME Miami, Florida - August 8th 10th, 2017 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 knowledge sharing and business networking platform for healthcare trade professionals in the region. 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 21st -24th, 2017 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:

Finance & Economy


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Economic and Financial Statistics Regional Indicators Country

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

Gross Domestic Product, constant prices: (% change) 2016 2017 2018 1.999 2.400 2.700 0.263 0.991 2.165 1.700 1.700 2.000 0.012 2.556 2.242 1.548 2.884 2.649 5.900 4.500 4.500 2.968 2.685 2.685 4.025 4.077 3.934 1.500 3.248 3.498 1.529 2.000 2.400 3.527 3.534 3.393 1.531 1.897 1.997 1.780 2.520 2.824 -6.976 0.500 1.052 -2.750 2.285 3.621

Current Account Balance: (% change) 2016 2017 2018 7.004 7.423 7.423 -0.210 0.368 0.895 0.150 1.676 2.980 -1.157 -1.877 -1.148 -0.048 1.246 2.569 -0.778 -0.922 -0.309 3.550 3.453 3.471 -2.894 -3.425 -3.059 -1.019 -0.899 -0.958 6.960 7.000 7.000 1.887 0.343 0.759 2.816 2.572 2.476 0.125 0.273 0.397 -5.278 -1.661 0.306 -9.380 -13.913 -12.510

Current Government Primary Net Lending/Borrowing: (% of GDP) 2016 2017 2018 -9.38 -10.186 -10.356 -11.371 -10.692 -8.775 -5.317 -6.034 -6.305 -12.412 -9.916 -9.257 -13.093 -14.235 -14.617 -2.391 -2.694 -3.05 -12.651 -14.13 -14.395 2.089 0.43 -0.591 0.42 -0.984 -1.705 -3.307 -3.629 -3.714 -17.221 -19.386 -19.184 -6.659 -6.728 -6.943 -23.006 -22.046 -19.546 -4.206 4.221 2.986 -8.66 -7.171 -5.458

Source: IMF World Economic Database, 2016

International Indicators

Ease of Doing Business

Advanced Economics - Unemployment Rate (%)

The Doing Business Report utilizes a comprehensive index which measures aspects of regulation that enable or prevent private sector businesses from starting, operating and expanding. These regulations are measured using 11 indicator sets: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation.

Country Germany Japan Spain United Kingdom United States

2015 4.63 3.37 22.08 5.40 5.28

2016e 4.29 3.18 19.40 4.96 4.90

2017e 4.50 3.20 17.99 5.20 4.77

Source: OECD Statistics Database, 2016

"The 2017 Doing Business Report ranked nations out of 190 countries using the distance to frontier score (DTF score). This captures the gap between best practice and teh respective economy's performance across teh entire sample of 41 indicators for 10 Doing Business topics.

Emerging Economics - Unemployment Rate (%)

Ease of Doing Business Ranking


Country 2015 8.53 4.05 5.58 25.37

Brazil China Russia South Africa

2016e 11.21 4.05 5.84 26.32

2017e 11.08 4.05 5.88 27.03

Trinidad and Tobago Jamaica Barbados

2015 DTF Score 64.24 67.79 60.57

Rank 142 121 169

2016 2017 DTF Score Rank DTF Score Rank 62.58 67.27 56.85

152 127 182

60.99 67.54 57.42

159 130 180

Source: OECD Statistics Database, 2016

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 “ 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 October - Debt Recovery & Administrative Services Ltd., November Venture Credit Union Cooperative Ltd.,

December- The Beacon Insurance Co. Ltd. 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 The World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update released in January 2017 projects an uptick in economic activity for 2017 and 2018. Global output growth is projected to be 3.4% and 3.6% for 2017 and 2018, respectively. However, there still exists a lot of uncertainty surrounding the policy stance of the United States’ (US) new administration and its subsequent effects on the global community. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), oil prices are also expected to increase by 19.9% in 2017 and by 3.6% in 2018. Prices have already experienced a modest incline subsequent to the enactment of the pledge by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to remove 1.2 Mn barrels per day (bbl/d) from global production, which commenced on January 1st 2017. From the November 30th 2016 meeting of OPEC to January 18th 2017, prices1 rose from US$49.41 per bbl/d to US$52.45 per bbl/d, an increase of approximately 6%. As a result of this price increase, there lies the possibility that more shale producers may be prompted to supply, resulting in a cancelling effect on OPEC’s efforts to remove surpluses in the market. Growth in the Advanced Economies Overall, the advanced economies’ output growth is projected to increase by 1.9% and 2% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. According to the WEO January 2017 Update, the United States’ economy recorded stronger activity in the second half of 2016 and is approaching full employment. Their estimated growth for 2016 stands at 1.6% and is projected to increase by 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018. Growth projections for Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany have experienced an upward revision from what was previously indicated in the October 2016 WEO Update. Spain’s output growth for 2016 is now estimated to be 3.2% (which is 0.1% higher than the October, 2016 projection) and their output is expected to increase by 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018. The United Kingdom’s 2016 growth estimation is 2.0%. Contrary to expectations, domestic demand held up after the Brexit vote and their growth projection for 2017 and 2018 now stand at 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively. The 2016 growth estimation for Japan now stands at 0.9%, which is a 0.4% improvement from the previous estimate in October of 0.5%. Their growth projections are now 0.8% in 2017 and 0.5% in 2018. Germany’s 2016 estimate remained at 1.7% (there was no change from the October, 2016 WEO Update), however, their 2017 projection increased by 0.1% and now stands at 1.5%. Their 2018 projection also stands at 1.5%. Generally, the advanced economies have experienced an improvement in their economic activity.

BRICS Economies Growth Prospects Emerging and developing nations have experienced worse growth prospects although only two of the BRICS2 economies, i.e. Brazil and China experienced downward revisions when compared to the October 2016 WEO Update. Brazil’s economy is currently facing a recession and recorded weaker than anticipated economic activity in 2016 (their growth estimate fell from -3.3% to -3.5% in 2016). Growth prospects for 2017 have also declined from 0.5% to 0.2% but is projected to increase by 1.5% in 2018. India’s growth estimate fell from 7.6% to 6.6% in 2016 and from 7.6% to 7.4% in 2017. According to the IMF, this was primarily due to the negative consumption shock brought on by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative. However, growth is projected to be 7.7% in 2018, indicating a 0.4% increase from 2017 figures. South Africa, Russia and China experienced increases in their projections. South Africa’ s estimate for growth in 2016 is 0.3% (an increase of 0.2% from October 2016). Furthermore, the annual change in their growth is projected to be 0.8% and 1.6% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Russia’s economic performance was a little better than anticipated partially because of a slight uptick in oil prices. Their 2016 growth estimation was -0.8% (from the October 2016 WEO Update) and now stands at -0.6%. For 2017, their growth projection remained at 1.1% and is expected to increase by 0.1% in 2018 to 1.2%. In the case of China, their 2017 growth forecast was revised upwards from 6.2% to 6.5% (change of 0.3% from October 2016) due to expectations of continued policy support, according to the IMF. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) area, experienced weakening growth prospects for 2016; it was estimated that growth would be -0.6% but this figure was revised downwards by 0.1% to -0.7%. This is the second time that this figure was revised downwards since April 2016. The 2017 forecast also reflected a downward change of 0.4% from 1.6%, thus it is now 1.2%. However, growth is expected to increase in 2018 by 2.1%. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, their growth figure was estimated to be -2.7% in 2016 and 2.3% for 2017. Although the Trinidad and Tobago economy has been struggling with negative growth for several consecutive quarters since 2014, economic activity is projected to increase in 2017 as production will commence on the Juniper field. This coupled with the uptick in oil prices may partially account for the improvement in output growth.


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

Nine Month 2016 review Local Market Summary Indices movement for the Nine Month period ended September 30, 2016 (NM16) was varied on the local market with both the Composite and All Trinidad and Tobago Indices posting declines while the Cross Listed Index ended in positive territory. The Composite Index fell marginally, down 0.47 per cent or 5.47 points to close the period under review at 1,156.83. The All Trinidad and Tobago Index slipped 6.74 per cent or 131.37 points to end at 1,817.13 and the Cross Listed Index increased 33.53 per cent or 16.60 points to 66.11. In the Third Quarter (Q316) alone, the Composite Index, All Trinidad and Tobago Index and Cross Listed Index posted gains of 1.87 per cent, 1.63 per cent and 2.78 per cent respectively. Overall NM16 saw 13 stocks advancing and 13 stocks declining.

For NM16, volumes traded on the First Tier Market rose 41.85 per cent with 72,335,974 shares crossing the floor compared to 50,996,484 shares in the comparable nine month period in 2015. Q316 on Q315, market activity was up a minimal 0.03 per cent from 13,966,215 shares (Q315) to 13,970,570 shares (Q316). When compared to the previous quarter (Q216), trading activity was down 53.27 per cent from

29,897,310 shares. The value of shares traded in NM16 rose 9.97 per cent to $724,058,358.12 from $658,401,834.95 in NM15. Q316 on Q315, the value of shares traded fell 1.07 per cent from $199,687,455.20 (Q315) to $197,549,713.69 (Q316). In NM16, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCBJ) was the volume leader capturing 19.42 per cent of the total volume traded with 14,049,630 shares changing hands. Next was Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) with 19.02 per cent of the trades for the nine month period or 13,759,369 shares. The third volume leader was JMMB Group Limited (JMMBGL) with 18.49 per cent of the market or 13,375,844 shares traded. This was followed by Sagicor Financial Corporation (SFC) with 6.80 per cent of market activity or 4,921,555 shares crossing the floor of the exchange. Trinidad and Tobago NGL Limited (NGL) was next in line capturing 4.33 per cent of the trade For NM16, declines were led by Readymix volume in NM16 with 3,133,177 shares (West Indies) Limited (RML), which fell 41.46 per cent or $7.79 to $11.00. National changing ownership. Enterprises Limited (NEL) was next, down On the TTD Mutual Fund Market, 6,032,228 38.00 per cent or $6.22 to $10.15. L.J. CLICO Investment Fund (CIF) units traded Williams ‘B’ Limited (LJWB) followed, in NM16 with a value of $136,366,241.80 slipping 28.28 per cent or $0.28 to close at compared to NM15 which saw 13,480,672 $0.71. units traded with a value of $304,745,561.36. CIF’s price fell 0.62 per cent or $0.14 to Third Quarter Dividend Payments close the period under review at $22.61. Additionally, 915,153 Praetorian Property Mutual Fund (PPMF) units traded with a value of $2,404,061.77 and 1,239,392 units of Calypso Macro Index Fund (CALYP) traded with a value of $30,914,359.02. PPMF’s share price fell 15.86 per cent or $0.49 to end NM16 at $2.60 while CALYP’s share price declined 12.00 per cent or $3.00 to $22.00. The top performer for NM16 was GraceKennedy Limited (GKC), up an outstanding 88.89 per cent or $1.20 to close the nine month period at $2.55. The second major advance was FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited (FCI), registering a 38.72 per cent gain or $1.94 Highlights for the Third Quarter of 2016 to end at $6.95. NCBJ followed, rising 23.81 September 2016 per cent or $0.50 to close at $2.60. • Massy Holdings Ltd. (“the Company”)

Finance & Economy Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

informed its Barbados Registered Shareholders that the Company and the Barbados Stock Exchange Inc. (“BSE”) have agreed to an extension to the original date set for the de-listing of the Company’s Common Shares from the BSE. The effective de-listing date shall now be December 31, 2016. All Barbados Registered Shareholders will therefore continue to have the option to trade in the Company’s shares on the BSE until December 31, 2016.

Digital Cable TV and Broadband Internet services. Green Dot has been operating in the Trinidad market for over 10 years and has established a strong customer base. The company has also recently expanded into Suriname and Grenada.

• The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited (TTSE) received notice from GKC that at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held at the Company’s headquarters in downtown Kingston on • Agostini’s Limited held a Special General July 11th 2016, the following resolutions Meeting of shareholders on Friday were unanimously passed: September 23, 2016 at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel at Invaders Bay, Port of Spain. The 1. By way of an Ordinary Resolution: purpose of the meeting was to approve the that each of the ordinary shares in the following transaction that was recommended capital of the company be subdivided in three ordinary shares of no par value with by the Board of Directors:effect from August 11th 2016. 1. Purchase of Vemco Limited from Victor E. Mouttet Limited by Caribbean 2. By way of a Special Resolution: that Distribution Partners Limited (our joint to facilitate the subdivision of shares venture company with Goddard Enterprises aforesaid, that Article 4A of Form 1A of Limited) for a fair enterprise value of $277.9 the Articles of the company be and is million and at a value net of debt of $177.3 hereby amended by the increase in the million as was determined by KPMG maximum number of shares which the company is entitled to issue from Barbados. 400,000,000 to 1,200,000,000. 2. Issuance to Victor E. Mouttet Limited (VEML) of 10,399,530 new common shares 3. By way of an Ordinary Resolution: in the capital of Agostini’s Limited, and that all the shares in the Company which are not yet issued be converted into stock 3. The Business Combination Agreement to when issued and fully paid. be entered into among Agostini’s, VEML, Vemco Limited, CDPL, CDP Trinidad In light of the above, the TTSE advised Limited and Goddard Enterprises Limited; that the stock split would result in an The transaction will be based on an increase in the number of GKC shares from Agostini’s Limited share price of $17.05 and 331,577,631 to 994,732,893. The price of the Goddard Enterprises Limited will pay stock would also be split by three. The Agostini’s Limited $88.65 million for their price change was effective on Tuesday, 09th August, 2016 and was based on the 50% shareholding in CDPL. stock’s closing price as at Monday, 08th August, 2016. August 2016 • 7,777,660 shares of Flavorite Foods Limited (FFL) was de-listed from the Trinidad and July 2016 Tobago Stock Exchange Limited (TTSE) • Sagicor Financial Corporation (“the effective Thursday 11th August, 2016. The Company”) announced that further to the de-listing order was granted pursuant to an grant of approval by its shareholders at a application for de-listing made by the TTSE. meeting held on June 8, 2016 the Company On July 27th 2016, the Board of has continued as an exempted company Commissioners considered the application under the laws of Bermuda with effect from July 20, 2016 under the name Sagicor and approved the de-listing. Financial Corporation Limited. • One Caribbean Media Limited (OCM) entered into an agreement to purchase a 51% • In view of Sagicor Financial stake in Green Dot Limited, providers of Corporation’s redemption of its

outstanding unconverted Convertible Redeemable Preference Shares, the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited (TTSE) suspended trading of the Sagicor Financial Corporation US$1.00 6.5% Convertible Redeemable Preference Share (SFCP) effective Thursday 14th July 2016. • Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) announced its acquisition of an additional 19% shareholding in Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited (RBGL), moving its shareholding to 70%. This comes further to the Notices published on May 6, 2016 and June 10, 2016, advising of the opening and subsequent extension of the Offer Period for RFHL to acquire the remaining shareholding in RBGL. The Offer Period officially closed on June 24, 2016, after 45 days. The transaction, which resulted in the Holding Company’s acquisition of an additional two hundred and eighty-five thousand and forty two (285,042) shares at a price of EC$45.00 per share, has strengthened its position as the single largest shareholder in that bank. RFHL earlier held a 51% shareholding in its Grenadian subsidiary. Fixed Income Market Summary for the Third Quarter of 2016 According to the latest Monetary Policy Announcement issued by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), headline inflation rose to 3.10 per cent on a year-onyear basis in August 2016, up from 2.90 per cent in July 2016 and a decline from 4.00 per cent a year earlier. Food inflation increased from 6.80 per cent in July 2016 to 7.20 per cent in August 2016. In September 2016, the yields on the 3month, 6-month and 1-year Open Market Operations (OMOs) stood at 1.20 per cent, 1.75 per cent and 2.80 per cent respectively from 0.84 per cent, 1.25 per cent and 2.35 per cent a year earlier. 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 •

Key Rates

Energy Prices

Global Market Indices

Energy Update


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Progress With Cross-Border Gas

By David Renwick, Energy Journalist HBM (Gold)


he day when supplies of gas derived from cross-border reservoirs between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela arrive in Trinidad for use in liquefied natural gas (LNG) or petrochemical production, still seems some distance away. The two governments agreed in May, 2016, to expedite the conclusion of arrangements to develop the cross-border reserves in the Manatee/Loran field, first signedoff in August, 2010, almost six years ago. The total amount of gas in Manatee/Loran was certified as 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with 7.3 tcf on the Venezuelan side and the remaining 2.7 tcf in Trinidad and Tobago waters. Venezuela originally wanted the first tranche of the unitised gas sent to the mainland but subsequently conceded that it was more easily monetised in Trinidad, which already has extensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemicals-producing facilities in place. Industry analysts suggest that cross-border gas is unlikely to start flowing to Trinidad and Tobago before 2022 and that the initial users will be the petrochemical facilities at the Point Lisas industrial estate in South-central Trinidad, rather than Atlantic LNG in the south west. The belief is that the petrochemical companies will be willing to pay more than Atlantic is prepared to do. At the time of writing, natural gas was trading at US$3.80 per mmbtu on the New York mercantile exchange. The 2022 time frame is to allow for “efficient and effective development,” according to the Unitisation agreement. As CONTACT readers will imagine, commercialisation of crossborder reservoirs, whether oil or gas, is not an easy undertaking. The Manatee/Loran field has a surface area of 209.42 sq km, comprising a part of block 6d on the Trinidad and Tobago side and block 2 in Venezuela’s Plataforma Deltana region.

It contains reservoirs QP120, QP130, QP140, QP160 and QP180, as technically identified by the two parties. QP195 was to be included after the parties confirmed its estimated total volume of gas. Reservoir QP80, was, however, excluded because, based on available data, “there was evidence”, according to the words of the unitisation agreement, that “its tested gas accumulations are located solely in Venezuela.” But since monetisation will initially take place in Trinidad and Tobago, it will benefit most from the activities associated with the marketing of the gas. Reserves redetermination, according to the unitisation agreement, can be conducted “after one year but not later than three years” from the date of first production. The unit operator, Royal Dutch Shell has to complete its development plan for Manatee/Loran by 2nd Q, 2017. While Manatee/Loran development remains under the radar, more public action is proceeding with respect to Venezuela’s Dragon gas discovery, located in the Gulf of Paria 25 miles north of the Paria peninsula. Dragon is one of the four fields in the Mariscal Sucre area discovered by Venezuelan state energy company, PdVSA, many years ago, which have lain undeveloped since then. The others are Patao, Mejillones and Rio Caribe, which themselves, it is assumed, will be developed as markets arise. Venezuela has agreed that about 100 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) will be sent to Trinidad, in 2017, to help relieve what has been described as a gas shortage locally. A c c o r d i n g t o analysts, Dragon will be capable of delivering 300 mmcfd from the four wells expected to be drilled. PdVSA has granted permission to the French company Technip to develop both Dragon and Patao, through an engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) contract. If, and when, all four discoveries are producing, a total of 1.2 billion cubic feet a day (bncfd) is expected, which along with gas from the west of the country, will make Venezuela nearly self-sufficient in this commodity. The gas will bring 28,000 b/d of condensate along with it. Manatee/Loran are not the only cross-border discoveries between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela by any means. There is also Manakin/Coquina to the east. According to energy ministry officials “on-going discussions are also taking place with Venezuela on this pair of cross-border discoveries.” Gas from cross-border sources is likely to be only a modest portion of the gas coming into the Trinidad and Tobago system in the years ahead. Fields within the country’s own territorial borders will be the predominant providers of gas going forward. They already contribute a total of about 3.8 billion cubic feet daily (bn cfd), which has been the average for 2016 up to September, the latest available data in the possession of CONTACT. There are four main suppliers of gas to NGC – bpTT, the leader by far, Royal Dutch Shell (BG), EOG Resources and BHPBilliton. The importance of gas to the economy explains why Trinidad and Tobago was so eager to do a deal with Venezuela. If gas

Energy Update


Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

stopped flowing what do you think would happen? For a start, much of the country would be plunged into darkness, since electricity is generated by natural gas (though T and TEC does have contingency back-up plans for the use of fuel oil or diesel). The Petrochemical producers at Point Lisas would also have to cease producing, since their raw material is mainly gas. Of course, gas can be imported via pipeline or in liquefied form (shipping gas in its compressed form is still in its infancy) but there is yet no gas pipeline coming into Trinidad or Tobago (and if either were the receiving point, another pipeline would have to be built to carry it on). Small amounts of LNG can be traded in cylinders carried by ship but the facilities would still be needed for regasification in the receiving country. The key to our security in this matter is therefore more gas field development at home, which is why projects such as bpTT’s Juniper are so important. With a production capacity of about 59 million standard cubic feet a day (mmcfd), Juniper should make a significant contribution to overall gas delivery in the country. Juniper will be tied-in to bpTT’s Mahogany B platform by August, 2017, joining Mahogany A and Savonette, which also use Mahogany B as a hub. Of course, such connections usually mean the platform has to cease producing its own gas for a period of time, which reduces total gas supply but the company is said to be working closely with NGC to minimise the impact on the availability of gas.

Juniper is bpTT’s first subsea installation in Trinidad and Tobago, which is supported by what are known as subsea trees. Five of these structures will be needed for Juniper to function and they happen to be among the largest and heaviest ever built, weighing about 76 tonnes each. Juniper’s five planned wells have already been drilled, with well-completion activity probably finalised by now. Juniper will be bpTT’s 14th offshore platform in Trinidad and Tobago waters and will handle gas from the Corallita and Lantana discoveries located 50 miles off Trinidad’s south east coast in water depths of about 360 feet. Juniper is being fabricated at TOFCO’s yard at La Brea, as well as in the US. It goes without saying that the more gas that can be accessed within our own borders, the more independent we will be. BHPBilliton is the main hope in this regard, on the basis of its major exploration programme currently underway but it is operating in deep water and the gas price has to be high to make deep water gas commercialisation viable. Whether a gas price of around US$3.80 will cut it for BHPBilliton is known only to its management. The belief by analysts is that gas prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future but this could change if OPEC’s crude oil production cutbacks push up the price of gas as well as oil. It is intended to do the latter but if the former is also a by-product, so to speak, then Trinidad and Tobago, for one, should be cheering.

Energy Update


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Energy Statistics In this fourth 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 September to December 2015 and 2016 respectively (Barrels per day) Company



920 12,894


Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15 Sep-16 580


Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16 494


Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15


Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16












17,598 19,243




10,626 10,147








31,064 35,085







46,165 43,587




12,982 12,125

9,042 21,161

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





11,140 16,138


21,464 21,124




19,970 18,114


148,581 174,167 182,514 175,455 169,750 159,743 152,242 173,778

























58,424 60,418

















48,652 46,296















53,326 45,807

12,772 12,842











5,754 14.934







354 12,676

11,853 11,517


































873 12,842







































391,427 445,450 420,439 435,953 330,127 400,829 413,225 439,148

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.11

Table E.5 - Ammonia Export for September to December 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Company


Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15 Sep-16

Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16














21,991 22,179




21,200 21,410












54,757 53,560




50,854 53,631












76,748 75,739




72,054 75,041


133,169 146,425 129,710 132,342 140,202 137,839 124,463


Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.11 1 Note: Figures in RED/italic are preliminary

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



Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15 Sep-16

Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16







































































Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No12. & Vol 53 No.11 1 Note: Figures in RED/italic are preliminary

Table E.3 – Natural Gas Utilization by Sector for September to December 2015 and 2016 respectively (mmscf/d) Sector 6Power Generation

Sep-15 315





































406,790 350,716 398,904 357,947 297,319 402,089 329,198 371,737

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.6

Table E.6 - Methanol Production September to December 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Company


Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15 Sep-16



































43,500 41,644







52,883 67,340


Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16


120,061 133,898 126,252 121,191 132,909 137,249 148,114 150,864


139,176 145,650 143,723 139,985


17,909 147,046


438,260 473,723 495,208 478,229 329,504 351,3943

38,318 406,894


Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 Vol. 53 No.11

Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15 Sep-15 Oct-15 Nov-16 Dec-16 302







Ammonia Manufacture









Methanol Manufacture



















Table E.7 - Methanol Exports for September to December 2015 and 2016 respectively (tonnes) Sep-15 Oct-15 Nov-15 Dec-15

Iron & Steel Manufacture




















89,146 139,654 105,423 134,246 118,216 118,446 123,072 171,060 18,905

Ammonia Derivatives




























Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)



















Small Consumers


Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No. 12 & Vol. 53 No.11 1 Note: Figures in RED/italic are preliminary


40,087 101,603







Oct-16 Nov-16 Dec-16

Cement Manufacture Gas Processing
















36,978 135,067




25,043 61,293

109,342 134,149 132,769 167,277 138,210 107,368 134,649 135,151 67,284








343,413 448,467 471,884 602,007 334,405 306,111 324,115 367,504

Source: Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Vol. 52 No.12 & Vol. 53 No.11

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)

ACCA Contact • Vol.16 No.4 December 2016

The rise of Global Business Services (GBS) in the Caribbean By Lesley John, ACCA Caribbean


he GBS (Global Business Services) model has risen in recent years to become a major component of financial transformation for business. Many organisations use GBS to improve their quality, lower costs and increase efficiency. This is a unique business function that currently employs over 750,000 finance professionals


The Caribbean is at the forefront of this growing business model with Trinidad and Tobago emerging as a hub for the service. Scotiabank established the Operations and Shared Services Company Limited (OSSCL) in Trinidad as a free zone enterprise in 2012. The purpose of this operation was to provide back-office and operational support to Trinidad and Tobago and eighteen (18) other countries across the Northern and Southern Caribbean in which the bank operates. OSSCL presently employs approximately 475 full time employees and will be increasing this number by almost 200 persons within the next year. The shared services company provides services like transaction verification and processing; accounting control, reconciliation and settlement services; merchant processing administration, settlement and reconciliation; clearing exchange; administration of cash processing units; accounting support/internal administration; and procedural guidance to branch networks. Trinidad and Tobago was selected as the country of choice over other locations as a result of the highly skilled and available labour force, well-established infrastructure, robust telecommunications networks, and it is a location, where English is the primary language, thereby ensuring ease of communication with the other territories. The setting up of the OSSCL is a clear example of the T&T economy moving away from relying on its commodities - the oil and gas revenue and towards economic diversification into the financial services. RBC Royal Bank of Canada also consolidated its own support services and opened up in the capital Port of Spain. Other organisations have implemented separate initiatives, both of which aim to boost the talent pipeline into the GBS sector and to take advantage of the growth of Caribbean jobs in this area.

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has been a key player in developing an initiative, having recently signed a partnership with Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (TTIFC) to launch a Global Business Services programme at the ICATT conference to sensitize stakeholders about the availability of the qualifications locally. This strategic partnership is great news for Trinidad and Tobago as it aids in developing more skilled finance professionals for its finance and accounting outsourcing industry. The new programme offers a Certificate that includes an independently assessed online course and covers the knowledge and skills required by employees in the global shared services sector. There is also a Diploma certification, which enhances expertise to ensure finance professionals are equipped for more challenging roles and processes. Additionally, there is an Advanced Diploma that places a greater focus on advanced financial management, management accounting and performance management, improving employees’ high end professional skills. The programme became available to finance professionals in Trinidad and Tobago from 6 October and is presently available in countries worldwide including China, Malaysia and Poland which all have an established Business Process Outsourcing industry. GBS is more than just meeting efficiencies. Through its implementation into organisations, it represents a fundamental shift in how businesses think and manage shared services and outsourcing. The global business environment is challenging for many of today’s organisations. Finance professionals are vital to businesses to navigate successfully through these circumstances. Organisations must support these individuals as problems can occur if people working in senior shared services and transformation roles face additional barriers in making the transition to the top finance job of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Finance organisations are most likely to see potential CFO talent among shared services pools that display shared service and outsourcing (SSO) models. Such organisations are consciously creating career pathways through SSO operations, realising that skills honed there are key to building a strong finance management base and top-tier talent. 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 to truly be assets for their organisations. The future is only getting brighter for GBS roles as shared services models continue to evolve and interest in global business service initiatives grows. For ACCA and many of its members worldwide, GBS represents a genuinely different way of running, managing and governing the back office operations, incorporating finance, to create more value. But for successful implementation, GBS demands a culture shift. Barriers between processes must also 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.


Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago


Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

TATT Hosts cyberbullying forum in Tobago


hink Before You Post That was the overwhelming sentiment emanating from the Telecommunication Authority of Trinidad and Tobago’s (TATT’s) twenty fourth ICT Open Forum titled “Cyberbullying: Dangers and Consequences”, attended by student leaders and teachers from each of Tobago’s nine secondary schools.

At this Forum, which took place on September 15th 2016, Mrs. Alicia Hoyte, Clinical Psychologist told the audience that historically bullying was viewed as a normal part of growing up and was said to be character building for the victim. She stated however that abusive treatment of another, using force or coercion is not a normal part of growing up. She told the audience that one of the major differences between traditional bullying and cyberbullying is that the latter involves three parties- the victim, the “bullier” and the audience. She added that the audience plays an important part as they often encourage the cyberbullying to continue. She further informed that with cyberbullying images, photographs and messages become part of a victim’s present instead of his or her past. Mrs. Hoyte then listed five main characteristics of cyberbullying: • Anonymity: This breeds boldness and aggressiveness in the perpetrator, as he or she is not known • Exposure: a wider audience • Permanence: whilst the spoken word is fleeting, the power of printed messages and images is its permanence • Disconnect: because the perpetrator cannot see the reaction of his or her victim, there is less empathy or guilt • Scope: Hard to trace. Hard to control. Hard to escape. Mr. Daren Dhoray, Webmaster at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, also presented at the event which took place at the Anne MitchellGift Auditorium of the Scarborough Library Facility. Mr. Dhoray gave his definition of cyberbullying as ‘the act tormenting someone over the Internet’.

He informed that it involved virtual acts with real consequences He suggested that the students use the THINK acronym before sharing on the Internet .T-is it true? H-is it helpful? I-is it inspiring? N-is it necessary? Kis it kind? He then shared six tips for preventing cyberbullying: • Talk about it. • Block and Report- a social media tool should have the ability to block someone from communicating with an end user. If a new social media tool emerges and it does not have the ability to block then one should think twice before using it. • Don’t retaliate- it will antagonise the “bullier” and could make the situation worse. • Take a screenshot- to use as evidence. • Keep your account private. • Sympathise- the perpetrator may be going through some personal issues Assistant Coordinator, Student Support Services Unit, Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport in Tobago, Ms. Susan Grant, noted that cyberbullying usually occurs amongst teens or pre-teens and described a victim of cyberbullying as someone “being tormented threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted via electronic technology.” However, she noted, when an adult becomes involved in the bullying it then becomes cyberstalking or cyber harassment. It is then never called cyberbullying. Ms. Grant observed that most victims are girls and the side effects include negative self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, frustration, and a variety of other emotional and psychological problems. Sergeant Dale Joseph of the Cybercrime Unit, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, informed the audience about criminal offences related to cyberbullying. These included child pornography and Offences Against the Persons Act (threatening to kill another person). Regarding child pornography he informed that merely having a questionable photograph on an electronic device is an offence, even without sending it. He stated that if someone receives such a photograph, he or she must report it to the police. Sergeant Joseph stated that his organisation is noticing a worrying trend amongst young people. He said when young persons are involved in relationships they usually send sensitive information to each other. However when the relationship ends, there is an aggrieved party that shares that information online. He said that whilst this is happening with increasing regularity, there is legislation which makes this a criminal offence. The Authority has been involved in educating students and parents across the nation on cyber safety via various means. This initiative commenced in 2009.



Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

Trinidad & Tobago Convention Bureau At Your Service for Conferences & Events Port of Spain, Business Capital of the Caribbean


rinidad and Tobago is considered one of the premier meeting destinations in the Caribbean. The duality of the destination, its dynamic culture, and increase in the number of international hotel brands and conference facilities on the islands have earned us the title of “Meetings & Conferences Capital of the Southern Caribbean.” With the establishment of the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau (TTCB) in 2009 as a department within the Tourism Development Company (TDC), Trinidad and Tobago has a dedicated unit which stands ready to assist both local and foreign meeting planners and groups hosting international conferences in Trinidad and Tobago. An invaluable resource and one-stop shop for planners, the TTCB provides unbiased advice, professional support and facilitation for hosting events in Trinidad and Tobago. The TTCB offers meeting planners a number of complimentary services which include: • Assistance with official bids for conference hosting • Information and quotations from suppliers • Educational trips and site inspections for meeting planners • Assistance with organizing pre and post conference tours • Assistance with organizing accompanying persons’ programs • Information packages for delegates • Promotional literature for meeting planners • Conference publicity In 2016, the TTCB assisted with approximately thirty conferences which brought regional and international delegates to our shores. These conferences included

the Crime Stoppers International Conference, the Caribbean Water & Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference & Exhibition, and the Caribbean Shipping Association Annual General Meeting, which attracted almost 300 foreign delegates. In 2017, Trinidad & Tobago will host a number of significant events, which include the Toastmasters International District 81 Conference, the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship Youth Festival, and the Rotary Club District 7030 Conference, with this particular District encompassing 14 regional countries from St. Kitts down to French Guiana. In February 2017, both Trinidad and Tobago will have the privilege of hosting the National Bar Association’s (NBA) Young Lawyer’s Division Conference and Retreat. The National Bar Association is the world’s largest and oldest association of black lawyers, judges, and law students with more than 60,000 member organizations in the United States, Canada, and Africa. The TTCB has worked with the NBA to create an exciting and memorable itinerary for the international delegates, which include a Catamaran Cruise in Tobago and a Night on Ariapita Avenue in Trinidad. Among other activities, delegates will have an opportunity to snorkel in the crystal waters of Tobago and indulge in our vibrant nightlife and delectable cuisine. With Trinidad and Tobago poised to become a major player in the international Meetings & Conferences market, the TTCB stands ready to welcome regional and international visitors for a truly unique conference experience. For more information on our complimentary services, please contact the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau at or 1-868-6757034-7 or visit our website at Delegates setting sail on a Catamaran Cruise in tranquil Tobago

A delegate enjoying a local cooking experience at Fanatic Kitchen Studio


Welcome to New Members Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce •

868 LOUNGE LIMITED Address: #28, Fitt Street, Woodbrook Tel: 225-1653 Website:

HARCON HARRINGTON CONSULTING LTD. Address: #32, Mustang Dr., Ascot Gardens, Arima Tel: 221-7858 Website:

PICOPLAT ENTERPRISES LTD. Address: P.O. Box 5916. UWI, St. Augustine Tel: 662 5947 Website:

ALL ITALIAN Address: #15A, Rust St., St. Clair Tel: 624-8259 Website:

Jenny's on the Boulevard Address: #6, Cipriani Boulevard, POS Tel: 625-1807 Website:

PROTRAN LIMITED Address: Cor. Mt. Pleasant Road & Green Pastures St., Tobago Tel: 660-8189 Website:

CARIBBEAN DOCKYARD & ENGINEERIN G SERVICES LIMITED Address: CARIDOC Complex Western Main Road, Chaguaramas Tel: 634-4127 Email:

KYLE SANTOS CONSULTING LTD. Address: #116, Columbus Circle, Westmoorings Tel: 633-8165 Website:

PREMIER QUALITY SERVICES LTD. Address: #2, Century Dr., Trincity Industrial Estate, Macoya Tel: 645-9026 Website:

MARC PERSAUD Address: Unit #551, Westhill Development, Morne Coco Road, Petit Valley SUGAPAY (T&T) LIMITED CAPITAL HOLDINGS LTD Address: 1st Floor, Chamber Building, Address: LP#16, Orange Grove Estate, Tacarigua Tel: 822-6106 Website: T&T Chamber Building, Westmoorings Tel: 640-6595 Tel: 637-6966 ext. 1241 Website: MICON MARKETING Email: Address: Warehouse #23, Fernandes Industrial EMPOWER ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Estate, Eastern Main Road, Laventille WAGOS LIMITED Address: #16, Westbury Lane, Belmont Tel: 624-4766 Address: #9, Madras Street, St. James Tel: 290-7439 Website: Tel: 628-1741 Website: Website: PATRICIA KONG TING GO 4 LESS LIMITED Address: P.O. Box. 6464, Maraval PO, Maraval Address: P.O. Box 1781, Wrightston Rd., Tel: 637-2366 Port of Spain Website: Tel: 285-8585




Pg 2

Picoplat Enterprises Limited

Pg 25

ACI (Advanced Cardiovascular Institute)

Pg 3

Pat&Max Ltd

Pg 11

ANSA Motors (Golden Dragon, Jinbei)

Pg 13

Pearl & Dean (Caribbean) Ltd

Pg 30

Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business

Pg 37


Pg 35

BEI International Limited

Pg 21

RBC Royal Bank

Pg 34


Pg 31

Republic Bank

Pg 16

Caribbean Airlines

Pg 33


Pg 19

C&W Business

Pg 7

Guardian Group

Pg 27

JG Design Caribbean

Pg 46

London Consulting Group

Pg 5

Southern Sales & Service Co. Ltd (KIA)

Massy Motors (Hyundai Mighty) Massy Finance (GFC)

Inside back cover Pg 15

Inside front cover

Southern Sales Car Rental Division

Pg 17

Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago

Pg 41

The Water Source

Pg 4

The National Insurance Board of Trinidad and Tobago

Pg 45

Trinidad Import & Export Company

Pg 22

Tourism Development Company Limited

Pg 43

TRINRE Insurance Company Limited TSTT

Outside back cover Pg 23

Contact Magazine: The Road Ahead Issue  
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