Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 19th 2013 Contents A19
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NEW YORK---A New York court is
the scene of an explosive legal battle
over whether residents of the Amazon
rainforest can collect a judgment of
nearly US$9 billion from energy giant
Testimony continued Monday in
Ecuador s highest court has approved
the award. Chevron wants to block the
collection of that money in the US.
In recent weeks, two former judges
from Ecuador testified against each
One claimed he arranged a
US$500,000 bribe on behalf of lawyers
for the rainforest residents. He says the
kickback was supposed to be paid to
the second judge.
The second judge has testified that
the allegation is "not close to reality."
Oil contamination occurred in the
Amazon between 1972 and 1990 under
a Texaco-led consortium. Chevron later
Ecuadoreans seek payout from Chevron in US court
To achieve its diversification goals, T&T
needs to create an innovative and entre-
preneurial mind set among the citizens,
Hugh Howard president of the American
Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AmCham)
said yesterday. He said once that mind set
is created there will be a paradigm shift
from job seekers to job creators.
Howard, speaking at the opening of Global
Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2013 at the
National Academy for the Performing Arts
(NAPA) in Port-of-Spain, said: "It is a recog-
nised imperative for T&T to achieve sus-
tainable wealth creation and good quality of
life for its citizens.
"Our economy must be diversified from
the heavy reliance on the wasting resources
of oil and gas, which contribute about 45
per cent of gross domestic product and
approximately 80 per cent of foreign exchange
Howard said the private sector has a role
to play in "facilitating germination of the
twin elements of entrepreneurship and inno-
vation." He suggested the building of
public/private partnerships is through assis-
tance with financing since banks "do not
have lending models that cater for budding
The AmchamTT president said the failure
rate for SMEs can be reduced through "proper
planning, best practice business systems,
continuing human resource development in
areas of marketing and operations, training
in and access to investment finance, all linked
to the overarching concept of committed
mentorship programmes can be the fillip for
success". Curtis Manchoon, chairman of the
University of T&T (UTT) said the institution
is being strategically positioned as an entre-
preneurial university and its first business
incubator is to be produced soon.
"Right now we are in the process of final-
ising facilities for our first incubator and to
make that operational, as I said, we are putting
in place the organisational capacity, the infra-
structure, the people. We are doing the inter-
nal work that is necessary," he said.
Ramlochan Ragoonanan, chief executive
officer of Nedco, said the agency is moving
away from "buy and sell trade" and will be
focusing on individuals who are creating
Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is
the world s largest celebration of the inno-
vators and job creators who launch startups
that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth
and expand human welfare. It inspires people
to explore their potential as self-starters and
innovators. Local events are being spearheaded
by Youth Business T&T.
Innovation key to
Minister of Planning and Sustainable
Development Bhoendradatt Tewarie, left,
receives a token of appreciation from
chairman of Youth Business T&T, Richard
Young, at the formal opening of Global
Entrepreneurship Week at NAPA.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES.
$5.6 billion in
Government wants to ensure that university
graduates get jobs when they enter the job mar-
ket, Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim
"We must not contribute to the graduate glut.
It contributes to discouraged graduates. I am
focused on the employment rate and we will
continue to support this," he said at the ceremonial
opening of the newly renovated Canada South
Hall at University of the West Indies (UWI) St
Augustine Campus last Friday.
Work on Canada South Hall started in July
2011 and the cost of the entire project was $16.2
Karim said infrastructure works on the campus
will continue and will contribute to the the devel-
opment of the country and region.
"This hall has therefore contributed significantly
to the intellectual and human resource capital of
our country, something we should be grateful to
the people of Canada for. The Government of
T&T is also happy to contribute to the develop-
ment of the UWI, St Augustine Campus through
investing in its physical infrastructure," he said.
He said there will additional infrastructure for
education in the country as Government has
allocated $12 million for the Chaguanas Open
Campus which is due to be commissioned next
Karim said investment in tertiary education
from fiscal year 2009/2010 until 2014 is $5.6
billion with $761 million allocated to GATE.
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