Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2017 Contents FEBRUARY 9 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG21
...approves funds for Haiti
The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) is providing US$41.6 million to
Haiti under the Rapid Credit Facility
(RCF) in the wake of the damage caused
by Hurricane Matthew last October.
The Washington-based financial in-
stitution said that the Port au prince
had made the request to help with ur-
gent balance of payments needs in the
aftermath of the Category 4 hurricane
that struck the nation on October 4,
destroying infrastructure and killing
hundreds of people.
The IMF said that with the support of
the RCF disbursement, the Banque de la
République d'Halti (BRH) has continued
to rebuild its net international reserves.
"At the same time, the pace of curren-
cy depreciation has slowed, from 25 per
cent year-on-year through September
2016, to 17 per cent year-on-year in De-
cember -10.5 percent quarter-on-quar-
ter annualized rate"
The IMF said that despite the favour-
able impact of the slowdown in depre-
ciation, increases in food prices---due in
part to the hurricane---have pushed in-
flation from 12.5 per cent in September
2016 to 14.3 per cent in December 2016.
"As a country with widespread devel-
opment needs, Haiti continues to face
substantial challenges. The successful
conclusion of the recent presidential
election provides Haiti with an op-
portunity to rebuild from the storm and
to advance its reform agenda," the IMF
said, adding that it was looking forward
to continuing to work together with the
Haitian authorities in designing poli-
cies to support macroeconomic stability
needed to boost economic growth.
IMF predicts moderate growth for St Lucia
(IMF) says despite
weak tourism ac-
ment continued to
fall in 2016 and that the St Lucia
economy is expected to experience
positive, albeit, moderate growth
It said the authorities are design-
ing a bold programme of economic
reforms which they intend to out-
line in the forthcoming budget.
The Washington-based finan-
cial institution said that a credible
medium-term fiscal consolidation
plan and a rapid implementation
of the reform agenda are needed
to reduce policy uncertainty and
ensure the success of the author-
ities' economic programme.
"Weakness in tourism activi-
ty continues to dampen growth.
Strong employment growth in ag-
riculture and construction led to a
significant reduction in unemploy-
ment in the first three quarters of
2016. "Nonetheless, weak activity
in tourism, transport, and manu-
facturing hampered GDP (gross do-
mestic product) growth, which is
estimated to have reached 0.8 per
cent in 2016. Declining exports
are widening the current account
deficit after improvements in re-
cent years mainly owing to lower
oil prices," the IMF said.
In a statement, Monday, the IMF
said that the short-term outlook is
mildly positive, but presents some
"Moderate growth is expected
in 2017, primarily on account of
continued strong performance in
construction and agriculture. The
overall outlook appears uncertain
as positive developments in tourism
-the expected increase in the number
of hotel rooms and the opening of new
direct flights from the United States
-may be stifled by the impact of the
new airport tax."
The IMF said that medium-term
outlook remains subdued as structural
weaknesses impinge on competitive-
ness and potential growth.
The IMF said the Allen Chastanet ad-
ministration is launching "an ambitious
programme of economic reforms, but
key policies are still being shaped ahead
of the forthcoming budget.
It said the broad pro-growth reform
agenda is focused on lowering the tax
burden, enhancing the efficiency of the
tax system, and reducing tax compli-
ance costs; reorganising the public
sector to rationalise functions and
increase efficiencies; reviewing the
Citizenship by Investment Programme
(CIP) to make it more competitive; and
enacting structural reforms to improve
the business climate and encourage for-
eign direct investment.
"This programme addresses many
areas that are critical to strengthen-
ing St Lucia's growth potential, but
details of the policies are still pending
and many of the reforms will take time
to yield results. In the meantime, the
fiscal package announced by the gov-
ernment under the "Five to Stay Alive"
initiative, which includes a reduction
of the VAT rate from 15 per cent to 12.5
per cent, will weaken the fiscal position
unless measures are taken to mitigate its
impact; and, by shifting the tax burden
onto the tourism sector, risks having
undesirable effects on competitiveness
The IMF said that a multi-year fis-
cal consolidation plan is necessary to
stabilise the projected debt dynamics
and attain the 2030 debt target of 60
per cent of GDP.
It said the high public debt, current-
ly exceeding 82 percent of GDP, and
a delicate fiscal situation need to be
"A fiscal consolidation plan would
help the authorities clarify their in-
tentions, confirm their commitment
to fiscal responsibility, and reduce risks
while the economic programme is being
defined. By mapping the path to the
debt target, the authorities would min-
imise the risk of sudden corrections,
which typically involve cuts to capital
projects, thereby gaining control over
expenditure composition while im-
proving its quality.
The IMF said the adjustment effort
should focus on broadening the tax
base, controlling expenditure, and
improving financing terms.
"Further cuts in tax rates should be
preceded by a reduction of the exten-
sive exemptions that undermine the
efficiency of the tax system. Consid-
eration should also be given to reduc-
ing the very high taxes and charges on
imports, which are particularly harmful
to external competitiveness."
It said that in view of the importance
of the public sector wage bill, contin-
ued control of wage dynamics and in-
tensified attrition in the context of a
functional assessment of employment
needs are key.
"Social spending should be preserved
and gradually refocused from tempo-
rary work programs and non-targeted
subsidies to targeted social assistance.
Much needed investment in infrastruc-
ture, renewable energy, and natural
disaster resilience should be financed
with concessional lending rather than
costly bond issuance, and partnerships
with the private sector should be used
The IMF said the consolidation plan
should address the need to prepare for
the inevitable recurrence of natural
KEE-CHANONA GIVES CLIENTS' CONFIDENCE WITH
From lef to right: Dr. Thackwray Driver, CEO Energy Chamber of T&T, Mr. Thomas Chanona, CEO,
Kee-Chanona Ltd. and Mr. Kevin Sammy, Director, Kee-Chanona Ltd.
Kee-Chanona Limited (KCL) is proud to announce our recent achievement of becoming STOW-certfed
with Health, Safety and Environment Management Systems conformance at a High Risk Level. This
rigorous process included an extensive audit of our policies and procedures, allowing us to improve the
efciency of our operatons and reduce incidents/accidents and downtme. At KCL we are commited to
ensuring the safety of our employees, sub-contractors and the communites in which we work, therefore
we are delighted to join this esteemed group of contractors operatng at superior HSE levels across the
upstream and downstream energy sector.
Thomas Chanona, Chief Executve Ofcer, Kee-Chanona Limited noted, “As we enter the thirteth year of
Kee-Chanona’s presence in the Caribbean market, we contnue to invest heavily in training, standardisaton
and certfcaton; employing industry best practce for the beneft of our clients. This achievement is a
strong indicaton of the dedicaton and professionalism of our team members. We intend to maintain
our STOW certfcaton through actve monitoring of the compliance procedures across all of our projects.
Kee-Chanona has successfully completed several energy-sector constructon projects in Trinidad, and I am
pleased that we are already stretching our capability under the STOW certfcaton for a new mult-natonal
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