You are here
Jump start T&T’s economy
Even as the construction sector battles with the People’s Partnership Government over outstanding money for work done under the Patrick Manning administration, it still wants to establish a well-knit working relationship with the State, according to Mark Raymond, president of the T&T Institute of Architects (TTIA). In a Sunday Guardian interview, he said his organisation was seeking dialogue with the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led administration to explore ways to jump start this country’s stagnant economy. “This doesn’t mean huge contracts,” he said. “I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about survival and sustaining resources and making sure that the type of work that exists is useful, is beneficial and it engages and maintains the resources that we have. That’s what we’re looking to do.”
Raymond said TTIA wanted Government to dialogue with the industry, through the Joint Consultative Council and other organs on important issues that relate to construction, society and the economy combined.
In his view, this type of relationship would allow the construction sector and the State to evolve and develop ways collectively to address the country’s economic situation. He said: “The last government determinedly and deliberately removed themselves from that dialogue…for whatever the reason. And I’m not even interested in what that reason is anymore. “This Government came in with a promise of being a government of the people and I think the assumption is, that will require some dialogue. So, we are expecting that dialogue. We want that engagement.” Raymond said the last People’s National Movement regime promoted Udecott as a vehicle for development, but the type of development the state-owned company was engaged in was commercial. “Urban development can take many forms. Urban development doesn’t mean big high rise buildings. Urban development can mean providing adequate green spaces or communities. It could mean providing adequate lighting…it could mean providing adequate access on the provision of health facilities. All those things need to be designed. To be engineered, they need to be planned,” he said.
Raymond added: “...And, to engineer, design and plan them you need architects, engineers and planners. And you need contractors to build them. If you want to determine a good way at doing that you need to have dialogue between the Government and these individuals.” He said the construction sector had a great deal to offer to the man in the street in terms of improving the environment, but it required engagement, understanding and collaboration with the Government. “It’s what our members are committed to. It’s not about money or contracts. It’s about contributing meaningfully to the formation of a much better society and advancing our society in a realistic way. Not on pipe dreams.” The JCC weighs in... Meanwhile, Afra Raymond, president of the JCC described the present climate for the design and building industry in T&T, as “very worrying.”
“Architects and engineers have no levels of work, which means the rest of us in the industry are looking at a serious situation going forward. Based on some of the meetings we’ve been having with officials in the Government we have to buckle down for an engagement,” said Raymond. He added: “The reason we mention Government is because most of our professional practices rely on Government as the largest organ of the economy. And if the Government takes a particular direction as we saw in the last regime it could have a very bad effect on our professions. We are right now engaging with all of our voice and our energy to try to make sure that this new Government takes a different direction. And it’s not easy. It is a serious job.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.