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McLeod: T&T behind in productivity
T&T’s business sector and workforce must improve their productivity for the country’s economy to perform at its maximum capacity, Labour Minister Errol McLeod said yesterday. “We are behind in productivity. This means the cost of production are higher. We must get value for every dollar we spend, whether it is wages, good or services,” he said at the opening of the ministry’s Fairshare Exposition at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
Approximately 100 micro and small enterprises (MSE’s) showcased their businesses at the expo. The Fairshare Programme promotes entrepreneurship, training and development for MSEs and aims to set aside preferential arrangement of public contracts for qualifying MSEs. McLeod urged small businesses to be innovative, as businesses in this country are behind their counterparts in other parts of the world. He said 85 per cent of them do not use new technologies and the products they offer are not new.
“Businesses must be a step above the rest. “MSEs account for over 90 percent of all business in T&T. The programme helps in the alleviation of poverty and focuses on helping MSEs improve their capacity to develop a successful business as well as providing goods and services to government ministries. Over 1,000 businesses have applied for the Fairshare Programme.”
McLeod said the Government wants to “teach people to fish” to earn their own livelihoods rather than rely on the State. “A business can never be successful if its owner is laissez-faire. In T&T, the Government is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services and therefore will help contribute to the growth of these MSEs. This is a small country and we have not inconsiderable resources and there are considerable opportunities for people to develop skills and a new attitude of self sustenance.”
McLeod said it is important that MSEs do well so that the economy can become more diversified and stop relying on one source of income. “As T&T move away from energy earnings, entrepreneurship is important.”