Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2017 Contents MARCH 9 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
REGIONAL | BG21
worst on record
Brazil has been in recession for
two years, the latest figures
show, marking the deepest
economic decline since re-
The economy contracted
by 3.6 per cent in 2016, meaning it is now
8 per cent smaller than it was in December
The country has been hard hit by the fall
in commodity prices and an internal po-
litical crisis that has undermined investor
However, analysts believe the economy
should start to pick up from here.
The two-year slump has seen the number
of unemployed rise by 76 per cent to 12.9
million, a rate of 12.6 per cent.
Brazil was once one of the fastest-growing
economies in the world, the 'B' in the Brics
group of nations regarded by many investors
are having the world's best growth poten-
tial. Its key exports---including oil, soy and
metals---were in hot demand.
But as growth in the biggest element of
that grouping, China, began to slow so did
demand for commodities and their prices.
Another drag factor has been corruption,
which has engulfed Brazilian society at the
highest levels, seeing off its President, Dilma
Rousseff for illegally manipulating govern-
ment accounts, and involving some of the
country's biggest and best-known com-
Twenty-four consecutive months of
negative growth is a social disaster for an
emerging country like Brazil.
The number of unemployed people in-
creased to 12 million people over a short pe-
riod of time. It is as if the entire population
of a country like Greece or Portugal were now
looking for jobs and not finding anything.
But there are some signs that this recession
may be soon over.
Brazil's monthly inflation rates suggest
prices in the economy are stabilising, and
interest rates are falling at a faster pace than
expected. This could fuel consumption and
investment and speed up the country's re-
Also there could be tailwinds from the
global economy, with prices of commod-
ities on the rise again and possible growth
coming from the US.
But much of Brazil's recovery still depend
on whether government reforms in public
spending are successful. AP
Jamaica govt to
implement pension plan
for tourism workers
The Jamaica governments says a pension plan for
tourism workers will come on stream in September
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, addressing
the 2016 Tourism Service Excellence Programme
(TSEP) awards presentation ceremony in Montego
Bay, north west of here over the last weekend, said a
series of sensitisation sessions are being held across
the island to ensure that the stakeholders are fully on
board with the plan, which will benefit all categories
of tourism workers.
"We began the series with the owners and oper-
ators of tourism entities across Jamaica on March
3. We will begin the sensitisation programme with
the workers. After that we go to Parliament and in
September 2017 we roll out the pension plan for the
workers of our industry."
Bartlett said that efforts are being made to ensure
that all tourism stakeholders are on board and that
the necessary legislation in put in place for a smooth
He told the awards ceremony that also that dis-
cussions are ongoing with the Ministry of Labour
and Social Security on how to create the necessary
reforms to ensure that there is a labour market which
is friendly to tourism workers and which offers the
best opportunity for the highest level of productivity.
"In that context we are looking for tourism to be-
come a vocation rather than a transition activity. You
don't come to tourism on your way to somewhere
else, you come to tourism for a vocation with an in-
come arrangement and a mobility that enables you
to develop a career path, so you can be assured of
sustainable employment in a sustainable industry,"
said Bartlett. CMC
to boost local
expertise in oil
and gas sector
The Guyana government says it is developing a local
content policy to ensure that skills of nationals are
optimally utilised in the emerging oil and gas sector.
Guyana's oil find has attracted a number of foreign
direct investors seeking to benefit from the oil wealth
and according to the Guyana Office for Investment
(GO-Invest), a total of 36 foreign companies have
registered businesses here.
Some of these businesses, which range from agri-
culture, services and energy, have also made contact
with the US-based ExxonMobil, which is spearhead-
ing the country's push to produce oil.
Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman,
said the local content policy will seek to ensure that
Guyanese skills, services and labour are utilised in
"There are certain standards that we have to aspire
to, and it's good because what happens, standards
throughout the country get lifted in food and beverage,
in accommodation," Trotman said, noting that the
influx of foreign content provides the opportunity
for raising the standard of local services and other
He said Guyanese nationals in the diaspora have
also been returning to establish businesses or offer
their services and skills in the sector.
A government statement noted that ExxonMobil,
for example, is utilising 177 different local companies
to supply its food, fuel and other materials.
It said that the government is also working to boost
capacity at the technical institutes and the University
of Guyana (UG), towards developing a locally trained
workforce in various skills within the oil and gas sec-
to r. CMC
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