THE business community believes achieving herd immunity in this country and globally is of paramount importance, in order to start the economic recovery process.
The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago chief executive officer Nirad Tewarie told the Express the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines has been long awaited and the chamber welcomes the first tranche of 33,600 AstraZeneca vaccines which arrived in the country on Tuesday evening.
“We are looking forward to hear how the Ministry of Health is going to roll out the vaccines to at least 750,000 people, before year-end. However, herd immunity is also important which gradually restarts the economic process,” he told the Express by cellphone yesterday.
He said while the vaccines are important there are several underlying issues that are affecting the investment climate.
“One such case is the issue of confidence, so we have to improve the ease of doing business in this country as there are inefficacies related to the bureaucracy with Government services and if we are to make the investment climate more attractive that needs to be rectified,” Tewarie said.
Boost for business
The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Gabriel Faria said the chamber is pleased that the rollout of vaccinations can begin and they look forward to seeing the balance from COVAX being delivered and the other initiatives which the Government is pursuing to access the required quantity of vaccines.
“This and the vaccination plan must be the most important priority. We now have enough vaccines in the country to provide first doses to roughly 2.5 per cent of our population or 3.5 per cent of the amount required to achieve herd immunity. All countries have increased their vaccination campaigns—some at faster rates than others.”
Faria noted the most important thing in everyone’s mind across the world is their vaccination campaigns, however there must also be effective track and trace systems in place.
“Confidence is a key metric in how people and businesses make their purchase and investment decisions.
“Today we are more confident than we were two weeks ago, but probably not as confident as citizens in other regional markets. As we see more vaccines arriving and been administered there will be increased confidence.
“The private sector stands ready to provide whatever support we can in the vaccination campaign so we save lives, livelihoods and build an inclusive and sustainable recovery,” Faria stated.
And, Confederation of Regional Business Chambers co-ordinator Jai Leladharsingh said the rigorous and rapid vaccination policy and planned vaccination programme on the part of the Government will result in the full opening up of the economy and this will boost business confidence, enhance consumer spending and ensure the circular flow of money supply is vastly improved.
“The reabsorption of those unemployed persons who have been displaced during the lockdown into the workplace is also paramount, so as to put a dent on the unemployment statistics,” Leladharsingh added.