Yvonne Webb and Alana Boodoo-Suraj
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SDATT president: T&T must diversify to be relevant
The recent oil spill in parts of south Trinidad shows the weak infrastructure of T&T’s oil industry, said Gregory Hill, president of the Securities Dealers’ Association of T&T (SDATT). “They (the Government) need to diversify if we are to be relevant in the context of our uncompetitive natural gas prices,” he said.
“The declining oil production locally, our weak oil infrastructure as can be seen by the recent oil spill, the competition from shale gas, competition from other competing energy plants from around the world—our energy sector is in a precarious position as our economy is dependent on those.” Hill spoke yesterday at the signing of the protocol ceremony between the SDATT and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He said the agreement will work in favour of the Securities Industry and the economy as a whole.
“Today the role of SDATT is a heightened one in the T&T economy. As we see the outlook for our economy to be fairly mixed. Our energy sector still accounts for 45 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that level of dependence is a risk factor to our industry and our economy as a whole,” he said. He said because of this, SDATT sees development of the capital market as critical for the economic diversification paradigm of the country. Hill said the development of the country lies at the “heart of the securities business.”
“We must include our sector’s contribution from the low teens to at least a third of the economy. The only way to do that is to develop our securities services. We need more IPO’s and we thank Finance Minister Howai for the FCB IPO. We also need to privatise the non-core state entities of T&T and by doing this create more listings on the market and by doing so create a society that is more open to risk taking,” he said.
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