Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 6th 2013 Contents A23
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Information and Commu-
nication Technology (ICT) is
one area T&T can use to diver-
sify away from oil and gas
dependency, Stephen King,
CEO of local software devel-
opment company, Ixanos said
"ICT is at the top of the list
in diversification. We have had
oil and gas for the past 51 years
and I think it is important that
this diversification exercise
works because we do not have
anything to fall back on. The
diversification to ICT means we
start earning foreign exchange
from products which we earn
the intellectual property to or
else we do not stand a chance,"
King spoke to the T&T
Guardian yesterday at a seminar
on Cuban technology at the
T&T Chamber of Commerce,
He said T&T can learn from
the Cuban experience. In 2002,
Cuba established a university
that specialises in ICT.
"Cuba has done some things
in ten years because of a very
focused, visionary and cen-
tralised government," he said.
King said the Government
needs to be strategic in what is
The Heritage and Stabilisa-
tion Fund investment portfolio
generated a return of 1.5 per
cent for the quarter ended
December 2012, compared with
a return of 1.4 per cent for the
Strategic Asset Allocation
Approximately 80 per cent of
the portfolio s return was attrib-
uted to the performance of the
non-US International Core
The HSF Quarterly Invest-
ment Report noted that as at
the end of December 2012, the
net asset value of the HSF was
US$4.7801 billion, an increase
from US$4.7124 billion at the
end of September 2012.
The report noted that In gen-
eral, financial markets experi-
enced increased volatility over
the review period given the con-
cerns regarding elections in the
US, resolution of the "fiscal cliff"
debate, the debt situation in
some Euro zone nations and the
general outlook for the global
It added that In the US, the
Standard and Poor s 500 index
declined by one per cent for the
quarter while other developed
market equities, as measured by
the MSCI EAFE index, increased
6.2 per cent while in the global
fixed income markets including
the US, UK and Japan, bond
yields rose while those in the
Euro zone declined over the
three months to December 2012.
Expert: T&T can use Cuba's ICT model to diversify
T&T and Venezuela have reached a deal to
jointly produce gas from fields located between
the two countries, Venezuelan Energy Minister
Rafael Ramirez said.
According to a Prensa Latina report, Venezuelan
state-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela
(PDVSA) and Chevron Corp will produce the gas
from unified offshore fields that contain nearly
12 trillian cubic feet of natural gas.
The deal was sealed on Tuesday night with
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, who travelled
to Caracas to wrap up the agreement, Ramirez
said. He said the gas production agreement is
scheduled to be signed in Caracas next week.
"We are going to sign the document approving
the functional structure and governability of the
operations of the unified fields next week with
the presence of Minister Ramnarine," Ramirez
The biggest of the fields has 10.25 trillion cubic feet of gas, of which "73.75 per cent is Venezuela s
and 26.25 per cent is Trinidad and Tobago s,"
Production from this field will be undertaken
from the Venezuelan side, said Ramirez, who is
also the CEO of PDVSA.
"We have reached an agreement. We are going
to exploit it from the Venezuelan side, where 73.75
per cent of the gas is...and we are going to do it
between PDVSA Gas and Chevron," the energy
T&T has a bigger ownership stake in the other
two shared fields, which hold more than 1 trillion
cubic feet of gas, and the two countries "are
making advances on the technical side," Ramirez
said, without providing additional details on the
"We are going to be able to take this gas from
here to Colombia. We are going to be able to
export it and we will continue guaranteeing (the
supply) to our domestic market," the Venezuelan
energy minister said.
Economist Dr Ralph Henry is calling for care-
ful review of proposed revised credit union leg-
islation before it is introduced.
"I hope they will not introduce the legislation
that they have proposed, at least not without
another look at it to see what impact it will have
on the movement," Dr Henry, chairman, Kairi
Consultants Limited, said,
He was speaking after a ceremony to launch
Rhand Credit Union s new products, Max 100
Credit Plan and Max Auto at the credit union s
headquarters, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
Dr Henry said new regulation is about regulating
the credit union sector and "putting it under
"It is not really encouraging it to grow, so you
are going to stall it s growth. It can lead to the
decline of credit unions," he warned.
Dr Henry said while he recognises the need to
prevent another Hindu Credit Union from occur-
ring, the proposed legislation must create a space
for the growth of the sector.
"What we are doing is we are depending on
a traditional elite to determine the growth of
business in the country. We are stalling the devel-
opment of the country when there are the
resources to create a whole range of activities,"
"If you look at the reserves that the credit
unions must have, we are requiring our institutions
to have much more money tied up."
Overall, Dr Henry advised against "blindly
adopting" new legislation in T&T s financial
sector since there could be repercussions.
"I am arguing that we have to be more sensitive
to our own requirements. If you look at the new
structures they want to suggest for us for the
operations of our institutions that will destroy
the credit union movement," he said.
T&T finalises new gas
deal with Venezuela
Economist urges caution with proposed laws
Economist Dr Ralph Henry left and Rhand Credit Union president Theresa Aguila-Joseph at the launch
of the credit union's new loan products and services at its head office, Abercromby Street, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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