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Corruption ranking a wake up call
President of American Chamber of Commerce in T&T (AmCham T&T) Hugh Howard said the country’s poor showing on this year’s Transparency International 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) should served as a “wake up” call.
Commenting on the rankings released yesterday which showed T&T scoring a very poor 38 out of 100 points, Howard said: “It is unfortunate that we have dropped a notch. The chances of diversifying the economy now becomes more remote as no foreign business person will invest in a country where he feels he will get a raw deal. If a foreign investor signed up for a certain project, there must be a sound procurement policy. This should be a wake up call.”
He said the Transparency International Index looks at availability of information, government procurement, campaign financing and other factors in determining the index and noted that T&T’s low rating is nothing new. Referring to the recent release of the local Extractive Industries Transparency Report on how T&T’s energy revenue was spent by the Government, Howard said said transparency must exist at all levels of the society.
Howard said all the stakeholders in the country must come together and come up with solutions. “This now appears to be a creeping disease and if it is not dealt with, the economy of the country will be in jeopardy. We cannot go on this way and people must let their voices be heard. There must be an engagement with the Government, business sector, labour and all sectors of society,” he said.
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