Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2015 Contents OCTOBER 8 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
Poor work ethic, corruption
throughout the society: "If our leaders start off by doing
the right things there will be a domino effect in the society
and in businesses as we are interconnected. T&T nationals go
to other countries and work hard. Why do they work hard
there? Because the culture there is a disciplined culture and
a culture of execution. There is leadership. It is also about
He also said that T&T s institutions need to become more
efficient to raise productivity and make doing business easier.
He blamed past governments for allowing public services to
decline to the state they are in today.
"I would suggest that the new government start by placing
competent people on state boards. In T&T sub standard cable
wires are imported but our company manufactures according
to international standards yet there are people in T&T unscrupu-
lously bringing in sub standard wires and we have to protect
our own business. So we go to the authorities and beg them
to inspect and in the process we lose millions of dollars,"
Ian Chinapoo, executive director of the Unit Trust Corporation
(UTC), who moderated the panel, said the country s gross
domestic product (GDP) per capita skews certain realities.
"We have some recurring issues like work ethic, issues of
corruption and overall productivity. We are ranked as a stage
three innovation economy but that is primarily so because of
our GDP per capita, which is over US$21,000 and this shows
that we have a lot of work to do," he said.
Dawn Callender, director of finance and risk management
at PowerGen, noted that T&T has a high GDP per capita but
wondered how that measured up to the quality of life in the
She said although a part of the workforce exhibits a good
work ethic, it does not exist everywhere.
"We need to drill down into some of those pillars of where
we have work to do. I had the fortune to work with many
people throughout my life who have had a good work ethic.
Unfortunately I do not think that exists in an even manner
throughout the society.
"Part of the reason for that is that we are an energy driven
economy, our earnings are based on external factors and they
are based on whatever the world market prices are," Callender
She said apart from individual work ethic, there are structural
problems that affect workplace productivity.
"There is the issue of traffic jams and the whole psychology
of people trying to avoid traffic jams. People try to leave before
or after the traffic. The fact that we have a very centralised
access to services, that is, a lot of people come into Port-of-
Spain and they spend a lot of their time on the road," she
Foreign direct investment
Planning Minster Camille Robinson-Regis, who gave the
feature address at the event, said T&T needs to become more
competitive to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
"T&T has been able to attract billions of dollars worth of
direct foreign investment because we were seen as being an
ideal geographic location, as having a highly intelligent workforce,
abundant natural resources and a vibrant, stable democracy.
"Irrespective of changes in governments, our governance
model respected and honoured contracts entered into by a
previous regime, unless they could have been proven to be
demonstrably injurious to the country s economic health. As
a government, we intend to return to that model and thereby
ensure that we will once again be able to look our multinational
partners in the eye," she said.
Robinson-Regis said the Government and the private sector
must work together to attract FDI.
"Foreign direct investment will not flow into T&T unless
it is actively pursued by both the Government and the private
sector. The recent commissioning of the Caribbean Gas Chem-
icals Ltd plant on the Union Estate in La Brea, for example,
is a magnificent example of this active pursuit of diversification
options by the Massy Group of Companies which found a
suitable partner in the Mitsubishi giant. The success of this
plant is owed in no small way to the facilitation made possible
by the Government of T&T," she said.
The minister said the new Government intends to place
competent professionals in foreign embassies.
"Posting to our embassies and consulates should not be
seen as a mere reward for supporters of the party in government,
but must be the front line of projecting the interests of T&T
internationally. Our key pursuit must be our economic and
commercial interests and these must be understood by our
senior diplomats and the professional Foreign Service officers,"
From Page 4
Links Archive October 7th 2015 October 9th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page