You are here
Diversification plan will save us
Two recent failed projects underscore the need to diversify our economy away from dependency on energy model!
Within the last four weeks, both the SABIC methanol deal worth US$5 billion and the Severstal Iron and Steel deal worth US$600 million have fallen through.
This is because these investors can now get their oil and gas at significantly cheaper prices in the United States. It is important to understand that the process in getting these companies to sign into T&T was an arduous one in the first place. A lot of due diligence and research would have had to be undertaken by their respective corporate departments. In the same way, a lot of digging also went on before they decided to move out of T&T.
Remember, these companies are global players and are constantly scanning the global environment to see where they can get the most competitive advantage.
This is only the start. When the US really cranks up their shale/fracking production, we can expect even the current companies located in Point Lisas producing urea, ammonia, methanol, etc, to mothball their operations here and move to greener pastures where they can access cheaper oil and gas so they can make more profit.
Bottom line: this will have a traumatic shrinkage in government’s revenues shrinking the money available for salaries to civil servants (50 per cent of labour force), Cepep and URP employees (15 per cent), pension/NIS payments, CDAP drugs, gas/diesel subsidies; deep cuts in everyone’s disposal income.
What we have to do now, however, to stay ahead of the curve is to get the TTMA, T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, unions, government ministers and captains of industry to come together to hammer out a diversification plan for the rewiring of our economy.
This diversification plan—ship repair facilities, cocoa production, contact centres, etc—has to be done within a six-month timeframe, and then timelines have to be concretised for the implementation of this plan.
Suggest, given the excellent job done by Arthur Lock Jack in terms of the Vision 2020 Plan, that he be made the chairman of this committee, with Minister Vasant Bharath being government’s point man. Whoever we choose, we need to start now and get moving quickly; your salary, or relative’s pension may depend on this.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.