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Minister Tewarie to private sector Invest in T&T or foreigners will step in
Planning and Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie on Friday urged the private sector to take advantage of investment opportunities, failing which foreigners will step in. Using the example of Chinese business people opening up restaurants and groceries everywhere in the last five years, he said, “We cannot blame anybody. The private sector needs to be on the ball and you got to take advantage of the opportunities that are available.
“If you do not invest in your own country, looking outwards, people from other countries will come here and invest looking both outwards and inwards and, therefore, you are going to lose the space that you can easily occupy.” Tewarie was speaking at the first national consultation on the SouthWest Peninsula Growth Pole at Paria Suites Hotel and Conference Centre, La Romaine. “In a small country, the State is especially important because it not only plays the role of referee, but it is the entity for pioneering economic effort.”
Were it not for the State, he said, there would be no Point Lisas Industrial Estate or National Gas Company, nor would there be major initiatives and development in the country. “You could not build a cadre of competence in energy were it not for the State in collaboration with the private sector. “But the State cannot be the dominant economic player in the economy. It can be a pioneering economic player.” He said the real investment must come from the private sector.
“If you really want properity, you’ve got to unleash entrepreneurship. You’ve got to unleash business investment.” The SouthWest Peninsula Growth Pole is one of the five growth poles, said Bruce Mackenzie, a member of the ministry’s Economic Development Board. MacKenzie said the objective of the consultation was to initiate the development of an implementation plan for the peninsula, which runs from San Fernando to Icacos to Penal/Debe.