The challenges at state-owned Petrotrin are a reflection of what is happening in the wider economy, economist Dr. Ronald Ramkissoon said yesterday.
“If we look across the conversation instead of just Petrotrin, like the Telecommunications Services Company of T&T, Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission), there is a kind of coming to terms with developments that have gone on in this economy in the last 56 years.
“I think that the economy is coming to a point, given with what is happening to energy, where we can no longer continue to be doing what we did in the past. We have waited for a long time before we started to think about what we should have been doing for quite some time,” he said at the launch of the Global Competitiveness Report 2018-2019 at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (ALJGSB), Mt. Hope.
Dr. Balraj Kistow, Lecturer and Programme Director at ALJGSB, added that the issues taking place at Petrotrin should be a catalyst for change for the wider economy.
“While we may be looking to the restructuring of that sector, we still have to deal with the issue of creating value and how do we fix that enabling environment.
“Whether we call it Petrotrin or Heritage or whatever, if we carry across the same culture, the same method of doing business, then we are just changing names. I think that Petrotrin is a microcosm of the economy as a whole,” he said
This year T&T ranked 78 out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2018-2019 compared to last year’s ranking of 83 out of 138 countries. However, the methodology for calculation of the Index has changed, so the ranking last year was re-commuted based on this new methodology.
Kistow said: “It is important to recognize that because we are now using a new index where we have re-organized pillars and there are changes within the pillars, the weights and aggregations are now different and the way the results are presented are new. We cannot compare what came in the past with the present index.”
Compared to last year, there is not much difference in T&T’s ranking, he said.
Of concern is the report’s findings on T&T’s relative weakness when it comes to mastering innovation, from idea generation to product commercialization.
The country that did the best on this year’s report is the United States. The only other Caribbean country ranked was Jamaica which was just one position under T&T at 79.