Although T&T has been downgraded by international credit rating agency Standard and Poor's, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is assuring the country that its business and its future is in good hands.
In a message posted to his Facebook page hours after the agency downgraded T&T on Tuesday, Rowley admitted that while T&T is still rated as an investment grade the country is still in serious difficulty.
The downgrade in T&T’s sovereign rating is as a result of S&P’s projection of a lower than expected energy production and economic growth which it expects will weaken the country's revenue base and delay Government’s plans to balance the budget by fiscal year 2020-2021.
As a result of its forecast, Standard and Poor’s lowered its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Trinidad and Tobago to BBB from BBB+ and affirmed its short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at A-2.
But in his response, the PM said the Government was "not on that wavelength" and doing everything in its power to ensure the situation did not materialise.
Noting his recent missions abroad to meet with all the major energy players, the PM said, "That trip was to make sure that this prediction of a reduction in gas production does not come to pass," Rowley said.
He pointed out that Standard and Poor's is also predicting a loss in oil production but added that he now-shuttered Petrotrin has gone from drilling zero wells to its successor Heritage now drilling 16-18 wells.
"That prediction will not come to pass," Rowley assured.
He noted, however, that the rating agency has upgraded T&T's outlook from negative to stable.
"The reason for this is our favourable external profile and our stable democracy. They also say it reflects on the country’s solid level of Government financial assets and good fiscal and external performance," Rowley said.
He added that Government's assignment, as "unpleasant" as it is, is to run the country on $10 billion less in income.
"Any government that is not prepared to take the hard decisions for the people’s interest is a government that you have no use for," Rowley added.