8 months ago

The Trinidad & Tobago Business Guide (TTBG, 2009-10)

has several new parks in

has several new parks in the pipeline. Other infrastructural projects are in the hands of the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) and the National Insurance Property Development Company (Nipdec). Not surprisingly, the construction sector has soaked up pretty much all the available labour, and some imported Chinese labour too (Chinese firms have been heavily involved in funding and constructing some of these ventures). Some projects have been postponed by the budget cuts, including a striking Carnival performance centre in the Queen’s Park Savannah, school and housing starts, and hospitals for Port of Spain and Point Fortin. buses called “maxi-taxis”. But the main north/south and east-west highways are slowly being upgraded and extended; a flyover will soon be easing the chronic congestion at the point where they intersect; and a new freeway between San Fernando and Princes Town is on the cards. New fast ferries link Tobago and Trinidad, halving the travelling time between the islands. Since the end of 2008 four “water-taxis”, highspeed catamarans, have been operating between Port of Spain and San Fernando, and will eventually add intermediate stops and extend to the city’s western suburbs at Westmoorings. Port of Spain is to acquire a new port, east of the present site. The biggest construction scheme of all is a hugely expensive rapid rail system, which is in the early planning stages. Two lines, running north/south and east/west, will cover about 105 kilometres, linking the capital with east Trinidad and San Fernando. ... and new energy projects are going ahead The government is pushing ahead with a 125,000 tonne-per-year Alutrint aluminium smelter and dock at La Brea, a US$2 billion Essar steel plant (in which the ill-fated Clico Investment Bank has been involved—see sidebar), a US$2.3 billion polypropylene plant, and an upgrade for the Petrotrin refinery at Pointe-à-Pierre. (See our report on energy elsewhere in this Guide for a survey of energy sector development.) The new 1,724-hectare Point Lisas South and East Estate, adjoining the original Point Lisas complex, will have its own port, and construction continues on Methanol Holdings’s urea/ammonium/nitrate plant. Some of these projects are running late, while others seem likely to be delayed or deferred. “Can-do” state agencies are handling implementation ... This orgy of public construction is being handled by a variety of state agencies, the largest portfolio at present being held by the Urban Development Corporation (Udecott). In addition to the waterfront development, the government campus, the performing arts academies and the Brian Lara sports complex at Tarouba, Udecott runs dozens of projects in every part of the country, involving anything from new offices for ministries and local government bodies to housing projects, land reclamation, refurbishment of government buildings, transit hubs and a large complex in San Fernando to accommodate shops, offices and entertainment. Other state agencies have heavy responsibilities too in the construction sector. Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development (eTecK) is developing a hightech industrial park at Tamana; it oversees the existing industrial park network, and “Vision 2020” is the government’s road map ... New public buildings, transport services and facilities are critical to the government’s overall vision for Trinidad and Tobago, set out in great detail in its “Vision 2020” documents, which have been in preparation since 2002. Basic documents can be found at www.vision2020., including: • the official Draft Strategic Plan for turning Trinidad and Tobago into a “developed nation” • the current version (2007-2010) of the rolling Operational Plan • the latest “Transformation in Progress” report (for 200) • reports from the many committees which have been developing recommendations for each social and economic sector. The Vision2020 concept is based on five developmental “pillars”: • Developing innovative people • Nurturing a caring society • Governing effectively • Enabling competitive businesses • Investing in sound infrastructure and environment. ... and non-energy investment priorities have been set A number of non-energy sectors have been selected by the government as priority areas for investment: • Downstream petrochemicals • Film • Fishing and fish processing • Food and beverages • Information and communications technology • Yachting • Printing and packaging • Music and entertainment • Merchant marine industries. 10 TTBG 09/10

(This page) One Woodbrook Place under construction (Opposite Page) Port of Spain 09/10 TTBG 11

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