Titled ‘Establishing Synergies and Strategies towards Economic Transformation and Sustainability’, the event brought together high-profile representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss a broad range of topics affecting the twin-island country. Attendees included Ronald Harford, chairman of Republic Bank; Wendell Mottley, former chairman of Unit Trust Corporation; Ravi Tewari, Group CEO of Guardian Holdings; Gervase Warner, CEO of Massy Group, and Aneal Maharaj, Group Finance Director of Ansa McAL.
Improving productivity, identifying opportunities to diversify exports and examining the controversy surrounding Trinidad and Tobago’s exchange rate were all key topics of discussion. Other related issues included the government’s planned spending cuts and divestment's, changes to the tax system and initiatives aimed at galvanizing GDP growth.
While the talks were held behind closed doors at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Port of Spain, Majo Rosa, OBG’s country director in Trinidad and Tobago, said that the findings would be used as the basis for further, off-the-record discussions and research for the Group’s forthcoming report.
Rosa added that the difficult economic environment had heightened both the need and demand for dialogue between public and private sector leaders.
“As an oil-rich nation that remains at the early stages of diversifying its economy, Trinidad and Tobago has been hit hard by declines in oil and gas revenues,” she said. “Our roundtable provided an unprecedented and valuable opportunity for high-level leaders from across the board to share their views on how the country can balance tackling the deficit and stimulating growth. I have no doubt that these contributions will provide useful food for thought as Trinidad and Tobago navigates its challenging path towards recovery and long-term sustainability.”
Many of the issues on the agenda at the roundtable will be further explored in The Report: Trinidad and Tobago 2016, Oxford Business Group’s forthcoming publication on the country’s economy. The publication will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure and other sectoral developments. It will be available in print and online.