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Economist encourages Opposition to support Global forum legislation

Monday, November 13, 2017
Dr Terrence Farrell

Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB), Dr Terrence Farrell called on the Opposition to be supportive of legislation concerning Global Forum as this can have implications for correspondent banking relationships between local banks and international banks.

In late October, AG Faris-Al-Rawi had signalled that the legislation concerning Global Forum is expected to be laid in Parliament “soon,”

The legislation, once passed, would enable T&T to exchange information with the 141 countries comprising of the Global Forum.

Farrell was speaking with reporters on Day two of ICATT’s Annual International Finance and Accounting conference 2017 last Friday, which was held at the Hyatt hotel, Port-of-Spain.

“One of the problems we have in this country, is that the Opposition simply tends to oppose without any basis or reason, that needs to change.

“That (opposing without reason) can change if people in the Opposition understand that organisations are not happy with their performance and are prepared to vote people out and vote people in, based on what they deliver to society.”

The Global Forum legislation needs the Opposition’s support as it needs three fifths majority vote in the Parliament.

Farrell noted that areas such as Fatca, Common Reporting Standards and anti-money laundering are all national issues.

“The loss of correspondent banking relationships with the commercial banks is not an issue which affects the PNM or the UNC, or the COP it affects everybody in the country.

“When we have a national issue like that, then everybody needs to get on board and produce the best possible legislation that we can in order to move the country forward, and do it in a timely fashion which we did not do with Fatca.”

He added that when there are issues impacting T&T, “it is incumbent on the professional organisations, business organisations and civil society to let their voices be heard, to speak up and put forward in view, specific things, and not just simply protest and complain, but put forward recommendations to the Government and to the Opposition.”