Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2017 Contents Chairman of the Economic
Advisory Board, Terrence
Farrell, has predicted that
by 2030 T&T will stop be-
ing an oil economy. He said
measures need to be put in
place to encourage further diversification. He
wondered how the country would continue
to sustain the high standards of living in an
economy without oil.
Speaking at ceremony earlier this week to
launch the Global Services Protection Pro-
gramme (GSPP) at the Arthur Lok Jack Gradu-
ate School of Business, Mt Hope, Farrell---who
was part of a four-member panel---said the
initiative is critical to T&T's development as it
can assist in developing human capital and earn
revenue for T&T outside of the energy sector.
"We continue to have the attitude and the
mindset and a dependent psychologically as
well as economically on oil and gas and that
has to change," Farrell said.
In that regard, the Economic Advisory Board
supported the GSPP and is excited about the
programme which be funded by an IDB loan
of US $18 million.
"When we saw this initiative we were very
excited by it," he said. "We felt it was criti-
cally important and we would be very happy
to help to move it forward. We consider this
launch to be one of the pillars of the country's
Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis
said in the feature address that the GSPP, once
implemented, will be using state-of-the-art
facilities and equipment to materialise T&T's
full capacity as a global leader in the IT-ena-
bled services sector.
She said one of the goals of the GSPP is to
strategically position T&T for a future where
information technology services can be ex-
ported and eventually contribute to the coun-
try's gross domestic product.
The programme is to be implemented in
three parts starting with creation of a Global
Services Internationalisation Hub (GSI Hub) to
provide the facilities and training for individ-
uals and local companies who wish to improve
their abilities to compete internationally in
provision of information technology services.
Investment promotion and sector branding
will support the branding of T&T as a world-
class location for development and delivery
of IT services and updating of the country's
policy and regulatory framework.
The minister said: "While T&T ranks com-
paratively well with our regional neighbours,
we cannot deny that there are deficiencies.
In this context, I am happy to indicate that
this is already being addressed via a technical
co-operation agreement with the IDB, with
the goal being the development of a manpower
strategy for T&T.
"The objective is to support your businesses
and institutions and by extension our society
by developing a strategy providing short- term
technical training that is tailored to the various
"The resulting benefit to be derived will be
the creation of new jobs and the increase in
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the
GSPP will not eliminate the role of TTBizLink
but will go hand-in-hand with it to ensure the
T&T economy is not left behind.
BG6 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JANUARY 19 • 2017
Improving the business environment
Dominic Gaskin, Minister of Business,
Co-operative Republic of Guyana, on im-
proving Guyana's business environment
and investment priorities.
What steps are being taken to
improve the ease of doing
business in Guyana?
Following the publication of the 2016 "Doing
Business" report, we contacted the World Bank
to see which measures could be implemented
to make an immediate difference in the next
edition. The World Bank provided us with
helpful information and technical assistance
to improve Guyana's performance in specif-
ic areas of the report. A team visited us and
held discussions with the government, certain
agencies and the private sector.
As a result, we are now implementing a Do-
ing Business action plan outlining reforms to
address all of the indicators where Guyana
scored badly. We've already partnered with
three consultancies that have conducted stud-
ies and made recommendations for legislative
reform, implementation of ICT in the public
sector, and the efficient processing of elec-
tricity and construction permits.
Guyana has since improved 16 places in the
index, from 140th to 124th out of 189 coun-
tries surveyed in the last report, and we are
working actively and deliberately to continue
along this trajectory.
Over the next few years investors will see
significant improvements as a result of our
systematic strategy to address key issues af-
fecting the ease of doing business in Guyana.
Last year we focused on improving access
to electricity and credit, resulting in a major
contribution to the overall score improvement.
We are now developing a single electronic win-
dow for the processing of trade transactions in
2017, with implementation by late 2018.
Which sectors are being prioritised
for investment by the Guyanese
Priority sectors for investment are agri-
culture, agro-processing, manufacturing
and tourism. Our focus is on developing our
value-added potential. We have a comparative
advantage in the agriculture and agro-process-
ing sector, given the size of Guyana coupled
with its small population, as well as access to
the Brazilian and Caribbean markets at favour-
able or zero tariff rates.
We will also be developing an export pro-
motion strategy tying in with the investment
opportunities inherent in some of the bilateral
and international trade agreements we have
signed. The Economic Partnership Agree-
ment between the EU and the Caribbean has
not been fully exploited by Guyana or most of
the Caribbean region.
Additionally, we have a strong tourism prod-
uct, but we need large-scale investments to
develop our tourism infrastructure, expand
accommodation offerings and provide in-
creased airlift. Currently, we have 600-700
rooms that meet a three-to-five-star standard.
This is insufficient for an emerging destination.
While there is some excitement about the
recent oil discovery, we continue to focus on
the development of a diversified economy that
does not leave us vulnerable to the fortunes of
a single commodity or industry. The oil sector
will take on a life of its own, and we certainly
want to support it, but we cannot allow it to
subsume all economic activity in the country.
To what extent is the
pursuing a public-private
partnership (PPP) model for
the development of its
We need to accelerate our infrastructure
development in energy, transportation and
telecommunications, as it affects our compet-
itiveness and attractiveness as an investment
public Treasury cannot fund it all; there-
fore, the PPP model is something we want to
explore, since we recognise the availability of
expertise, technology and capital within the
However, the absence of a framework to
regulate PPPs needs to be addressed for this
mechanism to be effectively utilised. While
we pursue technical assistance in developing
this framework, we still need to pursue cer-
tain critical projects, and in this regard we are
interested in partnering with private entities
with the requisite expertise and finances, and
once we have a clear portfolio of investment
projects, we will be pursuing partners to de-
What role will renewable energy
have in Guyana's future energy mix?
How is investment being
We have made a commitment that 100 per
cent of our electricity generation will be from
renewable energy by 2025. Achieving this tar-
get will require significant investment with-
in the power generation sector, whether it is
constructing hydro plants, wind turbines or
We cannot rely on standard incentives alone,
since any agreement with a private partner for
the generation of renewable energy will involve
certain guarantees to both parties, which will
impact the return on investment much more
than mere tax concessions. We therefore need
to rely on a robust PPP framework to attract
the right investors.
Hydroelectricity has the greatest potential
for large-scale renewable energy generation in
Guyana. Given Guyana's relatively small de-
mand, we have to look beyond our own borders
for demand levels that would make such an
Energy integration within Latin America is
an evolving phenomenon that Guyana cannot
ignore, and we are exploring the opportuni-
ties presented by rising energy demand in the
...with a focus on Guyana
Economic Advisory Board supports IDB-funded IT programme
'Global Services will boost
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