Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2013 Contents A21
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The T&T Government yesterday
launched the process to acquire a lin-
ear accelerator X-Ray scanning and
detection system for use by the Port
Authority. The equipment has the
capacity to scan 200 containers an
Trade Minister Vasant Bharath, along
with Permanent Secretary Sandra Indar,
met with Fangyuan Xu of the Embassy
of the People s Republic of China and
representatives of Nuctech Company
Limited, the Beijing-based company
engaged by the Chinese Government
for the purchase of the scanner for the
The purchase of the scanner will be
financed from the grant facility provided
in the Agreement on Economic and
Technical Cooperation for 2012 between
the Government of the People s Repub-
lic of China and the Government of
T&T. The project is being led by the
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Invest-
ment with the active support of the
Ministries of Transport and Finance
and the Economy.
T&T has slipped to 92 out of 148 countries
in the latest Global Competitiveness Index
(GCI) Ranking, dropping several notches
from last year s ranking of 84.
The GCI, compiled by the World Economic
Forum (WEF), ranks a country s competitive-
ness according to factors such as the quality
of its infrastructure and its ability to foster
innovation. The GCI report on T&T, released
yesterday at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate
School of Business, in Mt. Hope, showed that
while this country s ranking dropped, the WEF
had reclassified T&T as an innovation-driven
economy. According to a statement from
Arthur LokJack GSB, this means that T&T is
classified even higher than Chile, Mexico and
Economies are classified in three stages of
"With this new categorisation, T&T has
become a benchmark for the Caribbean and
Latin America," the statement explained.
T&T is the only country in Latin America
and the Caribbean in this innovation-driven
category which ranks "the best and most pro-
ductive countries in the world."
Commenting on yesterday s worldwide
release of the GCI, Klaus Schwab, the WEF s
founder and executive chairman, said inno-
vation was increasingly the key ingredient in
an economy s ability to prosper.
"I predict that the traditional distinction
between countries being developed or less
developed will gradually disappear," he said,
"and we will instead refer to them much more
in terms of being innovation rich versus
innovation poor countries."
Balraj Kistow, Director of the Arthur Lok
Jack GSB, said the reclassification contributed
to T&T s low ranking.
"It meant that the weighting would have
changed and because of that there was a move-
ment of a higher weighting in terms of the
innovation-driven factors which caused our
scores to fall. If we had stayed in the same
category our scores would have been higher
and we would not have seen a change," he
Though T&T dropped in its rankings, Cari-
com neighbour Barbados ranked 47 while
Jamaica ranked 94.
Reacting to T&T s results, Planning and
Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoe
Tewarie, said the country could do better and
should do better in its competitive rankings.
Chief executive officer of the T&T Chamber
of Industry and Commerce, Catherine Kumar
said the report is important for the investor
since it gives a wide span of information which
can be useful.
"What the report brings out would be the
areas of strengths and weaknesses and as an
investor looking at that."
Kumar also expressed concerned that the
report for T&T would be based on data which
was not up to date and that might skew the
The GCI showed that the United States
competitiveness among global economies is
rising again after four years of decline, though
northern European countries continue to dom-
inate the rankings.
Six European countries dominated the top
ten---Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Sweden,
the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The remaining three slots were Asian---Sin-
gapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Switzerland has topped the rankings of 148
economies in the Global Competitiveness
Report for the fifth consecutive year. The
Forum said Switzerland s standing rests notably
on its innovation, labour market efficiency,
sophistication of its business sector and top-
notch scientific research institutions.
The survey found that countries in southern
Europe, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and
Greece, continue to suffer numerous economic
problems, including weakness in their financial
markets and poor access to financing.
T&T slips in
T&T gets China aid to buy port scanner
i-govTT chairman Jacqueline Syms, left, senior economist/manager, Economic Intelligence
Unit, Republic Bank, Dr Ronald Ramkissoon and Planning and Sustainable Development
Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie listen attentively during the national release of the Global
Competitiveness Index report ayesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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