Despite T&T's small size, the country must continue exploring and entering foreign markets to build the economy, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday.
"We as a small country can grow from a parochial location. That is why when Carib Glassworks talks about entering foreign markets, we should feel strong and confident. As one comedian said how much bananas could you eat, how much curry can you use. Even if we can find ourselves in the Caricom region we would find that very soon that market cannot sustain our aspirations and we have to look outside," he said in an address at the launch Carib Glassworks Limited's new $200 million.
Dr Rowley said he recently met with the country's top business leaders and asked them how Government can make the business environment more efficient. He added that Government cannot run the country on its own and needs the help of the private sector which has had decades of developing experience, building a financial base and finding new markets.He said an over reliance by ordinary citizens and the private sector's on Government is a recipe for failure.
Dr Rowley said the Government will soon invite proposals from the private sector for dealing with waste management, including the Beetham Dump, recycling of waste and potentially developing power from waste.
"The landfills are overcrowded and are now threatening the environment," he said.
Norman Sabga, chairman of the Ansa McAL Group, said the $200 million investment is aimed at keeping Carib Glassworks competitive in a world where large multinationals are increasingly dominating the glass manufacturing market.
"Carib Glassworks remains one of the small handful of independent glass manufacturers. This follows the closing of plants in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Panama. Our competition is now from very large, well capitalized, multinationals," he said.
Sabga referred to Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico who was recently in T&T and said that Government must be the biggest ally of the private sector. "The Ansa McAL Group is doing everything in its power to assist in the rebuilding of the economy. Given the current economic climate private sector businesses should be seen as collaborators with Government agencies as we all work towards prosperity," he said.