Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2017 Contents SOKAISO
Sunday, April 30, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Ecomomist suggests ways
to stimulate T&T economy
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
As the local economy continues to
face a downturn with little or no con-
struction, loss of jobs, rising food prices,
increased cost of living, lack of foreign
direct investments and spiralling crime,
a senior economist is suggesting that
Government looks into the rekindling
of the eTecK parks among other things
in order to stimulate economic activity.
University lecturer Dr Roger Hosein said
the parks were a viable avenue that could
generate a significant amount of scarce for-
eign exchange and also create sustainable
He also suggested that T&T deepen its
trade ties with its Caribbean partners; lev-
erage opportunities with China and India;
explore medical tourism, the maritime sector,
culture and or fashion industries.
In an interview with the Sunday Guardian,
Hosein said for the eTecK parks to kick off
involved partnering with the private sector.
He said: "The eTecK parks therefore have
the capacity to drive the T&T economy much
as Sir Arthur Lewis, in his industrialisation
by invitation, especially if the sector firm
is from abroad. The eTecK parks offer the
opportunity to partner with the diaspora in
terms of foreign entities with the capacity to
purchase, with a rich stock of human capital
and also in many cases, deep enough pockets
to engage in investment in T&T."
He also recommended that T&T consider
setting up a "diaspora unit" to aggressively
pursue the diaspora to invest here via dias-
pora bonds or through direct investment in
"This has worked well in Jamaica, the Phil-
ippines and Mexico," he said. But cautioned
that in order to facilitate these investments,
the State must treat with crime much more
aggressively. Hosein said the crime situation
was a big disincentive to the private sector.
"Crime has become a tremendous deter-
rent not just from a social perspective but it
has now spilled over into increasing the cost
of production of firms as they are unable to
run night shifts as smoothly as they would
like and it also increases the fixed cost of
production in terms of burglar proofing and
employing security guards etc." he said.
From this point, he explained that to stim-
ulate the economy, Government needed to
intervene in an "aggressive and not talk-
shop" type of way to reduce the crime rate
in the economy so that it lowers the per
unit cost of operating of firms in the local
economy and by extension, increases their
Deepen trade with Caribbean region
The Caribbean represents, in the short run
and the medium term, a viable export market.
With natural gas relatively more abundant
here than in other Caribbean countries, Ho-
sein felt that Government should capitalise
on this to promote exporting to Caribbean
"At the same point in time, I think the State
needs to encourage the large private sector
firms that would have benefited significant-
ly from the US$75 billion that the economy
generated in economic rents to facilitate a
process of localised, economic development
in the rural parts of the economy, and in so
doing, to trigger a type of bottom up growth.
"Elements of this type of approach has
already started with bpTT and Atlantic in
their formation of the MIPED and LEND
programmes, respectively. "
MIPED is the Mayaro Initiative for Enter-
prise Development that became the first mi-
cro-finance lending organisation sponsored
by a private non-financial company.
Offshore medical university in Tobago
Saying that the sister isle needed special
attention, Hosein said Government should
consider working through an offshore med-
ical university in Tobago, catering for for-
eigners but building on the existing tourism
infrastructure of the island.
He said: "This can be done in parallel with
the prospective Sandals hotel. At the same
point in time, the State should also use part of
the Scarborough Hospital for medical tour-
ism. Medical tourism provides a viable route
through which scarce foreign exchange can
be earned by the Tobago economy.
He added that medical tourism would also
help to create sustainable employment op-
portunities for a cadre of professionals and
help to diversify the production platform in
Tobago which is very THA-reliant.
Providing a much needed push to the mar-
itime sector, culture and fashion industries
could tangibly move off the ground some
more and start to generate foreign exchange.
Hosein suggested this must be done in
a 12-month plan so that it does not remain
He felt too that Government should set out
to complete the San Fernando to Point Fortin
Highway, which has tremendous potential
for opening spare economic space.
He said, "There has also been a lot of talk
about the road to Moruga and the road to
Valencia; these things must not remain pie
in the sky as these types of infrastructural
projects, if supported by IDB grants as we
have been told, have the capacity to gener-
ate enormous amount of linkages with the
rest of the economy and therefore stimulate
employment and growth."
Trinis deported from
Turkey under probe
The 12 T&T nationals who were detained in
Turkey last year and arrived in the country Fri-
day night are under probe by security agencies.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said yesterday
"There is an ongoing inquiry to be conducted
and which is being conducted by law enforce-
ment agencies. There is, of course, outstanding
information from an official perspective from
the Turkish Government.
"This matter is being balanced between the require-
ments for due process as well as the requirements
"The Office of the Attorney General, of course, does
have supervision from a statutory point of view for
matters of anti-terrorism."
He said the AG's office continued to do the work
that it was obliged to do and which it had been doing
in relation to all matters of concern.
Al-Rawi said the members of the group were de-
ported from Turkey via the UK and arrived in Trinidad
Friday at approximately 4 pm.
He said they were met by an Inter-Agency team
comprising Immigration/Customs/T&T Police Ser-
vice and other security agencies who debriefed them
in an interview process ending approximately 10:30
pm Friday, after which they were released.
The members of the group were detained in Turkey
in July 2016 with a Syrian national said to have been
an Isis terror network recruiter and were housed at
Turkey's Adana Detention Centre since then.
Al-Rawi said while Government did not have official
confirmed information from the Turkish authorities
on the group, information was sent by T&T's honorary
consul in Turkey. With the lack of information from
Turkey, he said Government was obliged to manage
the situation with "full investigation"
He said Government had been planning the logistics
of the return some time and preparations had been
made in advance for yesterday's arrival.
Members of the Peter London Global Dance Company of the United States perform a dance entitled Sokaiso during the Metamorphosis
Dance Company's 2017 production Two of a Kind, at the Queens Hall, St Ann's, on Friday night. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
Former High Court judge Herbert Volney has described as
"shameful", the failure of Chief Justice Ivor Archie to accept
responsibility for a clear error of judgement in facilitating
the swearing in of Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar
as a judge.
Volney said Ayers-Caesar graciously fell on the Archie's
sword "for he was not man enough to lead his Judicial and
Legal Service Commission (JLSC) into resignation for his
or their joint error of governance."
In a Facebook post yesterday, Volney said, "No one seems
to have belly or guts to step up and speak out against
mid governance, against injustice, and against corruption
in high places."
He said Ayers-Caesar's exemplary record of integrity
and achievements has been trashed by the ill advice of a
"The new judge was ill-advised to resign as even with
that and her reappointment as chief magistrate she will
have to start all her part heard matters 'de novo' (from the
beginning)," Volney added. He referred to the judgement
in The State v Imran Ali & Ors for kidnapping.
In another post on Friday, he questioned whether Ar-
chie and the JLSC were sacrificing Ayers-Caesar to save
"I was once appointed to be a High Court judge and in the
interview I was meticulously asked of my readiness to take
up the appointment in terms of my court undertakings. I was
in private practice and I was given time to tie up my ends."
He questioned whether Ayers-Caesar "really lied" about
the state of her list.
"Most in the legal profession would not accept the expla-
nation given by the Chief Justice that the newly appointed
was not candid or deliberately lied about the state of her
court list...The new judge is a humble server of God who
has risen to the top of the Magistracy and remained there
with unblemished record of service. She is a woman of
known integrity. "
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