Mary King

TRINIDAD and Tobago is in a recession; we are short of foreign exchange earnings; our foreign exchange reserves are dwindling; people are being retrenched; firms are closing; local councils are underfunded.

Ansa McAl chairman, Norman Sabga, in the context of the $1 million loss by Guardian Media Ltd., said Facebook, Twitter and other international companies were able to sell media (and other services) in T&T without paying taxes, have no employees on the ground—a huge advantage to them—and when paid, they receive foreign exchange. This undermines the local media houses.

Richard Baumol tells us that the choice of a country’s entrepreneur is among the options of being productive, innovative in the Schumpeter sense, rent seeking (enriching themselves without increasing the wealth of the country), or even destructive via organised crime.

T&T has recently been downgraded in its currency sovereign rating by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) from BBB+ to BBB. The reasons given for…

Whenever we talk about diversification of our economy the topic of agriculture comes up as a venture that in the first instance can, via food production for local consumption, reduce the foreign exchange spent on imports and also serve as an export economic activity. 

The present Government is being criticised for the economic situation in which we find ourselves today; according to Dr Bhoe Tewarie, “The persistent deficit, high overdraft at the Central Bank, the absence of economic growth, robust non-energy exports and demonstrable ability to repay debts are, taken together, strong reasons for concern about the economy. The Keith Rowley Government has not been managing well.”

THE recent Review of the Budget catapulted to the fore that the driver of our economy, the petroleum/petrochemical industry, is collapsing, which has attracted various comments on how we should diversify the economy.

The Minister of Finance, in his mid-term budget review, again declared that the economy has turned around and produced figures that showed that there was GDP growth over three consecutive quarters, which to economists indicates that the economy is on a growth path.

We celebrate the massive find of petroleum in Guyana and envisage that Guyana could become one of the richest countries in the region based on the rents left by the international energy companies.

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