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Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018<br />

The Voice of Business in <strong>Trinidad</strong> & <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

<strong>Transforming</strong><br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> & <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Settling disputes | Letting go of fossil fuels<br />

Digital revolution | The art of rejuvenation


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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018<br />

Contents<br />

ON THE COVER<br />

Joseph, Robert and John Hadad,<br />

joint CEOs of the HADCO Group,<br />

which is moving beyond imports<br />

and distribution to manufacturing<br />

and exports<br />

04<br />

The President’s<br />

pages<br />

Chamber President Ronald<br />

Hinds on transformation<br />

THE CHAMBER IN ACTION<br />

06<br />

10<br />

14<br />

The Chamber in action<br />

Digital revolution, business<br />

insights and coming events<br />

Lange <strong>Trinidad</strong> to supply<br />

the Caribbean’s battery<br />

needs<br />

Innovator profile by Natalie<br />

Dookie<br />

HADCO invests $35m in a<br />

new ice cream plant<br />

Innovator profile by Natalie<br />

Dookie<br />

18<br />

It starts right<br />

here, with you<br />

Jonathan Charles asks who should<br />

lead the urgent transformation<br />

ahead<br />

TRANSFORMING T&T<br />

22<br />

28<br />

30<br />

32<br />

35<br />

Making things new<br />

Pat Ganase on the art of<br />

rejuvenation<br />

Why is it taking so long?<br />

Kevin Baldeosingh wonders<br />

how T&T has dodged the<br />

transformation challenge for<br />

so long<br />

Do we really like it so?<br />

Sunity Maharaj on Dr Terrence<br />

Farrell’s 2017 study: are we too<br />

fond of things as they are?<br />

Desperate for change<br />

Hillary Young wonders whether<br />

current plans can bring <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

the transformation it sorely needs<br />

Can we let go of fossil<br />

fuels?<br />

David Renwick on the<br />

transformations needed in the<br />

energy sector<br />

02<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018<br />

The Voice of Business in <strong>Trinidad</strong> & ToBago<br />

Published by<br />

The <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of<br />

Industry and Commerce<br />

<strong>Transforming</strong><br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> & <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Settling disputes | Letting go of fossil fuels<br />

Digital revolution | The art of rejuvenation<br />

38<br />

40<br />

THE STATE OF THE NATION<br />

A return to growth in<br />

2018?<br />

Economic outlook: with luck,<br />

back in the black this year<br />

Oil, gas and<br />

petrochemicals<br />

Statistical profile: how is the<br />

energy sector faring?<br />

Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, Port of Spain, <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

PO Box 499, Port of Spain • Tel.: (868) 637-6966 • Fax: (868) 622-4475<br />

Email: chamber@chamber.org.tt • Website: www.chamber.org.tt<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong> Division:<br />

ANSA McAL Building, Milford Road, Scarborough, <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Tel.: (868) 639-2669 • Fax: (868) 639-2669<br />

Email: tobagochamber@chamber.org.tt<br />

Produced for the Chamber by<br />

MEP Publishers (Media & Editorial Projects Ltd)<br />

THE CHAMBER AND ITS<br />

MEMBERS<br />

6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain, <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Tel.: 622-3821 • Fax: 628-0639<br />

Email: info@meppublishers.com • Website: www.meppublishers.com<br />

Chamber liaison Halima Khan<br />

Editor Jeremy Taylor<br />

Page layout & design Bridget van Dongen<br />

Design template Christophe Pierre<br />

Advertising Halcyon Salazar<br />

Production Jacqueline Smith<br />

Editorial assistant Shelly-Ann Inniss<br />

44<br />

47<br />

How to settle a dispute<br />

Niall Lawless on the work being<br />

done at the Dispute Resolution<br />

Centre<br />

Welcome to new<br />

members<br />

DISCLAIMER<br />

Opinions expressed in <strong>Contact</strong> are those of the authors, and not<br />

necessarily of the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of Industry and<br />

Commerce or its partners or associates.<br />

CONTACT is published quarterly by the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of Industry and<br />

Commerce (TTCIC). It is available online at www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine.<br />

© 2018 TTCIC. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any<br />

form without the written permission of the publisher.<br />

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the chamber in action<br />

The President’s<br />

pages<br />

Welcome to the new-look <strong>Contact</strong>!<br />

As you can see, we have made some substantial changes to the<br />

Chamber’s magazine. We have given it a new look and feel, a new<br />

design. We have re-thought and re-angled the editorial. The result,<br />

we hope, is something more like a general-interest business magazine than a<br />

corporate statement.<br />

In fact, we’re thinking of <strong>Contact</strong> as a forum, a meeting place where members,<br />

and business readers generally, can discuss and debate business issues and ideas.<br />

So please treat the arguments and ideas in these pages as the views and<br />

opinions of the respective writers, not necessarily of the Chamber itself. Just<br />

as a debates commission can host and preside over an election debate without<br />

necessarily agreeing with anything the candidates say, so the Chamber can host<br />

and preside over a lively business discussion in <strong>Contact</strong>.<br />

Please make use of the magazine as a forum. We welcome your feedback on<br />

this new-look version. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for future coverage.<br />

We welcome your letters, whether about material in <strong>Contact</strong> or about general<br />

business issues (just mark letters “<strong>Contact</strong> – for publication”).<br />

We also welcome your advertising support, whether for informing members<br />

and readers about your goods and services, or as a corporate presence in the<br />

Chamber’s own magazine.<br />

The main theme of this issue of <strong>Contact</strong> is national transformation,<br />

appropriately enough, and we make no apology for returning to that vexed<br />

question.<br />

As it happens, the Chamber is very much in agreement with the broad<br />

argument running through the articles about how to implement change in <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong>.<br />

We all know that our economic situation is dire; virtually every social and<br />

economic sector is crying out for change and rejuvenation. But the problems are<br />

so complex that many people feel overwhelmed, open to change but not knowing<br />

where to start.<br />

We want to intensify the national debate about that: where are we, where<br />

do we need to go, what can each of us do about it? Large-scale change requires<br />

large-scale buy-in, and that can’t develop until the nation has a clear idea of what<br />

it needs to do.<br />

Each one of us, therefore, has a patriotic duty to embody the change we<br />

want to see. Every one of us is either a problem or a solution. But if, together, we<br />

can develop clear goals, and all pull in the same direction, is there anything that<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> could not do?<br />

<strong>Contact</strong> magazine is just one of the services and connections the Chamber<br />

provides for its members and for readers further afield. In these pages, for<br />

example, you will find a first-hand story written by a veteran mediator about<br />

the experience of mediating an industrial dispute at the Dispute Resolution Centre.<br />

04<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


The DRC is a fully autonomous<br />

organisation. Opened in 1996, it was<br />

first developed by the Chamber, and<br />

we continue to enjoy a very close<br />

relationship with it. I hope the story<br />

will remind readers of the services<br />

offered by the DRC in preventing and<br />

settling conflicts and disputes in the<br />

workplace.<br />

Among other services is our<br />

MVA (Membership Value Added)<br />

programme, under which our partners<br />

offer attractive discounts on services<br />

ranging from insurance and couriers<br />

to hotels and restaurants. There’s good<br />

value here waiting to be taken up, and<br />

I urge all our members to get with the<br />

programme!<br />

I would also like to remind<br />

members of our Business Insight<br />

facility, which offers “training for<br />

business by business”. It provides<br />

remote access to live events and to<br />

video recordings on business issues, as<br />

well as hooking up entrepreneurs with<br />

consultants and mentors.<br />

There are video sessions, for<br />

example, on economic transformation,<br />

surviving the recession, and financing<br />

innovation, not to mention an export<br />

toolkit, all subjects very relevant to our<br />

current theme. Make the most of them.<br />

Ronald Hinds<br />

President, <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Chamber of Industry and Commerce<br />

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the chamber in action<br />

Be a part<br />

of the digital<br />

transformation<br />

WORDS By: Derrick Villeneuve<br />

We stand at a fork in the road,<br />

and the direction we take<br />

will determine <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong>’s future. We can be<br />

idle spectators and watch the downward<br />

spiral, feeling helpless about crime, jobs<br />

and the government; or we can choose to<br />

make a difference.<br />

The road to a better future must<br />

include a plan to diversify the economy<br />

and make us competitive on the world<br />

stage. The Economic Development<br />

Advisory Board (edab.org.tt) has identified<br />

seven industries that will lead us from our<br />

current state – where non-energy exports<br />

are a mere 15 per cent of the total – to<br />

40% by 2030. A key enabler in exporting<br />

these goods and services is information<br />

and communication technology (ICT). This<br />

demands a digital transformation in our<br />

businesses and government.<br />

customers and trading partners more<br />

easily. It allows us to get things done<br />

without having to spent three hours<br />

in traffic or waiting in a line at the<br />

bank. It helps prevent crime and catch<br />

criminals. We have been exceptionally<br />

successful at digitally transforming our<br />

personal lives with the use of Facebook,<br />

LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other<br />

social media platforms. Now we need to<br />

bring that level of digital expertise to<br />

business and government. In our focal<br />

areas we need to be the best!<br />

This transformation begins with<br />

The committee is a group of<br />

volunteers from leading local companies<br />

who are passionate about ICT and are<br />

working towards a vision of <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong> as a digital society. Committee<br />

members have already organised seminars,<br />

network events and webinars; now this<br />

signature event can bring together the<br />

ICT community and business leaders to<br />

advance our digital transformation.<br />

The Canadian government has<br />

assisted us with a keynote speaker, Peter<br />

van der Gracht, a serial entrepreneur with<br />

global experience who has participated<br />

We will offer a choice of 50<br />

different breakout sessions<br />

Keeping up<br />

The world is moving ahead of us, while<br />

we remain constrained by institutions<br />

and habits that undermine this future.<br />

Our government agencies are still<br />

fundamentally manual and burdened with<br />

bureaucracy. We lag behind our Caribbean<br />

peers in passing legislation to enable<br />

digital business. We are still mostly a<br />

cheque-based society, and our vendors are<br />

still expected to collect their cheques in<br />

person. Many of our institutions straggle<br />

significantly behind the firms we will be<br />

competing with in North America, Europe,<br />

China, India and, significantly, even in the<br />

Caribbean.<br />

Digital transformation is about<br />

enabling a better and more efficient<br />

way of doing things. It allows us to<br />

share information with our associates,<br />

education and information exchange.<br />

Your managers and ICT departments<br />

need exposure to what is available for<br />

them to move your business from where<br />

it is today to where it needs to be in the<br />

digital age. This is a journey we will all<br />

have to undertake on a continuous basis<br />

as the world and its business evolves in<br />

disruptive ways all around us.<br />

The ICT conference<br />

We all know it is tough right now, and it will<br />

probably get harder before it gets better.<br />

This is why ICT Pro TT, a committee of the<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of Industry<br />

and Commerce, will host the conference,<br />

“Ignite Your Digital Transformation”, at<br />

the Hyatt Regency on May 15-16, 2018.<br />

in diversification strategies in other<br />

countries. Other presenters will include Dr<br />

Wayne A.I. Frederick, President of Howard<br />

University; Marla Dukharan, Caribbean<br />

economist with the financial technology<br />

company Bitt; and other notable business<br />

leaders.<br />

To top it off, we will offer participants<br />

a choice of 50 different breakout sessions<br />

to expand your digital knowledge, in topics<br />

including analytics, business applications,<br />

IT-enabled services and social media.<br />

So please join us, and join <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong>’s digital transformation!<br />

The author is chairman of ICT Pro TT, a<br />

committee of the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Chamber of Industry and Commerce<br />

06<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

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the chamber in action<br />

Business Insights<br />

sessions at the<br />

Chamber<br />

January 16<br />

Restructuring Options in the Current<br />

Economic Climate<br />

Given today’s tough economic environment, the T&T Chamber<br />

hosted a Business Insights session to address issues of corporate<br />

restructuring. As CEO Gabriel Faria noted: “It is important<br />

to understand and identify the early warning signs of financial<br />

troubles ... Should businesses fall into difficulty, it is important<br />

that you have an efficient debt-restructuring plan.”<br />

Feature speaker Maria Daniel pointed to the danger of<br />

ignoring the signals of difficulty ahead – worsening cash flow,<br />

rising costs and declining revenue – and failing to change<br />

current practices. She proposed solutions for business owners<br />

who may run into difficulty.<br />

A group panel discussion followed, featuring Jeremy<br />

Bridglalsingh (Chief Financial Officer/Executive Director,<br />

Trinity Exploration and Production), Karen Yip Chuck (General<br />

Manager, Corporate and Investment Banking, Republic Bank),<br />

Richard Beckles (Principal Consultant, The Legal Consultancy),<br />

and Maria Daniel (Partner, Transaction Advisory Services,<br />

Ernst & Young).<br />

This session is available from our Business Insights ondemand<br />

library at https://chamber.org.tt/paid/restructuringoptions-current-economic-environment/.<br />

Left to right: feature speaker Maria Daniel, panellists Richard<br />

Beckles, Karen Yip Chuck and Jeremy Bridglalsingh<br />

Left to right: Dr Ronald Ramkissoon, Allana Steuart,<br />

Joe Pires, Sheivan Ramnath, Arun Seenath<br />

January 29<br />

Insights into the Agricultural and<br />

Agro-Processing Industry<br />

Agriculture is a sector with enormous potential for<br />

diversification. This Business Insights session aimed to increase<br />

awareness about the incentives, opportunities and impediments<br />

for anyone operating in the agricultural sector.<br />

The feature presentation was by Senator Avinash Singh,<br />

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land<br />

and Fisheries. He focused in detail on government incentives<br />

and programmes.<br />

An interactive panel discussion followed, which allowed<br />

the audience to pose questions and make comments to the<br />

panellists: Senator Singh, Sheivan Ramnath (CEO, Agricultural<br />

Development Bank), Joe Pires (Managing Director, Caribbean<br />

Chemicals), Allana Steuart (Managing Director, Bertie’s Pepper<br />

Sauce), Arun Seenath (Tax Partner, Deloitte), and Ronald<br />

Ramkissoon (Economic Development Advisory Board).<br />

This session is available on demand from our BI library<br />

at https://chamber.org.tt/paid/insights-agricultural-agroprocessing-industry/.<br />

08<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


March 12<br />

Firing Up the Food Industry<br />

The food industry attracts plenty of attention in<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>, and attracts tourists as well as<br />

locals. This session aimed to assist existing operators<br />

and anyone interested in starting up a business in this<br />

sector.<br />

The feature speaker, consultant Kami Jerome,<br />

shared her international and local experience in the<br />

industry, and explored areas that must be considered<br />

in order to create and sustain a successful business in<br />

the food and hospitality sector.<br />

In the subsequent discussion, panellists Richard<br />

Ramjohn (Big Rolph Food Truck), Aka Ali Kerr<br />

(Hyatt Regency <strong>Trinidad</strong>), Suzanne Daniel (Beautiful<br />

Buffets), and Christian Stone (More Vino) shared<br />

their industry experience.<br />

Left to right: Richard Ramjohn, Kami Jerome, Suzanne Daniel,<br />

Christian Stone, Aka Ali-Kerr<br />

This session is available on demand from our BI<br />

library at https://chamber.org.tt/webinars/foodin/<br />

For partnering with us on the BI series we thank our platinum sponsors The JMMB Group and The Guardian Group; diamond sponsor<br />

C&W Business; and key sponsors One Caribbean Media and Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi.<br />

Coming events<br />

ICT Pro TT Conference<br />

• When: May 15-16, 2018<br />

• Where: Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain<br />

• Who for: Regional ICT and business professionals<br />

• Rationale: Deepening ICT knowledge;<br />

understanding ICT technologies,<br />

trends and services in business and<br />

government; networking with ICT<br />

professionals and business partners<br />

• Register: http://ictprott.com<br />

Taste of the Caribbean<br />

• When: June 22-26, 2018<br />

• Where: Hyatt Regency, Miami<br />

• Who for:<br />

Food and beverage professionals,<br />

aspiring and established chefs; lovers of<br />

Caribbean cuisine<br />

• Rationale: Celebrating and showcasing Caribbean<br />

culinary arts; developing professional<br />

skills; gathering practical information;<br />

sampling, purchasing, strengthening<br />

established supplier relationships,<br />

meeting new vendors; innovative and<br />

exciting educational sessions<br />

• Tel.: 786-476-8623<br />

• Email:<br />

• URL:<br />

events@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com<br />

www.chtataste.com<br />

Global Business Travel Association Convention<br />

• When: August 11-15, 2018<br />

• Where: San Diego Convention Center, California<br />

• Exhibition: 400+ companies<br />

• Conference: 100+ education & professional development sessions<br />

• Attendees: 7,000+, representing over 50 countries. Nearly 1,300<br />

business travel buyers making purchasing decisions<br />

• Email: conventionreg@gbta.org<br />

• Phone: 888-574-6447<br />

• URL: convention.gbta.org/new<br />

China’s International Import Exposition<br />

• When: November 5-10, 2018<br />

• Where: National Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai<br />

• Who for: Government officials, business communities,<br />

exhibitors and professional purchasers<br />

• Exhibits: GOODS: high-end intelligent equipment; consumer<br />

electronics & appliances; automobiles; apparel,<br />

& consumer goods; food & agricultural products;<br />

medical equipment & medical care products<br />

SERVICES: tourism; emerging technologies; culture &<br />

education; creative design; service outsourcing<br />

• Info: China International Import Expo Bureau, National<br />

Exhibition and Convention Center, 333 Songze<br />

Avenue, Shanghai, China<br />

• Tel.: +86-21-67008870/67008988<br />

• Email: info@sinoexpo.cc<br />

• URL: www.shanghaiexpo.org.cn/zbh/en/<br />

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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


INNOVATORS<br />

Lange <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

to supply the<br />

Caribbean’s battery<br />

needs<br />

WORDS By: natalie dookie<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy: LANGE TRINIDAD<br />

Astalwart in the automotive industry since 1957, Lange is one of the<br />

leading battery distributors in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>. With 80 employees<br />

and four departments – automotive, batteries, industrial and insurance –<br />

the firm was one of the first companies in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> to earn an<br />

official “SME 2000 certification for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Quality and<br />

Environmental Management System”.<br />

Today, Lange is building on that track record of success by establishing its first<br />

manufacturing venture, through its subsidiary LTL Manufacturing Limited.<br />

Lange carries a wide range of battery products, including Premium, E-Series,<br />

Heavy Duty, 6-Volt, Traction and Gel Batteries for light and heavy duty automotive<br />

application. It also supplies the construction and marine sectors’ needs.<br />

Steven Blanc, Chief Operating Officer, Lange <strong>Trinidad</strong> Limited, notes that the<br />

locally produced TRACK battery brand, established in 1987, is a household name<br />

with consumers. “In 2014, we began looking at new export markets and decided to<br />

source an international supply that would be able to compete on quality globally.<br />

“Eventually, we found a manufacturer in Turkey, which met our needs of being<br />

strong on quality, and research and development. We began importing from them<br />

with the goal of setting up a plant in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>.”<br />

From importer to manufacturer<br />

Blanc believed that, as <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> was heavily reliant on revenues from<br />

the oil and gas industry, there was a shortage of export-oriented manufacturing<br />

businesses generating foreign exchange. “We saw this opportunity as a member of<br />

the private sector, to help improve the economy, through diversifying our business<br />

into manufacturing. As a distribution firm, we had been experiencing foreign<br />

exchange challenges, and wanted to reduce our import bill. Now, as an export driven<br />

manufacturer, we will become a net positive US dollar earner.”<br />

The Ministry of Trade and Industry came in for high praise from Blanc, who<br />

credits their team with providing excellent support to first-time manufacturers,<br />

especially one like Lange, whose product is sophisticated and requires significant<br />

engineering and research and development services. The Ministry also assisted with<br />

obtaining the necessary certifications, and with the preparations for export. The<br />

Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Customs and Excise Division and<br />

exporTT were also helpful in getting Lange to this point.<br />

10<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


Stephen Blanc, COO, Lange <strong>Trinidad</strong>: “As an<br />

export driven manufacturer, we will become<br />

a net positive US dollar earner”<br />

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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

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INNOVATORS<br />

batteries with Calcium Shield<br />

Technology, which basically means<br />

that you never have to worry about<br />

maintaining your battery as the<br />

structure and composition of the<br />

materials and chemicals minimise<br />

water loss, extending the overall life<br />

of your battery.”<br />

Technology modernises<br />

battery production<br />

The new TRACK plant is located at e<br />

TecK’s Industrial Park, Arima, on 44,000<br />

square feet of land, and will have the<br />

capacity to supply the Caricom market.<br />

The new factory has cutting-edge<br />

technology with a modular design,<br />

allowing for ease of expansion in the<br />

future. The equipment is state-of-theart,<br />

and the manufacturing process<br />

will be fully automated, with quality<br />

control stations at every stage.<br />

The first phase of configuration<br />

will allow for the production of<br />

automotive and heavy-duty batteries,<br />

which will supply Lange’s current<br />

local and regional export markets.<br />

The plant will provide employment<br />

for 20 to 50 people at its maximum<br />

capacity by year-end, creating highly<br />

technical jobs for a different class of<br />

manufacturing.<br />

The TRACK brand has three<br />

differentiating points of value,<br />

according to Ibrahim Abdool,<br />

Marketing Manager, Lange <strong>Trinidad</strong>.<br />

The new factory has cuttingedge<br />

technology with a<br />

modular design, allowing<br />

for ease of expansion in the<br />

future<br />

“VR Guard Technology protects your<br />

battery against the rigours of driving<br />

in harsh conditions. Secondly, Power<br />

Plus Technology ensures that the<br />

battery is able to start all modern<br />

vehicles which carry more components<br />

and features than in the past.<br />

“We are also developing the<br />

Targeting one million<br />

units<br />

Blanc is keenly looking to the future.<br />

“Once the plant is up and running,<br />

we will be ready to export. We have<br />

already commenced negotiations with<br />

partners in the Greater and Lesser<br />

Antilles, as well as South and Central<br />

America. From our early interactions,<br />

they are very impressed with where we<br />

are going, and with the product and<br />

operations of the company. Our goal<br />

is to manufacture one million units<br />

within the next five years. We want<br />

TRACK to be seen as an international<br />

brand with the ability to compete on<br />

quality in the international market.”<br />

In the medium to long term, Lange<br />

plans to add renewable energy, and<br />

industrial traction batteries for fully<br />

electric equipment, to its product line.<br />

Blanc explains: “As vehicles become<br />

more automated, with increasingly<br />

complex electronic systems and<br />

equipment, we will monitor changes<br />

in the market, and we have set up<br />

the plant so it will be easily adaptable<br />

to manufacture batteries of any<br />

specification.<br />

“Our mission has always been<br />

to provide high quality products<br />

at competitive prices, so this move<br />

into manufacturing will allow us<br />

to focus on quality control and<br />

competitiveness, while adapting as the<br />

industry evolves.”<br />

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of Industry and Commerce<br />

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epublictt.com<br />

email@republictt.com<br />

625-4411


INNOVATORS<br />

Hadco invests<br />

$35 million<br />

in new ice<br />

cream plant<br />

WORDS By: natalie dookie<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy: hadco ltd<br />

The HADCO Group is the largest importer and distributor of ice cream<br />

products in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>, representing premium brands such<br />

as Häagen-Dazs, Breyers, Nestlé, and Ben and Jerry’s. So it comes as no<br />

surprise that the Group is adding ice cream manufacturing to its list of<br />

achievements, with the development of a $35 million ice cream production plant.<br />

Started in 1992 by three brothers, Robert, Joseph and John Hadad, the Group<br />

Co-Chief Executive Officers, the HADCO Group now consists of five divisions and 12<br />

subsidiaries, representing 154 different brands. Employing more than 800 people,<br />

the Group has a wide reach, exporting across 12 Caribbean markets from its base<br />

in <strong>Trinidad</strong>.<br />

No stranger to manufacturing and innovation, HADCO recently bought and<br />

expanded a local recycling plant which converts used cooking oil into a feeder for<br />

biofuel; and its subsidiary, Imanex Limited, is already the largest manufacturer of ice<br />

cream cones in the Caribbean. Having successfully produced the Happy Time wafer<br />

cone for the past 20 years, HADCO is adding new machines to produce sugar and<br />

waffle cones. It hopes to secure 50 per cent of the regional ice cream cone market<br />

with the introduction of these new products.<br />

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Above HADCO Group co-CEOs: Joseph Hadad, Robert Hadad, John Hadad<br />

Right Creamery Novelties partner, Paul Gabriel<br />

Foreign exchange needed for survival<br />

“About five years ago we did a gap analysis,” John Hadad<br />

explains, “as we had built our business around distribution,<br />

and it was heavily reliant on foreign exchange. As a result<br />

of this, we decided to get involved in manufacturing,<br />

because we needed foreign exchange earnings within the<br />

Group for the survival of the structure of the business. We<br />

needed to generate our own foreign exchange as well as<br />

take the foreign exchange we have and create a valueadded<br />

multiplier effect.”<br />

So the Group began looking for manufacturing<br />

opportunities in any part of the business where it was<br />

strong, “around our core competencies and what we<br />

already know, which is distribution.”<br />

Hadad also notes that getting involved in the<br />

manufacturing of ice cream was a huge benefit to the<br />

Group, as it already sells 80 per cent of all imported ice<br />

Employing more<br />

than 800 people, the<br />

HADCO Group exports<br />

across 12 Caribbean<br />

markets from its base<br />

in <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

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INNOVATORS<br />

hlphoto/shutterstock.com<br />

cream in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>. “Having<br />

an understanding of the distribution<br />

side means that we can go to market<br />

with ice cream products a lot faster,<br />

because we have the infrastructure of<br />

cold storage, trucks, and a knowledge<br />

base of frozen products.”<br />

Creamery Novelties is<br />

established<br />

A few years ago, businessman Paul<br />

Gabriel approached the HADCO Group<br />

about distributing a local ice cream<br />

he wanted to produce. He had already<br />

completed a lot of research and<br />

development on the manufacturing<br />

process for a new brand. After much<br />

discussion, a 50 per cent partnership<br />

was born, Creamery Novelties.<br />

Located on the e TecK Diamond<br />

Vale Industrial Estate, the new plant<br />

consists of two buildings, of 10,000<br />

square feet each. One will house<br />

the ice cream, and the other the ice<br />

cream cones. Production starts in<br />

May, creating 25 new jobs at startup.<br />

The plant machinery was sourced<br />

from China, while the manufacturing<br />

process is uniquely designed to have<br />

very few touch points, from mixing<br />

to freezing, in keeping with a wellcontrolled<br />

sanitary environment. “A<br />

lot of work has gone into researching<br />

the equipment, and we have started<br />

creating recipes for the various<br />

flavours,” Hadad says.<br />

Taste testing and research and<br />

development were done locally,<br />

working with the Caribbean Industrial<br />

Research Institute, CARIRI. Product<br />

development, including packaging<br />

and design, was also sourced locally.<br />

“In addition, we will be collaborating<br />

with Caribbean CGA with respect to<br />

ingredient sourcing,” Hadad explains.<br />

The ice cream is initially in the<br />

basic flavours of chocolate, vanilla<br />

and coconut, with more endemic<br />

local flavours to be added as the<br />

product is rolled out. The firm will<br />

focus on bringing novelty products<br />

to the market such as an ice cream<br />

lolly called Creamee, as well as an<br />

old favourite, Choc Ice. Another<br />

innovative item will be a “Dairy<br />

Dainty”, which is five cubes of<br />

chocolate-coated ice cream in a box.<br />

This distinctive product was originally<br />

manufactured in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

by Paul Gabriel’s family more than 30<br />

years ago.<br />

The future of HADCO<br />

In the short term, HADCO is keen<br />

to see how the product performs in<br />

the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> market, and<br />

to understand consumer behaviour.<br />

“We want to start exporting as soon<br />

as possible, and will engage our<br />

distributor network across our 12<br />

export markets,” John Hadad says.<br />

“We feel positive that the product will<br />

sell very well throughout Caricom,<br />

and also in a few Central American<br />

markets.<br />

“Creamery Novelties targets the<br />

general consumer and affordability<br />

– we want to produce a good quality<br />

product at the right price. With our<br />

focus around novelties and flavours,<br />

the Group can become a dominant<br />

ice cream manufacturing force in the<br />

region within five years.<br />

“HADCO is owned by a<br />

Trinbagonian family, with Trinbagonian<br />

employees, and we want to continue<br />

to exist here, to grow our employee<br />

base and to grow our business. And<br />

we believe that the only way to do<br />

this would be to further diversify into<br />

manufacturing, in order to become<br />

self-sufficient with respect to foreign<br />

exchange earnings.”<br />

16<br />

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and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

It starts right<br />

here, with you<br />

Enough talk, enough evasion. It’s time to<br />

get serious about change<br />

WORDS By: jonathan charles<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy: trinidad express newspaper<br />

“<br />

Change is something we always say, / but every time we change things<br />

remain the same way,” sang the 2018 Calypso Monarch to the Savannah<br />

crowds back in February. “It won’t change despite all we do / if change<br />

doesn’t start with you.”<br />

It wasn’t a new message that Helon Francis was delivering. But the idea that<br />

each listener must become an agent of change was something of a novelty. Usually<br />

it’s the government which is supposed to change, or the opposition, or the business<br />

community. Someone else, anyway.<br />

But no matter who is urged to change, things have so far stayed the same.<br />

On the website of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) there is a scholarly<br />

paper which makes this point. Entitled “Diversification in T&T: Waiting for Godot?”<br />

(Khadan & Ruprah 2016). It refers mischievously to the 1953 Samuel Beckett play<br />

Waiting for Godot, in which two loquacious Irish vagrants wait for a mysterious<br />

saviour called Godot who never arrives. “Let’s go,” says one. “We can’t,” says the<br />

other. “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.”<br />

So maybe Godot will come. Maybe the price of oil will get back to US$100.<br />

Perhaps the deepwater blocks will be teeming with recoverable resources. Perhaps<br />

Venezuelan gas will help us out. Perhaps everyone will start living within their<br />

means. But Godot never seems to turn up.<br />

In the world of economics, this seems to be quite a common view of <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong>’s progress in diversifying its economy. Another post on the same IDB site<br />

(Khadan 2016) says bluntly that “diversification away from the energy sector has<br />

largely failed”. It puts much of the blame, controversially, on “Dutch disease”: “the<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> dollar has been consistently and substantially overvalued”. It<br />

might as well have blamed national complacency.<br />

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and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

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Helon Francis, 2018 Calypso Monarch: “It<br />

won’t change despite all we do / if change<br />

doesn’t start with you”<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

211<br />

240<br />

The idea that each listener<br />

must become an agent of<br />

change was something of a<br />

novelty<br />

180<br />

The<br />

problem<br />

We don’t really<br />

need to be told<br />

that the <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

170<br />

160<br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> economy<br />

is over-dependent<br />

on the energy sector.<br />

Diversification is one of the<br />

buzzwords that have been in the air for<br />

decades. Plans and visions, speeches<br />

and policy briefs, have come and gone<br />

over the years. But somehow the latest<br />

energy pricing crisis, combined with<br />

falling oil and gas production, still<br />

managed to catch us by surprise and<br />

unprepared, still dependent on the<br />

wells and the rigs to pump out the<br />

national patrimony and monetise it, so<br />

as to keep us in the style to which we<br />

have become accustomed.<br />

The horror story that has unfolded<br />

in the last couple of years does not need<br />

detailing again here: the disastrous<br />

fall in energy revenue, the decline in<br />

output, the foreign exchange shortage,<br />

the gas shortfall, the budget deficits,<br />

the slashing of government spending,<br />

the erosion of savings, the piling up of<br />

debt.<br />

Once the severity of the situation<br />

became really clear, it was too late to<br />

avoid this crisis. Even if the recent<br />

cautious optimism about energy price<br />

gains and improved oil and gas output<br />

turns out to be justified, the<br />

risks of dependence have<br />

been demonstrated<br />

for all to see.<br />

175 168<br />

157<br />

157<br />

154<br />

150<br />

151<br />

We’ve had the final<br />

warning. To continue with<br />

business as usual is too great a<br />

gamble. The nation has to adapt itself<br />

to sadly straitened circumstances,<br />

and quickly. It has to learn again to<br />

live within its reduced means. In the<br />

process, it will finally have to face up to<br />

the challenge of diversification; and to<br />

the larger issue of transforming itself<br />

– its economy, its society, its culture<br />

– into something more efficient, more<br />

rational, more productive and more<br />

sustainable, than it is now.<br />

Obstacles<br />

One hurdle is that these heavy abstract<br />

nouns have been around so long and<br />

have become so familiar that they no<br />

longer mean very much. They fly in<br />

one ear and out the other. They fall<br />

to the ground like hunks of dead wood.<br />

Diversification. Thud. Innovation. Thud.<br />

Transformation. Clunk. Lip service is paid,<br />

brows are duly furrowed, and then we<br />

return to business as usual.<br />

Another hurdle is that there is no<br />

clear definition of what these key words<br />

mean in our national context. Diversify<br />

what into what? Transform ourselves into<br />

who? What would a diversified economy<br />

and a transformed <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

actually look like? There is as yet no<br />

common understanding, no shared<br />

vision, about what these<br />

words and ideas<br />

would involve<br />

if they<br />

137<br />

135<br />

132<br />

131<br />

were taken<br />

seriously: and no<br />

sense of what anyone<br />

should start doing about them.<br />

130<br />

124<br />

Plans and visions<br />

It is not that explanations are lacking.<br />

The planosphere is swimming in plans,<br />

policies, briefs, visions and speeches. There<br />

is Vision 2030 above all, aka the Draft<br />

National Development Strategy 2016-<br />

2030, which is available online, though<br />

few people seem to know what is in it.<br />

There is an array of documents ranging<br />

from a National Innovation Strategy and<br />

123<br />

12<br />

Oil production 1980-2017 (bbl/day)<br />

1981<br />

1982<br />

1983<br />

1984<br />

1985<br />

1986<br />

1987<br />

1988<br />

1989<br />

1990<br />

1991<br />

1992<br />

1993<br />

1994<br />

1995<br />

1996<br />

1997<br />

1998<br />

1999<br />

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123<br />

Policy to a National Environment Policy.<br />

There is even a Green Government<br />

Policy.<br />

The Economic Development<br />

Advisory Board (EDAB) that was set up<br />

after the 2015 election has produced a<br />

lot of material on these very issues. If the<br />

electorate is less than familiar with the<br />

intricacies of national transformation,<br />

it is not for lack of reading material.<br />

But that painful fact points to<br />

another difficult hurdle. It is very hard<br />

to imagine a <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

transformed in the way the official<br />

literature urges, with its people<br />

enthusiastically adopting a new<br />

mindset and a new culture. What is<br />

economically sane and sensible is sure<br />

to be politically toxic. One commentator<br />

(wisely claiming anonymity) told<br />

<strong>Contact</strong>: “What we all want is high<br />

living with low productivity.”<br />

So there is the vision of<br />

transformation on<br />

one hand, while<br />

on the other is<br />

the way<br />

122<br />

125<br />

113<br />

134<br />

122<br />

123<br />

145<br />

things actually work in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong>. Real change would threaten<br />

and trample on a vast web of entrenched<br />

interactions, systems, and processes.<br />

So much is invested in the status quo,<br />

both political and commercial, that it<br />

is hard to believe there is any scope for<br />

genuine change.<br />

Still, it must be done. The world is<br />

changing around us and is not waiting<br />

for <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> to get its<br />

house in order. Even with a return to<br />

growth in 2018, even with a pickup in<br />

the energy sector, the end is in sight for<br />

fossil fuels; their terminal decline may<br />

well be only a couple of decades away.<br />

Dodging the issue now simply means<br />

kicking the can down the road for a<br />

new generation to pick up.<br />

Private sector leadership<br />

In the face of these challenges, the<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of<br />

Industry and Commerce has<br />

143<br />

121<br />

an unavoidable role to<br />

play in providing<br />

inspirational<br />

leadership.<br />

Which is<br />

to<br />

114<br />

107<br />

What<br />

is economically sane<br />

and sensible is sure to be<br />

politically toxic<br />

98<br />

92<br />

say, it has to entice the business<br />

community to go the whole length of<br />

the road. It cannot leave leadership to<br />

the government alone.<br />

The private sector will have to<br />

divest itself of business models and<br />

processes which no longer work to<br />

the national good. It will have to<br />

prioritise products and services which<br />

save or earn foreign exchange. It must<br />

innovate and diversify. It must develop<br />

a greater sense of global markets, and<br />

the external demand which <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> can supply.<br />

Even so, without partnership and<br />

mutual support from the government<br />

and labour, the road leads straight into<br />

the desert. Somehow, the visions of<br />

the three partners in transformation<br />

must find a way to mesh. To have them<br />

pulling in different directions in pursuit<br />

of separate goals is a recipe for national<br />

deadlock and stagnation.<br />

All this is going to hurt. People<br />

are going to bawl. At every level of<br />

society, people will have to climb out<br />

of their comfort zones. We’ll need<br />

mutual support and encouragement<br />

to keep cheerful and optimistic. But<br />

we don’t really have a choice. There is<br />

too much work to do. We have been<br />

hanging around too long waiting for<br />

Godot to appear. We’ll be better off<br />

remembering the Calypso Monarch’s<br />

warning about what will happen<br />

“if change doesn’t start with<br />

you.”<br />

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81<br />

81<br />

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72<br />

72<br />

1998<br />

1999<br />

2000<br />

2001<br />

2002<br />

2003<br />

2004<br />

2005<br />

2006<br />

2007<br />

2008<br />

2009<br />

2010<br />

2011<br />

2012<br />

2013<br />

2014<br />

2015<br />

2016<br />

2017<br />

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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


transforming t&T<br />

Making<br />

things<br />

new<br />

What can individuals and communities<br />

do to help transform <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong>? Perhaps we should all find out<br />

about rejuvenation<br />

WORDS By: pat ganase<br />

For everything under the sun, there are seasons of decline and seasons<br />

of renewal. Every Jouvay, every Panorama, every Carnival, every year,<br />

masqueraders and musicians play and renew themselves and their art. Every<br />

successful business knows cycles of downturn and rejuvenation. Now the<br />

pace of change in the world is quickening: can <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> rejuvenate itself<br />

out of its present decline?<br />

As the downturn in our economy threatens our wealth and stability, it is wise to<br />

count blessings and achievements. Against the odds, we have had a national airline<br />

for over 75 years. We have a regional university and a national university. We have<br />

products known the world over: La Brea pitch, Trinitario cocoa, the sound of steel.<br />

Trinbagonians become stars wherever they find themselves. We are seen as a place<br />

with which to be strategically linked. We have festivals for every tribe that calls<br />

these islands home; and the foods and spices to match.<br />

Such things should give us courage. But we need to look again at other<br />

industries and enterprises that we have come to consider foundational, but which<br />

may now have to be replaced or rejuvenated; or which we may have thought to<br />

be beneath our status as an oil-rich nation. We need to consider the global forces<br />

shaping our economy, and whether we should not strengthen our sense of ourselves<br />

as full global citizens, who must share the responsibility for what is happening to<br />

our world.<br />

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and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

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olepeshkina/shutterstock.com<br />

Fresh produce is successfully being sold by Green<br />

Market Santa Cruz directly to the community<br />

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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

Left Cocobel Chocolates’ owner Isabel<br />

Brash is a chocolate-making pioneer,<br />

transforming locally grown cocoa into<br />

exceptional confectionery. Below left<br />

Adrian Foster is an award-winning<br />

designer, whose fashionable Caribbean<br />

lines have been exhibited at New York<br />

Fashion Week and on Project Runway<br />

courtesy cocobel<br />

Climate change<br />

More severe storms, prolonged wet or dry<br />

seasons, the flooding of low-lying areas,<br />

and sea-level rise: these are some of the<br />

challenges that we should expect to face<br />

as the world gets warmer.<br />

As a species, we must join with<br />

the other eight billion other people on<br />

our planet to keep the temperature rise<br />

below 2 degrees Celsius. As individuals,<br />

we can start community action. As<br />

an oil and gas nation, with one of the<br />

highest per capita carbon footprints in<br />

the world, we can reduce our carbon<br />

production, mitigate it, rejuvenate plants<br />

and processes, conserve.<br />

Is carbon dioxide from our major<br />

industrial plants (LNG, methanol, gas<br />

processors) reusable? Some of the<br />

practices we need to adopt – reduction<br />

of waste, recycling, conservation – may<br />

seem futile to the ordinary citizen. But<br />

it is up to corporations to lead in the<br />

wise disposal of waste, including the byproducts<br />

of industrialisation.<br />

Plastics<br />

More efficient use of resources is generally<br />

seen as one of the keys to profitability<br />

and sustainability. At the rate at which<br />

we consume goods and services on our<br />

two islands, the recovery and re-use of<br />

waste should be a viable enterprise. How<br />

might we be innovative in producing a<br />

continuous cycle? Products from recycled<br />

plastics now range from cottage-industry<br />

reusable bags and woven rugs to new<br />

fabrics for shoes and blankets, industrial<br />

faux lumber, construction and road paving<br />

materials. Are we up to that challenge?<br />

michele jorsling courtesy adrian foster<br />

New energy<br />

As the world turns to renewable sources<br />

such as wind, wave and solar energy,<br />

might it be a natural step for the<br />

national electricity company to expand<br />

its business into the installation of solar<br />

panels, tapping a new, clean and infinitely<br />

renewable source of electricity?<br />

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and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

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Sustainability<br />

We have heard the basic dictates of<br />

the UN Sustainable Development Goals<br />

charter: zero poverty; zero hunger;<br />

health, wellbeing, education and gender<br />

equality; clean water and affordable<br />

energy. Can we really say we are earning<br />

high marks for responsible, sustainable<br />

progress?<br />

Communities<br />

We need to tap the natural initiative of<br />

our small communities: for example,<br />

by negotiating partnerships instead of patronage to serve<br />

the corporate responsibility needs of large companies and<br />

multinationals. Community-based small business and nongovernmental<br />

organisations can contribute to the innovation<br />

and flexibility of big business. There are examples in many<br />

corners of our nation: we need to nurture and emulate them.<br />

Rejuvenative enterprise<br />

Rejuvenative enterprise depends on creativity and innovation<br />

that advances and updates sustainable industry and development.<br />

Below left Making a name for herself: Candice Caton, gospel<br />

singer/songwriter and granddaughter of Nelson Caton, one of<br />

the nation’s pioneer calypso composers. Below right Founder<br />

of the Plastikeep initiative, Rosanna Farmer is determined to<br />

build networks and educate communities on the importance of<br />

preserving the environment, recycling plastics, and making a<br />

lifestyle change towards sustainable living<br />

At the rate at which we<br />

consume goods and services,<br />

the recovery and re-use of<br />

waste should be a viable<br />

enterprise<br />

It will adapt systems and technology, but in the long run will<br />

reshape our very lifestyle and self-image, who we are and our<br />

place on the earth. Our future will depend on our willingness to<br />

relinquish what no longer serves us; and to embrace what serves<br />

not only humankind but the earth as a single ecosystem.<br />

Here are some areas of enterprise that are needed or<br />

trending today.<br />

Energy from the sun<br />

The cost of installing solar panels, for example, is falling as<br />

technology advances. <strong>Tobago</strong> might be the place where TTEC<br />

could introduce and promote alternative energy generation and<br />

supply, creating a model for a sustainable business of the future.<br />

The distribution system that has been installed over most of the<br />

country will facilitate the next step towards the use of renewable<br />

energy.<br />

Adam Mohammed courtesy CreativeTT/MusicTT<br />

abigail hadeed courtesy plastikeep<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

Janet Bloom Fabres created the monthly<br />

UpMarket as an outlet for cooks,<br />

artisans and vendors unable to rent<br />

store space<br />

courtesy janet fabres<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> cocoa estates.<br />

But chocolate production does not<br />

depend on owning an estate, as<br />

many local brands demonstrate:<br />

Cocobel, Ortinola, Mariposa, Gina’s,<br />

Brasso Seco. This initiative is being<br />

led by the Cocoa Research Centre,<br />

the rejuvenated descendant of the<br />

Imperial College of Agriculture at<br />

St Augustine which grew into the<br />

University of the West Indies.<br />

Most TTEC meters are bi-directional, so it should be simple to develop a net<br />

metering system. There is nothing to stand in the way of TTEC organising, promoting<br />

and utilising an alternate supply, like solar. Consider too that electric cars, to be<br />

recharged on household energy, are within ten years of mass production. Are we<br />

thinking ahead?<br />

Wealth from waste<br />

Three policy documents support a new enterprise: The Beverage Container Bill (1999);<br />

the National Environmental Policy (2006); and the Integrated Solid Waste/Resource<br />

Management Policy (2012). Is the iCare initiative going to industrialise waste recovery<br />

and help clean up the waterways?<br />

As an example, Sustainable Barbados is a private-public sector partnership<br />

recovering materials for re-use in Barbados. Similar waste recovery centres could be<br />

set up at Studley Park in <strong>Tobago</strong> and landfill sites in <strong>Trinidad</strong>. Materials recovered<br />

could be the basis of new inventions.<br />

From plant to plate<br />

It’s probably the most stable industry – agriculture, agro-processing, agribusiness –<br />

with the greatest scope for growth at every step from field to fine dining. In addition<br />

to pepper sauces, condiments, beverages, baked goods and catering services, here are<br />

just a few examples of innovation that are working:<br />

• The Green Market Santa Cruz is an experiment in direct marketing of agri-products<br />

to specific communities. The example has been picked up by the NAMDEVCO<br />

weekend markets which now move produce into communities.<br />

The relationship between producers and consumers helps with appreciation<br />

of, and access to, healthy food. It teaches us about the use and value of specific<br />

crops, such as the role of local honey, honeybees, and honey farmers in agriculture.<br />

Innovations in food production and marketing, especially in areas with limited land<br />

space, can grow into one of the most productive areas of rejuvenative enterprise.<br />

• Our Moving Table – a pop-up feast made from local produce – is successfully<br />

demonstrating new ways with food, and finding dining rooms around the country<br />

in garden settings like Ajoupa Gardens and San Antonio Nurseries.<br />

Growers are experimenting with hydroponic and vertical systems as well as<br />

looking into the composition and health of soil, scientifically increasing yield and<br />

managing multiple crop cycles.<br />

• Cocoa. The demand and world price has stirred revitalisation of some of the old<br />

“Edutainment” tourism<br />

Visitors to <strong>Tobago</strong> and <strong>Trinidad</strong> in the<br />

“active tourism” sector learn something<br />

every time they visit, whether they<br />

are returning residents or first-timers,<br />

whether they are here for festivals or<br />

business.<br />

Ask the guides at the Asa Wright<br />

Centre who are constantly teaching about<br />

the birds, animals and plant life – and<br />

learning too. Ask the turtle protectors at<br />

Grande Riviere, the Main Ridge Rainforest<br />

guides, or Ali Baba’s Sea Breeze and Tours<br />

in Castara. <strong>Tobago</strong>’s more active visitors<br />

want to learn to dive and explore the<br />

ocean, to bicycle round the island, and to<br />

meet <strong>Tobago</strong>nians where they live.<br />

There is much scope for a visitor<br />

market that is curious about TT<br />

lifestyle, festivals, food and the natural<br />

environment. The Environmental<br />

Research Institute of Charlotteville (ERIC)<br />

is tapping in to locals and visitors who<br />

are eager to understand and conserve the<br />

marine reserves around northeast <strong>Tobago</strong>.<br />

Buccoo Reef has long been a site of active<br />

tourism, a source of revenue for fisherfolk<br />

and tour operators, in spite of the failure<br />

to update management practices.<br />

The Nariva and Caroni wetlands,<br />

turtle nesting beaches, El Tucuche and<br />

Aripo, can all bring revenue to small<br />

and diverse communities. All that’s<br />

needed might be the infrastructure and<br />

safeguards that the government provides;<br />

and a continued flow of arrivals by air<br />

and sea.<br />

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We need to tap the natural initiative of our<br />

small communities<br />

Conservation business<br />

Enterprises can be built on conservation and the wise use of resources. Erle Rahaman-<br />

Noronha has developed his farm in central <strong>Trinidad</strong> on permaculture principles. Wa<br />

Samaki now houses the El Socorro Wildlife Centre for rescued wildlife. And the Wa<br />

Samaki crew has been commissioned to rehabilitate the Walker’s Reserve quarry in<br />

Barbados.<br />

Our extractive industries – oil and gas, quarrying and mining – have to<br />

begin turning to sustainable practices. By partnering with proactive conservation<br />

enterprises, or including a conservation division in their operations, they can prepare<br />

for the “end of life” of the resource being exploited in order to evolve a rejuvenative<br />

enterprise. The quarries in the Arima valley, Matura forest and Aripo ought to be<br />

sites for re-foresting or conversion to parks.<br />

Neglected or actively used as a dump, the ocean itself holds the greatest<br />

potential for future food, recreation, education, and research and development. It<br />

is a resource waiting to be explored – not exploited – for what it might teach us<br />

about life on earth.<br />

For further reading<br />

Sustainable Innovation: the<br />

Rejuvenative Enterprise by Joss<br />

Tantram, available from Amazon.<br />

Below left Shari Cumberbatch is a<br />

fashion designer and owner of the<br />

Caribbean brand SHOP SHARI. Her<br />

business started online and now has a<br />

retail outlet. Below right In 2003 Alana<br />

Steuart and her husband created the<br />

world famous Bertie’s Pepper Sauce<br />

courtesy shopshari.com<br />

Russel Dos Ramos courtesy Bertie’s Pepper Sauce<br />

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<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


transforming t&T<br />

Why is it taking<br />

so long?<br />

So far, the sweet scent of petrodollars has<br />

been much more attractive than real economic<br />

diversification<br />

WORDS By: kevin baldeosingh<br />

In his book The Armchair Economist, University of Rochester economist Steven<br />

E. Landsburg writes: “Most of economics can be summarised in four words:<br />

‘People respond to incentives.’ The rest is commentary.”<br />

This is the basic reason why <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> has failed to diversify its<br />

economy for the past 40 years: because politicians and business people responded<br />

to the powerful incentive of oil and gas money.<br />

As for the commentary, Dr Ronald Ramkissoon, a former senior economist at<br />

Republic Bank and present member of the Economic Development Advisory Board,<br />

noted in an interview with <strong>Contact</strong> that “while there was identification of the<br />

need for diversification, there was never any sustainable effort towards investment<br />

in research, innovation and the promotion of new high-value goods and services<br />

for export.”<br />

In the last budget debate, prime minister Dr Keith Rowley listed<br />

the sectors that the government has identified as the foundations of<br />

diversification (see next page). They have all been on the table of<br />

different administrations for the past 15 years, but state funding<br />

has seen no returns, particularly in the creative industries. As Table<br />

1 shows, the state has never made any consistent attempt to<br />

facilitate economic diversification, since this must necessarily<br />

start with government getting out of commercial activity.<br />

Economists’ view<br />

UWI economist Dr Roger Hosein, in an email response to <strong>Contact</strong>,<br />

argued: “The fundamental reason why the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

economy failed to appropriately diversify in the period 1999-2016<br />

was simply because the state did not show enough initiative, and<br />

the incentives or the lack of incentives provided to the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong> economy were of such a nature that it was biased against<br />

the non-oil export-oriented sector.”<br />

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Dr Ramkissoon had a somewhat different view. “Diversification will only take<br />

root with the private sector, domestic and foreign, in the lead,” he said. “The Dutch<br />

Disease has the all-embracing pull effect of all resources, human and capital,<br />

towards the booming energy sector and the non-tradable services sector. The focus<br />

of politician and people is similarly drawn away from diversification.”<br />

Economic trouble? Seize the moment<br />

The apparent paradox, therefore, is that diversification is more likely to happen when<br />

an economy is in trouble rather than when it is booming. The economic slump in the<br />

mid-1980s resulted in a Divestment Secretariat being set up in the 1990s, with several<br />

state enterprise companies being closed or privatised. But this process was quickly<br />

reversed once the new energy boom started in 2003.<br />

TABLE 1: State involvement in commercial companies<br />

Type 1970 1983 2008<br />

Wholly owned 5 34 44<br />

Majority owned 4 14 7<br />

Partly owned 2 18 29<br />

Total 11 66 80<br />

Sources: Williams, E. 1970; Mottley, W., 2008; Farrell, T., 2012<br />

The French economist Jean Tirole,<br />

winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize, in his<br />

book Economics for the Common Good,<br />

notes that broad reforms of the state<br />

have happened in countries like Great<br />

Britain, Finland, Germany, Sweden,<br />

Canada and Chile. He adds that while<br />

“it is often objected that ... a struggling<br />

economy makes it hard to compensate<br />

the losers of reforms ... the great<br />

majority of the reforms mentioned here<br />

were made precisely under difficult<br />

conditions.”<br />

Difficult conditions are exactly<br />

what T&T is now in, so the real question<br />

is whether the political incentives have<br />

changed sufficiently to trigger genuine<br />

economic reforms.<br />

Diversification in the 2017 budget speech<br />

Tourism<br />

“The Government is taking some bold steps to rectify the sector’s shortcomings by first addressing the governance arrangements in<br />

the sector. We have dissolved the Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC) which has been replaced by two new companies,<br />

one with oversight for <strong>Trinidad</strong> and the other with oversight for <strong>Tobago</strong>, bearing in mind that the two destinations have unique<br />

characteristics.”<br />

Creative industries<br />

“In the Music Sector, we will implement an Artiste Portfolio Development Programme which will support artistes who are on the<br />

verge of becoming export ready by leveraging their creative talents on the worldwide market. We will also launch a Production<br />

Assistance and Script Development Programme which will provide funding to film makers to produce high quality films.”<br />

Yachting<br />

“We are rolling out a new yachting policy which will establish a foundation to improve the competitiveness of the industry, with a<br />

view to establishing <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> as the premier destination for yacht repair services.”<br />

Business process outsourcing<br />

“In this area we are pursuing a two-pronged approach: taking the necessary steps to make <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> a preferred location<br />

for ‘Business Process Outsourcing’ (BPO); and making <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> an International Financial Centre, offering a broader<br />

range of services and serving as a financial gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean.”<br />

Agriculture<br />

“We shall establish an agricultural financial support programme, with grants for new and existing farmers of up to $100,000.<br />

Appropriate training or certification in farming will be a prerequisite for applicants for this financial assistance since the objective<br />

is to encourage rational, efficient and methodical participation in agriculture.”<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

Do we really<br />

like it so?<br />

Our resistance to change is rooted deep in the national culture<br />

Sunity Maharaj discusses We Like It So?: The<br />

Cultural Roots of Economic Underachievement<br />

in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> by Terrence W. Farrell<br />

A<br />

lifetime’s worth of experience as an economist at the highest levels of<br />

the public and private sectors of <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> has left Dr Terrence<br />

Farrell with the question posed in the title of his 2017 book, We Like<br />

It So? This follow-up from the author of The Underachieving Society:<br />

Development Strategy and Policy in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>, 1958-2008 is both a quest<br />

to understand the source of West Indian economic underachievement and a clarion<br />

call for change.<br />

For a while, Farrell is detained by such theorists as the Dutch cultural researcher<br />

Geert Hofstede and the American psychologist David McClelland, whose work in<br />

culture, attitudes and behaviour enjoys international currency in the corporate<br />

world. However, he quickly comes up against the limitations of cultural extrapolation<br />

in the findings of a McClelland-inspired survey conducted in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>.<br />

According to the World Values Survey (WVS) 6th Wave (2010-2014),<br />

Trinbagonians value work more highly and leisure slightly less than global averages.<br />

They are also far less tolerant of corruption than the average person in other<br />

countries, with over 87 per cent of the Trinbagonian respondents saying bribery is<br />

never justifiable, compared to the global sample of 69 percent.<br />

Farrell knows quite enough about his country to recognise that such findings<br />

do not square with reality. “These anomalous or counter-intuitive results probably<br />

arise because people respond the way they think they are expected to respond,” he<br />

remarks. He ascribes the tendency to “ambivalence”, a cornerstone of his developing<br />

theory about the cultural roots of the phenomenon of economic underachievement<br />

in energy-rich <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>.<br />

The intellectual context<br />

In fleshing out his analysis and argument, Farrell picks his way through the work of a<br />

broad spectrum of thinkers, social scientists, novelists and poets who have plumbed<br />

the Caribbean condition and provide theoretical ballast for his argument.<br />

For graduates of an education system that remains disconnected from its<br />

Caribbean moorings, We Like It So? is a useful introduction to the substantial body<br />

of Caribbean thought developed over the 19th and 20th centuries, going back to<br />

John Jacob Thomas, the revolutionary intellectual born in Cedros in 1841, three<br />

years after Emancipation.<br />

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The book draws on the work of the Caribbean’s Nobel laureate economist,<br />

Arthur Lewis; anthropologist Daniel Crawley; C.L.R. James; the novels of V.S. Naipaul,<br />

George Lamming and Earl Lovelace; the sociology of Eric Williams and M.G. Smith;<br />

Lloyd Best’s plantation theory of Caribbean society; the poetry of Derek Walcott; the<br />

scholarship of Gordon K. Lewis, Rex Nettleford, Trevor Farrell, Carl Campbell, Gordon<br />

Rohlehr, Selwyn Ryan, Bridget Brereton and Selwyn Cudjoe, among others; and the<br />

writings of newspaper columnists.<br />

Although his analysis of Caribbean culture is grounded in these references,<br />

Farrell’s prescriptive response to T&T’s economic underachievement emerges from a<br />

world view very different from that held by many of them.<br />

Where thinkers like James, Best, Lamming and Nettleford see the challenge of<br />

change in the Caribbean as one of fundamental transformation of self and society<br />

through disruption of the historic power relations embedded in colonial institutions,<br />

Farrell argues that cultural change must be driven by “the elite who shape our<br />

institutions and procedures and establish and enforce the rules”.<br />

But they must first change themselves. To facilitate the process, Farrell proposes<br />

the “re-training of values and attitudes for persons about to assume leadership”<br />

through “structured, prepared encounters”.<br />

Role of the elite<br />

Persuading the society’s elite to “act like a true elite and take responsibility for the<br />

place” will then bring its own rewards, as a new culture, supportive of economic<br />

achievement, ripples outwards and transforms the wider society.<br />

Farrell’s own observations about the work attitudes of Trinbagonians abroad<br />

and at home in the courts, the energy<br />

sector, airlines and certain hotel resorts<br />

(namely the Sandals chain) have<br />

convinced him that they are capable<br />

of the “counter-cultural” behaviour<br />

required for economic advancement.<br />

Farrell’s counter-cultural situations<br />

are defined by clear lines of authority,<br />

mandated cooperation, and behaviour<br />

that is uncompromisingly enforced.<br />

“There is no rebellion or subversion, just<br />

quiet and respectful conformance to<br />

the rules,” he notes.<br />

If this smacks of autocratic<br />

leadership, it is not, Farrell says; it is<br />

what can happen with an attitude<br />

change in the exercise of authority to<br />

engender trust.<br />

respectful engagement; code-switching<br />

and contextual use of ‘formal’ language;<br />

establishing authority and enforcing<br />

discipline; making systems work; and<br />

connecting with the Folk to promote<br />

democracy and foster innovation.<br />

Drawn quickly, this prescription<br />

bears little organic connection to<br />

his analysis of the problem. Further<br />

reflection might lead to an exploration<br />

of the role of culture in the systematic<br />

selection of elites who pose no<br />

threat to the colonial architecture of<br />

underachievement. A glimpse into the<br />

self-perpetuating nature of culture<br />

might encourage him to second-guess<br />

his expectation that beneficiaries of the<br />

status quo would have an investment in<br />

changing the very system that rewards<br />

them while punishing agents of change.<br />

In any case, given the all-pervasive<br />

nature of culture, who will re-train the<br />

leadership elites for the challenge of<br />

change?<br />

Five initiatives<br />

Farrell observes that movement between<br />

the culture of underachievement and<br />

the counter-culture of achievement is<br />

negotiated through a process of “code<br />

switching”, including the transition from<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> dialect to Standard English. This<br />

leads him to propose Standard English<br />

as the language of the workplace, since<br />

it is “associated with seriousness and<br />

discipline”.<br />

In the end, he distills his prescription<br />

for change into five initiatives:<br />

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transforming t&T<br />

Desperate<br />

for change<br />

Critically dependent on <strong>Trinidad</strong>, and<br />

badly hurt by the prolonged turmoil on<br />

the seabridge, <strong>Tobago</strong> is in urgent need<br />

of transformative action<br />

WORDS By: hiLlary young<br />

For economic transformation to take place in <strong>Tobago</strong>, the island must<br />

identify and develop its own industries, says <strong>Tobago</strong>-born UWI economics<br />

lecturer Anthony Birchwood. And “once the industries are identified, the<br />

youths must be part of any development going forward.”<br />

Tourism and manufacturing will benefit from investment flows, both<br />

international and local. But development must be driven by the private sector, or by<br />

the government/<strong>Tobago</strong> House of Assembly (THA) – or both.<br />

The THA’s plans<br />

The <strong>Tobago</strong> House of Assembly documented its proposals for <strong>Tobago</strong>’s economic<br />

development in its Comprehensive Economic Development Plan (CEDP) 2.0.<br />

Covering the island’s development from 2013 to 2017, the policy framework<br />

showed how the THA wants to “transform and diversify the <strong>Tobago</strong> economy ... to<br />

adjust to rapid changes in the national and international economies”.<br />

The plan concentrated on eight strategic areas:<br />

• good governance and institutional reform<br />

• business development and entrepreneurship<br />

• human capital development<br />

• social development and resilience<br />

• improved infrastructure and utilities<br />

• enhanced safety and security<br />

• environmental sustainability<br />

• branding <strong>Tobago</strong> “Clean, Green, Safe and Serene”.<br />

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PHB.cz (Richard Semik)/shutterstock.com<br />

Parlatuvier Bay, <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

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transforming t&T<br />

To what extent these policy<br />

objectives were achieved is debatable.<br />

For sure, the project was starved of<br />

funding as budgetary transfers from<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong>, the major source of <strong>Tobago</strong>’s<br />

finances, fell from $2.609 billion in<br />

fiscal 2015 to $2.19 billion for fiscal<br />

2017, a far cry from the $5 billion<br />

requested by the THA annually to run<br />

the island’s affairs.<br />

Tourism<br />

Some rebranding of the island to sustain<br />

the tourism product did occur, but its<br />

effectiveness remains in doubt, as the<br />

industry has declined rapidly, helped on<br />

by successive failures of the ferry service<br />

from Port of Spain.<br />

According to the Tourism<br />

Development Company of <strong>Trinidad</strong> and<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong> (since wound up), international<br />

tourist arrivals in 2005 were close to<br />

90,000, and occupancy levels were<br />

high. But by 2015 the numbers had<br />

fallen for the fourth consecutive year<br />

to 22,435, and industry insiders have<br />

reported that last year fewer than<br />

20,000 international tourists visited the<br />

island.<br />

For a while, the industry was<br />

kept afloat by an increase in domestic<br />

tourism. The World Travel and Tourism<br />

Council (WTTC) reported that domestic<br />

travel spending generated 53.7 per cent<br />

of the travel and tourism contribution<br />

to GDP in 2016, and noted that the<br />

market was expected to grow by 1.9<br />

per cent in 2017.<br />

Though the WTTC figures did not<br />

disaggregate travel from <strong>Trinidad</strong> to<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong>, the government in Port of<br />

Spain, in launching the <strong>Tobago</strong> leg of<br />

its “staycation” programme, said 59 per<br />

cent of domestic trips originated from<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong>.<br />

The 2017 growth predicted by the<br />

To accommodate the<br />

Sandals project, extensive<br />

infrastructural work is<br />

planned<br />

WTTC never materialised. Domestic<br />

travel was seriously damaged by<br />

challenges on the air and sea bridges.<br />

But tourism arrival statistics and<br />

budgetary allocations from <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

tell only part of the island’s economic<br />

story.<br />

Its hotels and guest houses were<br />

starved for international and local<br />

direct investment flows; properties<br />

could not be upgraded. The Foreign<br />

Investment Act of 1990, requiring<br />

foreigners to acquire a licence<br />

before purchasing land, and financial<br />

institutions’ reluctance to give<br />

government-guaranteed loans to local<br />

investors, have blocked investment<br />

flows needed to build new properties<br />

and upgrade existing ones.<br />

Private sector participation<br />

The private sector is playing an active<br />

role in the island’s plan for economic<br />

transformation, but again the focus<br />

is on tourism. According to Demi<br />

John Cruickshank, immediate past<br />

chairman of the <strong>Tobago</strong> Division of<br />

the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber of<br />

Industry and Commerce, “the business<br />

association will drive the economy<br />

with the government as its partner.”<br />

In January, <strong>Tobago</strong> business<br />

owners met with a ministerial team<br />

led by prime minister Dr Keith Rowley<br />

(himself a <strong>Tobago</strong>nian), and several<br />

decisions were taken involving<br />

private-public partnership (PPP).<br />

Revamping the economy<br />

in 2018<br />

The government-guaranteed loans<br />

programme will return, and the period<br />

of repayment will increase from seven<br />

to fifteen years. This facility can<br />

now be accessed by all tourism and<br />

tourism-related industry stakeholders.<br />

Two marinas are planned for the<br />

western end of the island, and the<br />

proposed Sandals Resort will proceed<br />

as planned. The government will<br />

build the hotel, sourcing funds from<br />

the private sector, and Sandals will<br />

provide management services.<br />

To accommodate the Sandals<br />

project, extensive infrastructural<br />

work is planned. Work will begin on<br />

desalination and sewage treatment<br />

plants, and <strong>Tobago</strong>’s electricity<br />

capacity will increase with a $132<br />

million expansion of the Cove<br />

Power Station. Twenty megawatts<br />

will be added to the plant’s present<br />

64-megawatt output.<br />

Three vessels will operate the<br />

domestic sea bridge, and a new<br />

terminal for <strong>Tobago</strong>’s airport will be<br />

built through a build-own-lease-andtransfer<br />

financial arrangement.<br />

These PPP projects are primarily<br />

geared towards reviving the tourism<br />

sector, but in the process they are<br />

intended to kick-start the transformation<br />

of <strong>Tobago</strong>’s economy are intended<br />

to kick-start the transformation of<br />

<strong>Tobago</strong>’s economy.<br />

34<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


transforming t&T<br />

Can we let go of<br />

fossil fuels?<br />

Does <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> really believe in<br />

renewable energy?<br />

WORDS By: david renwick<br />

Average daily production of crude (bpd)<br />

and natural gas (bn cf)<br />

2016 71,846 3.3<br />

2017 71,700 3.8<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine<br />

Energy revenue (TT$bn) as a percentage<br />

35<br />

Economic transformation in the energy sector in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

would require two principal initiatives: raising the current level of crude<br />

oil production, and adopting renewable energy as an essential element in<br />

energy activity.<br />

The first is probably easier and quicker to implement.<br />

Crude production<br />

Current crude oil and condensate output is around 72,000 barrels a day (b/d). Raising<br />

that requires more development drilling by the upstream companies.<br />

At the very least, they should attempt to maintain that level in 2018. That means<br />

tht state-owned Petrotrin, which, together with contracted services, accounts for<br />

about 58% of total production, must up the ante.<br />

Petrotrin needs to be more active in its Trinmar acreage in the Gulf of Paria,<br />

and has indicated that it will be sinking five exploration holes there this year. On its<br />

land acreage, another five exploration wells will be drilled by lease operators and<br />

farm-out operators.<br />

EOG Resources will drill four exploration wells in its Modified Ub block, while<br />

BHP will be recommencing its deep-water exploration programme with the drilling<br />

of three wells, two in Block TTDAA 5 and the third in Block TTDAA 14.<br />

BHP sank the Le Clerc 1 well in<br />

May-August 2016 as the first of two<br />

Debt to GDP ratio<br />

exploration holes required during<br />

the first phase of the Block TTDAA 5<br />

production sharing contract. The result<br />

2016<br />

was preliminarily classified as a natural<br />

gas discovery.<br />

All this activity has convinced the<br />

energy and energy industries minister,<br />

Franklin Khan, that “the outlook for<br />

the domestic energy sector in 2018 is<br />

reassuring.”<br />

On the gas side, about 1.7 trillion<br />

cubic feet (tcf) is likely to be lifted this<br />

year.<br />

2017<br />

Caribbean Susta<br />

Strategy (C-SER<br />

20% by 2017<br />

28% by 2022<br />

47% by 2027<br />

“Renewable sources of energy a<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> – Chamber Robert Le Hunte, Public Utilities<br />

of Industry and Commerce


transforming t&T<br />

2016 2017<br />

Renewable Energy<br />

1<br />

0<br />

-1<br />

-2<br />

-3<br />

-4<br />

-5<br />

-6<br />

2013<br />

2014<br />

2015<br />

2016<br />

Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and<br />

Strategy (C-SERMS) RE goal:<br />

20% by 2017<br />

28% by 2022<br />

47% by 2027<br />

“Renewable sources of energy are the way forward”<br />

– Robert Le Hunte, Public Utilities Minister, January 2018<br />

T&T RE goal:<br />

2017<br />

10% by<br />

2021<br />

Return on investment<br />

While minister Khan is happy about<br />

all this, he is not so pleased about the<br />

amount of revenue the government<br />

gains from this output. The government,<br />

he says, is therefore “reviewing the<br />

taxation system and the suite of<br />

allowances available to oil and gas<br />

companies.”<br />

This process began with the royalty<br />

rate on production, which was raised to<br />

12.5% in January. Other tax changes<br />

will be announced in due course.<br />

The minister has reassured the<br />

industry that “the government is<br />

receptive to, and welcomes, foreign<br />

investment” – but with the caveat that<br />

“there must be an equitable sharing of<br />

revenue earned from the exploitation<br />

of our hydrocarbon resources.”<br />

The UK’s Poten and Partners, in its<br />

Gas Master Plan report, highlighted the<br />

“great disparity in value”, as minister<br />

Khan put it, “between that which the<br />

government received, as compared to<br />

that received by energy companies and<br />

their affiliates from the monetisation of<br />

the country’s hydrocarbon resources.”<br />

He gave as a sterling example the<br />

revenue impact of the liquefied natural<br />

gas (LNG) trains in Point Fortin. The<br />

“potential value loss from the four LNG<br />

“There must be an equitable<br />

sharing of revenue earned<br />

from the exploitation of our<br />

hydrocarbon resources”<br />

trains averaged around US$6 billion a<br />

year between 2011 and 2014, which is a<br />

staggering figure,” he explained.<br />

Poten and Partners found that<br />

“the beneficiary of the substantial<br />

value generated by the trains was not<br />

so much the upstream gas suppliers<br />

but rather the offshore jurisdictions,<br />

which were either low-priced markets<br />

or high-priced markets, but with the<br />

revenue not flowing back to <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong>.”<br />

In the majority of transactions,<br />

it was found that “the offtake<br />

arrangements for upstream companies<br />

involved sales to downstream marketing<br />

affiliates, which potentially led to nonarm’s<br />

length transactions.”<br />

Renewable energy<br />

As far as renewable energy (RE) is<br />

concerned, <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> has<br />

been a late convert. Minister Khan<br />

acknowledges this. “<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

recognises the benefits that would<br />

accrue from the diversification of its<br />

energy mix” – but he points out that<br />

it is “the only country in the western<br />

hemisphere that generates 100% of its<br />

power from natural gas, the cleanest of<br />

the fossil fuels.”<br />

A target of 10% of RE in power<br />

generation by 2021 has been set.<br />

According to the minister, a<br />

“suitably qualified international firm,<br />

together with a joint venture local<br />

partner, will be required to design,<br />

build, operate, maintain and fund RE<br />

projects greater than, or equal to, 3MW<br />

for grid integration.”<br />

RE comes basically from the sun<br />

and the wind, but there is also the more<br />

esoteric waste-to-energy approach.<br />

Once there is a landfill, waste-to-energy<br />

becomes a possibility. The minister<br />

confirms that “expressions of interest<br />

have been issued for the development<br />

of a waste-to-energy facility at the<br />

Beetham Landfill for the conversion of<br />

municipal waste for power generation.”<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> is a signatory<br />

to the Paris climate change agreement,<br />

36<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


which mandates it to “reduce<br />

cumulative greenhouse gas emissions<br />

from power generation, transportation<br />

and industry by 15% by 2030, relative<br />

to a business-as-usual baseline.”<br />

CNG<br />

“As part of our strategy of reducing<br />

greenhouse gases, the government is<br />

aggressively promoting the increased<br />

utilisation of CNG as a major<br />

transportation fuel,” minister Khan<br />

states.<br />

“Based on this commitment,” he<br />

adds, “the grant of fiscal incentives<br />

benefiting a cross-section of<br />

participants, ranging from individuals<br />

to installers, and a competitive price<br />

compared with liquid fuels, have<br />

encouraged an upsurge of interest in<br />

the adoption of CNG as a transportation<br />

fuel of choice.”<br />

Petrotrin has been told “to<br />

accelerate its enhanced oil recovery<br />

programme, especially the CO 2<br />

injection<br />

part of it.” The minister believes this<br />

initiative will have a “two-fold effect<br />

– boosting oil production and reducing<br />

our carbon footprint.”<br />

Other upstream companies are<br />

falling in line. “Over the coming years,<br />

upstream companies have committed to<br />

capital investment in excess of US$10<br />

billion, which will serve to maintain the<br />

momentum in the industry.”<br />

Minister Khan admits, however,<br />

that “there is still a lot of work to do.<br />

We are in the process of finalising<br />

negotiations with our Venezuelan<br />

counterparts for a tranche of gas<br />

from their Dragon field and for the<br />

sharing of production from our crossborder<br />

fields, Loran-Manatee, Manikin-<br />

Coquina and Kapok-Dorado.”<br />

The culmination of these<br />

developments, he says, “will bring<br />

a new and added dimension to the<br />

gas business in <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong>,<br />

particularly when combined with our<br />

proposed Caribbean energy diplomacy<br />

interventions.”<br />

Average daily production of crude (bpd)<br />

and natural gas (bn cf)<br />

Energy minister Franklin Khan<br />

2016 71,846 3.3<br />

2017 71,700 3.8<br />

Energy revenue (TT$bn) as a percentage<br />

of total government revenue<br />

$20.9<br />

2014<br />

$12.9<br />

2015<br />

$3.0<br />

2016<br />

$3.7<br />

2017<br />

Source: Energy minister Franklin Khan at 2017 Energy Conference<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> express newspaper<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 37<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


transforming the state of the t&T nation<br />

Economic Outlook<br />

A return to growth in<br />

2018?<br />

Speaking to the nation on<br />

television and radio in<br />

January, prime minister<br />

Keith Rowley promised “a<br />

slow return to growth” in 2018. The<br />

international agencies back him up. In<br />

its latest country report for <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> (November 2017), the IMF<br />

projected real GDP growth at 1.9 per<br />

cent this year. The CDB’s forecast was 1 2016<br />

per cent; UN ECLAC was less optimistic,<br />

forecasting a more conservative GDP<br />

growth rate of 0.5 per cent.<br />

The IMF predicted 7.7 per cent<br />

growth in the energy sector, thanks to<br />

the contributions of Juniper and the<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> Onshore Compression Project<br />

(TROC). But it thought the non-energy<br />

sector likely to contract by 1.2 per cent<br />

– cause for concern, as that sector makes up around 65 per<br />

cent of GDP, and non-energy export growth is vital for the<br />

country’s future.<br />

In estimating energy output for 2018, the IMF put the<br />

new norm of natural gas production in the range of 3-4 bcf<br />

per day, while oil production was expected to continue its<br />

decline, hitting record lows of 60,000-70,000 barrels per day.<br />

n of crude (bpd)<br />

s (bn cf)<br />

3.3<br />

3.8<br />

as a percentage<br />

t revenue<br />

3.0<br />

16<br />

Latin $3.7 America and Caribbean<br />

Overall, Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to see<br />

about 1.9 per cent growth in 2018. According to the IMF,<br />

growth in Central America has been strengthening; but in the<br />

2017<br />

Caribbean, domestic demand is expected to underperform,<br />

with growth of 2.3 per cent for tourism-dependent economies<br />

and 2.0 per cent for commodity exporters.<br />

n Khan at 2017 Energy Conference<br />

Debt to GDP ratio<br />

Debt<br />

In Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and St Kitts and<br />

Nevis, government debt-to-GDP ratios have been declining,<br />

reflective of fiscal discipline and debt restructuring. However,<br />

Barbados, The Bahamas, Suriname and <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

failed to sufficiently address their stubborn fiscal deficits<br />

and high debt levels, leading to downgrades by international<br />

credit agencies in 2016-17.<br />

According to the IMF, public sector debt remains a major<br />

vulnerability for the region. Barbados and Jamaica still have<br />

debt levels of over 100 per cent of GDP (102.7 and 109.5 per<br />

cent for 2017, respectively). However, they both reduced their<br />

debt levels, as did Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Kitts<br />

and Nevis. Declines in commodity prices exposed weaknesses<br />

2017<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> & <strong>Tobago</strong> GDP growth<br />

3<br />

2<br />

1<br />

0<br />

-1<br />

-2<br />

-3<br />

-4<br />

-5<br />

-6<br />

2013<br />

2014<br />

2015<br />

2016<br />

Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and<br />

Strategy (C-SERMS) RE goal:<br />

20% by 2017<br />

T&T RE goal:<br />

vital for the country’s future<br />

28% by 2022<br />

47% by 2027<br />

10% by<br />

in the fiscal policies of commodity exporters such as <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> and Suriname, leading to large fiscal 2021 deficits and<br />

increases in public debt.<br />

“Renewable sources of energy are the way forward”<br />

– Robert Le Hunte, Public Utilities Minister, January 2018<br />

2017<br />

Non-energy export growth is<br />

The global outlook<br />

In its World Economic Outlook Update for January 2018, the<br />

IMF estimated global economic growth for 2018 at 3.9 per<br />

cent, a slight improvement of 0.2 per cent over the previous<br />

October’s forecast. This continues the global economic trend<br />

of steady but modest recovery since 2016.<br />

US and UK<br />

The US economy was projected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2018<br />

and 2.5 per cent in 2019, following reforms to US corporate<br />

and personal income taxes approved in December 2017.<br />

The Brexit aftermath has created much uncertainty over<br />

issues like trade and cross-border financial activity, which<br />

impacts the growth prospects of the United Kingdom. UK<br />

economic growth remains sluggish, and is projected at 1.5 per<br />

cent in 2018.<br />

China and Russia<br />

China’s economy is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent, which is<br />

an upward revision of 0.2 per cent as a result of a continued<br />

expansionary policy.<br />

In an attempt to clear the existing supply glut of oil, both<br />

OPEC and Russian-led non-OPEC producers are expected to<br />

extend production cuts to the end of 2018. The resulting oil<br />

and natural gas production levels are expected to produce a<br />

higher-priced environment as 2018 progresses.<br />

38<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


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the state of the nation<br />

statistics<br />

Oil, gas and<br />

petrochemicals<br />

76,000<br />

Crude oil and condensate production (bbls/d)<br />

74,000<br />

76,000<br />

72,000<br />

74,000<br />

76,000<br />

Crude oil and condensate production 70,000 (bbls/d)<br />

72,000<br />

74,000<br />

76,000<br />

68,000<br />

70,000<br />

72,000<br />

74,000<br />

66,000<br />

68,000<br />

70,000<br />

72,000<br />

64,000<br />

66,000<br />

68,000<br />

70,000<br />

62,000<br />

64,000<br />

October November December<br />

66,000<br />

68,000 62,000<br />

2016 68,979 72,042 75,024<br />

October November 64,000<br />

December<br />

66,000<br />

2017 66,471 71,554 73,909<br />

2016 68,979 72,042 62,000<br />

75,024<br />

64,000<br />

October November December<br />

2017 66,471 71,554 73,909<br />

2016 68,979 72,042 75,024<br />

62,000<br />

October November 2017 December 66,471 71,554 73,909<br />

2016 68,979 72,042 75,024<br />

2017 66,471 71,554 73,909<br />

4,500<br />

Crude oil and condensate production (bbls/d)<br />

Natural gas production (mmscf/d)<br />

Natural gas production (mmscf/d)<br />

4,000<br />

4,500<br />

3,500 Natural gas production (mmscf/d)<br />

4,000<br />

3,000<br />

3,500<br />

4,500<br />

Natural gas production 2,500 (mmscf/d)<br />

3,000<br />

4,000<br />

2,000<br />

4,500<br />

2,500<br />

3,500<br />

1,500<br />

4,000<br />

2,000<br />

3,000<br />

1,000<br />

3,500<br />

1,500<br />

2,500<br />

500<br />

3,000<br />

1,000<br />

2,000<br />

0<br />

2,500<br />

500<br />

1,500<br />

October November December<br />

2,000<br />

0<br />

1,000 2016 3,322 3,183 3,428<br />

1,500<br />

October November<br />

2017 500<br />

December<br />

3,102 3,654 3816 ,<br />

1,000 2016 3,322 3,183 0<br />

3,428<br />

October November December<br />

500 2017 3,102 3,654 3816 ,<br />

2016 3,322 3,183 3,428<br />

0<br />

October November 2017 December 3,102 3,654 3816 ,<br />

2016 3,322 3,183 Ammonia 3,428 production (tonnes)<br />

2017 3,102 3,654 3816 ,<br />

450,000<br />

Ammonia production (tonnes)<br />

Ammonia production (tonnes)<br />

440,000<br />

450,000<br />

430,000<br />

440,000<br />

450,000<br />

Ammonia production 420,000 (tonnes)<br />

430,000<br />

440,000<br />

450,000<br />

410,000<br />

420,000<br />

430,000<br />

440,000<br />

400,000<br />

410,000<br />

420,000<br />

430,000<br />

390,000<br />

400,000<br />

410,000<br />

420,000<br />

380,000<br />

390,000<br />

October November December<br />

400,000<br />

410,000 380,000<br />

2016 400,829 413,225 439,148<br />

October November 390,000<br />

400,000<br />

2017 429,721<br />

December<br />

438129 ,<br />

417,525<br />

2016 400,829 413,225 380,000<br />

439,148<br />

390,000<br />

October November December<br />

2017 429,721 438129 ,<br />

417,525<br />

2016 400,829 413,225 439,148<br />

380,000<br />

October November 2017 429,721 December<br />

438129 ,<br />

417,525<br />

2016 400,829 413,225 439,148 Ammonia exports (tonnes)<br />

2017 429,721 438129 ,<br />

417,525<br />

450,000<br />

Ammonia exports (tonnes)<br />

Ammonia exports (tonnes)<br />

400,000<br />

450,000<br />

350,000<br />

400,000<br />

300,000<br />

350,000 Ammonia exports (tonnes)<br />

450,000<br />

250,000<br />

300,000<br />

400,000<br />

200,000<br />

450,000<br />

250,000<br />

350,000<br />

150,000<br />

400,000<br />

200,000<br />

300,000<br />

100,000<br />

350,000<br />

150,000<br />

250,000<br />

50,000<br />

300,000<br />

100,000<br />

200,000<br />

0<br />

250,000<br />

50,000<br />

150,000<br />

October November December<br />

200,000<br />

0<br />

100,000 2016 402,089 329,198 371,737<br />

150,000<br />

October November 50,000 2017 361,474<br />

December<br />

407,844 401,647<br />

100,000 2016 402,089 329,198 0<br />

371,737<br />

October November December<br />

50,000 2017 361,474 407,844 401,647<br />

2016 402,089 329,198 371,737<br />

0<br />

October November 2017 361,474 December<br />

407,844 401,647<br />

2016 402,089 329,198 371,737<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

40<br />

2017<br />

of Industry 361,474 and Commerce 407,844 401,647<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine<br />

600,000<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

600,000<br />

500,000<br />

Crude oil and condensate production (bbls/d)<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)


300,000 400,000<br />

350,000 250,000<br />

250,000 350,000<br />

300,000 200,000<br />

200,000 300,000<br />

250,000 150,000<br />

150,000 250,000<br />

200,000 100,000<br />

100,000 200,000<br />

150,000<br />

150,000<br />

100,0000<br />

100,000 0<br />

50,000<br />

October November December<br />

October November December<br />

50,000<br />

2016<br />

0<br />

402,089 329,198 371,737<br />

2016 402,089 329,198 October 371,737<br />

November December<br />

0<br />

2017 361,474 407,844 401,647<br />

2017 level than October 361,474 late 2016 November 407,844 2016 402,089 December 401,647<br />

329,198 371,737<br />

2016 402,089 329,198 2017 361,474 371,737<br />

407,844 401,647<br />

2017 361,474 407,844 401,647<br />

• Oil and gas output was edging up at the end of 2017 – but at a lower<br />

• Methanol output was ahead of 2016, but ammonia and urea showed<br />

sharp declines<br />

600,000<br />

600,000<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

600,000<br />

500,000<br />

500,000<br />

600,000<br />

400,000<br />

500,000<br />

400,000<br />

500,000<br />

300,000<br />

400,000<br />

300,000<br />

400,000<br />

200,000<br />

300,000<br />

200,000<br />

300,000<br />

100,000<br />

200,000<br />

100,000<br />

200,000<br />

100,000<br />

0<br />

0<br />

October November December<br />

100,000<br />

October November December<br />

2016<br />

0<br />

351,394 338,318 406,894<br />

2016 351,394 338,318 October 406,894<br />

November December<br />

0<br />

2017 444,011 417,707 477,613<br />

2017 October 444,011 November 417,707 2016 351,394 December 477,613<br />

338,318 406,894<br />

2016 351,394 338,318 2017 444,011 406,894<br />

417,707 477,613<br />

2017 444,011 417,707 477,613<br />

500,000<br />

500,000<br />

450,000<br />

450,000 Methanol exports (tonnes)<br />

500,000 400,000<br />

400,000 500,000<br />

450,000 350,000<br />

350,000<br />

450,000<br />

400,000 300,000<br />

300,000<br />

400,000<br />

350,000 250,000<br />

250,000<br />

350,000<br />

300,000 200,000<br />

200,000<br />

300,000<br />

250,000 150,000<br />

150,000<br />

250,000<br />

200,000 100,000<br />

100,000<br />

200,000<br />

150,000<br />

150,000<br />

50,000<br />

100,0000<br />

100,000<br />

0<br />

October November December<br />

October November 50,000<br />

December<br />

2016<br />

50,000<br />

0<br />

306,111 324,115 367,504<br />

2016 306,111 324,115 October 367,504<br />

November December<br />

0<br />

2017 457,607 408,913 393,079<br />

2017 October 457,607 November 408,913 2016 December<br />

306,111 393,079<br />

324,115 367,504<br />

2016 306,111 324,115 2017 457,607 367,504<br />

408,913 393,079<br />

2017 457,607 408,913 393,079<br />

70<br />

70<br />

Urea production (tonnes) 60<br />

60<br />

70<br />

70<br />

50<br />

50<br />

60<br />

60<br />

40<br />

40<br />

50<br />

50<br />

30<br />

30<br />

40<br />

40<br />

20<br />

20<br />

30<br />

30<br />

10<br />

10<br />

20<br />

20<br />

0<br />

0<br />

10<br />

October November December<br />

10<br />

October November December<br />

2016<br />

0<br />

58.3 48.8 63.1<br />

2016 58.3 48.8 October 63.1<br />

November December<br />

0<br />

2017 61.7 53.1 4<br />

2017 October 61.7 November 53.1 2016 December 58.34<br />

48.8 63.1<br />

2016 58.3 48.8 2017 61.7 63.1<br />

53.1 4<br />

2017 61.7 53.1 4<br />

80<br />

80<br />

Urea exports (tonnes) 70<br />

70<br />

80<br />

60<br />

60 80<br />

70<br />

50<br />

50 70<br />

60<br />

40<br />

40 60<br />

50<br />

30<br />

30 50<br />

40<br />

20<br />

20 40<br />

30<br />

10<br />

10 30<br />

20<br />

0<br />

20 0<br />

10<br />

October November December<br />

October November December<br />

10<br />

2016<br />

0<br />

36.3 41.9 66.3<br />

2016 36.3 41.9 October 66.3<br />

November December<br />

0<br />

2017 57.6 68.3 16.5<br />

2017 October 57.6 November 68.3 2016 December 36.3 16.5<br />

41.9 66.3<br />

2016 36.3 41.9 2017 57.6 66.3<br />

68.3 16.5<br />

2017 57.6 68.3 16.5<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 41<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

Methanol exports (tonnes)<br />

Urea production (tonnes)<br />

Urea exports (tonnes)<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

Methanol production (tonnes)<br />

Methanol exports (tonnes)<br />

Methanol exports (tonnes)<br />

Urea production (tonnes)<br />

Urea production (tonnes)<br />

Urea exports (tonnes)<br />

Urea exports (tonnes)<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


the state of the nation<br />

statistics<br />

• BPTT continued to be by far the largest producer of natural gas in<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> in late 2017, while Petrotrin/Trinmar remained the<br />

largest crude oil producer<br />

• Trinmar alone supplied 27% of total crude production in the last quarter<br />

of 2017<br />

C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

Figures in red italics are preliminary<br />

42<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


WE PUBLISH MAGAZINES ...<br />

■<br />

<strong>Contact</strong><br />

The magazine for the <strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

Chamber of Commerce and<br />

Industry<br />

Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018<br />

THE VOICE OF BUSINESS IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO<br />

■<br />

Caribbean Beat<br />

The inflight magazine of<br />

Caribbean Airlines<br />

Anything and everything about<br />

the Caribbean<br />

<strong>Transforming</strong><br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> & <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

■<br />

Discover <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

The definitive travel guide to <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Settling disputes | Letting go of fossil fuels<br />

Digital revolution | The art of rejuvenation<br />

... AND WE CAN PUBLISH YOURS TOO<br />

• Corporate publishing • <strong>Magazine</strong> publishing • Newsletters and reports<br />

Concept Content Research Writing<br />

Editing Photography Illustration<br />

Design and<br />

Digital Layout<br />

Proofreading Printing Delivery<br />

Visit our website at www.meppublishers.com<br />

MEP on Facebook: facebook.com/discovertnt, facebook.com/caribbeanbeat<br />

MEP on Twitter: www.twitter.com/meppublishers<br />

Email: info@meppublishers.com<br />

6 Prospect Avenue, Maraval, Port of Spain. Tel. (868) 622-3821 Fax (868) 628-0639<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 43<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


the chamber and its members<br />

mediation<br />

How to settle a<br />

dispute<br />

Based on personal experience at the Dispute<br />

Resolution Centre, a mediation expert reflects on<br />

how to manage the process<br />

WORDS By: niall lawless<br />

photos courtesy: the dispute resolution centre<br />

In November 2017, I worked at the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Dispute Resolution<br />

Centre (DRC) for three days as an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)-<br />

appointed mediator in a multi-million US dollar engineering dispute, which<br />

resulted in a settlement.<br />

Mediation is not adversarial. It works best when the participants trust the<br />

process, and are willing to cooperate to solve a shared problem. Nothing is agreed<br />

until everything is agreed in writing, which allows the parties to take risks when they<br />

come to deal with individual items.<br />

Five stages<br />

The whole process is confidential, private and structured. It has five stages:<br />

introduction, information exchange, option generation, negotiation, and conclusion.<br />

Information exchange and option generation are by far the most important.<br />

Commercial mediation begins with the parties agreeing to mediate, and usually<br />

ends with the parties settling their dispute. The parties are the stars; usually they are<br />

common-sense business people motivated by revenue and contribution, and a desire<br />

to continue future cooperation.<br />

The mediation outcome is affected by whom the parties choose to attend the<br />

mediation meetings on their behalf. Each party should bring a lead negotiator with<br />

full authority to settle the dispute, and to sign the settlement agreement. The role<br />

of lead negotiator is challenging, as it requires the evaluation and development of<br />

options, and being able to respond to any new information provided by the other<br />

party. The lead negotiator needs the support of respected, trusted and valued<br />

colleagues.<br />

The lawyers<br />

The parties’ lawyers can make or break the mediation. Good mediation lawyers<br />

can move seamlessly from advocate to advisor. In their role as advocate they will<br />

succinctly summarise legal principles, but not in an adversarial or combative way,<br />

gifting litigation risk to the mediator.<br />

They allow the business principal to take the lead, preparing their clients by offering<br />

44<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


advice, guidance and information<br />

on negotiation and mediation. Good<br />

mediation lawyers cope well with being<br />

challenged privately by the mediator:<br />

they are experienced and wise, and<br />

they are committed to finding the best<br />

possible solutions for their client.<br />

When the ICC supports the<br />

mediation, the mediator and the<br />

parties use the ICC Mediation Rules,<br />

administered by the ICC International<br />

Center for ADR (Alternative Dispute<br />

Resolution). For example, the selection<br />

of the mediator takes into account such<br />

considerations as nationality, language<br />

skills, training, qualifications and<br />

experience, and ability to conduct the<br />

mediation in accordance with the ICC<br />

Rules.<br />

The Centre is constantly striving<br />

to improve the ways in which the<br />

needs and expectations of the users of<br />

ICC Mediation can best be met, so the<br />

mediator and the parties are asked to<br />

provide comprehensive feedback when<br />

the mediation ends.<br />

Top Niall Lawless, mediation expert. Below Elizabeth Solomon,<br />

director of the Dispute Resolution Centre<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 45<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


the chamber and its members<br />

The location<br />

The importance of the mediation venue is often overlooked,<br />

but, simply stated, good mediation venues send a subliminal<br />

message supporting the parties’ quest for compromise. The<br />

location should provide each party with its own meeting room,<br />

with another room large enough for joint meetings with the<br />

mediator and both parties present.<br />

The venue will be a place which both parties consider<br />

as neutral. The <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Dispute Resolution<br />

Centre (DRC) was an ideal mediation host venue, as it is<br />

“dedicated to promoting an environment in which people<br />

are encouraged to work together to find alternative means<br />

of resolving conflict”.<br />

Under the guidance of executive director Elizabeth<br />

Solomon the DRC staff worked hard to ensure that the<br />

physical surroundings supported mediation objectives; they<br />

were available, offering support such as printing services,<br />

before eight in the morning and after six in the evening.<br />

Another example of support was the choice of excellent<br />

food to energise the participants, strategically located to<br />

encourage parties to mingle and talk outside the formal<br />

meetings.<br />

The mediator<br />

The mediator as a neutral third party assists the parties<br />

to compromise their dispute, using communication and<br />

negotiation skills. The mediator is the guardian of the process,<br />

facilitating the exchange of information, helping the parties<br />

to reality-check their positions, and leaving no value on the<br />

table.<br />

As a mediator, I always commit to following the European<br />

Code of Conduct for Mediators, which sets out a number of<br />

principles which individual mediators can voluntarily decide<br />

to adopt.<br />

Acknowledgements<br />

The aforementioned Port of Spain mediation was a success,<br />

mainly because there was balance and harmony between<br />

people and process. As mediation is confidential, all I can do<br />

here is to thank the parties’ lawyers, with their permission: Mrs<br />

Savitri Sookraj-Beharry from the law firm Pollonais, Blanc, de<br />

la Bastide & Jacelon; Mr Ravi Nanga, Advocate Attorney at<br />

Law; Ms Kimberleigh Peterson from the law firm J.D. Sellier &<br />

Co.; Mr Ravi Heffes-Doon, Advocate Attorney at Law; the ICC<br />

ADR Centre staff – Alina Leoveanu, Andrija Erac, Ana Sylvia<br />

Prado and Malgorzata Matowska; and the <strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

Dispute Resolution Centre’s Executive Director Elizabeth<br />

Solomon and her welcoming, hard-working staff.<br />

Niall Lawless is a Chartered Arbitrator and Engineer,<br />

Adjudicator and Mediator at Adjudication Solutions.<br />

The Dispute Resolution Centre has two meeting areas to suit<br />

the size of your delegation<br />

Dispute Resolution Centre, Ground Floor, Chamber Building,<br />

Columbus Circle, Westmoorings, PO Box 499, Port of Spain.<br />

Tel: 632-4051, fax: 632-4046.<br />

www.disputeresolutioncentre.com<br />

46<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine


the chamber and its members<br />

Welcome, new members!<br />

The Chamber extends a very warm welcome to all those companies and<br />

individuals who have become Chamber members in recent months<br />

(June 2017 to February 2018).<br />

Action Coach TT<br />

39 Hubert Rance Street, San Fernando<br />

236-3692, 398-8277 • indiracouch@actioncoach.com<br />

Allied Caterers Limited<br />

Golden Grove Road, Piarco<br />

285-9155<br />

www.alliedcaterers.com<br />

arajkumar@alliedcaterers.com<br />

Bell Insurance Services Limited<br />

15 Henry Pierre Street, Port of Spain<br />

235-2354, fax 667-1658<br />

www.bellistt.com • matthew@bellistt.com<br />

Jarrod Best-Mitchell<br />

21 Cawnpore Street, St James<br />

355-7640 • jarrodbestmitchell@hotmail.com<br />

Blu Pelagos Limited<br />

2c, Tower 3, One Woodbrook Place, St James<br />

729-1472 • dr.andrew.borg@gmail.com<br />

Business Lifeline Limited<br />

Intercontinental Business Park Building, LP 523, Eastern<br />

Main Road, D’Abadie<br />

235-4255, 361-6225<br />

www.businesslifelinett.com<br />

nichole@businesslifelinett.com<br />

Caribbean Centre for Leadership<br />

Development Limited<br />

9 Hilton <strong>Trinidad</strong> & Conference Centre<br />

St Ann’s, Port of Spain<br />

684-2757, 684-0728<br />

Cite Up Limited<br />

215 Pinard Court, Palmiste, San Fernando<br />

652-9084, 653-1937<br />

www.citeup.com • roger.nicholas@citeup.com<br />

Coral Cove Marine Hotel Limited<br />

Coral Cove, Western Main Road, Chaguaramas<br />

634-2080 • fax 634-2248<br />

www.coralcovemarina.com • aaleongmkt@albrosco.com<br />

Crimson Logic (T&T) Limited<br />

1st Floor, T&T Chamber of Industry & Commerce, Columbus<br />

Circle, Westmoorings<br />

223-2588 • fax 223-2746<br />

www.crimsonlogic.com<br />

zyenudeanz@crimsonlogic.com<br />

Dennise Demming<br />

25 Mary Avenue, Diego Martin<br />

761-9426 • dennisedemming@gmail.com<br />

Gentle Dentistry & Implant Centre Limited<br />

6 Rapsey Street, St Clair<br />

628-1456, 672-6725 • fax 672-6725<br />

sarahramcharitar@gmail.com<br />

Innovation Factory Limited<br />

Upper Santa Cruz<br />

787-9100 • eddydevisse@gmail.com<br />

Jeannine Du Coudray-Collier<br />

6, Rapsey Street, St Clair<br />

235-3487 • jeannine.collier@jdclegal.net<br />

The Grape Vine<br />

78 Diego Martin Main Road, Diego Martin<br />

234-0059<br />

www.thegrapevinett.com<br />

emile@thegrapevinett.com<br />

Josal Consulting Limited<br />

7 White Street, Woodbrook<br />

622-4509<br />

www.josalconsulting.com<br />

djoseph@josalconsulting.com<br />

PEAPSL Consultancy Limited<br />

50 Richmond Street, Port of Spain<br />

658-6423 • fax 658-3272<br />

www.peapsl.com<br />

Phoenix Protective Services Limited<br />

73 Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas<br />

671-1449, 298-4398<br />

phoenix.protective@gmail.com<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contaCT-magazine 47<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong> and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce


the chamber and its members<br />

Ramkaran Contracting Services Limited<br />

63 Monkey Town, 3rd Branch Road, New Grant<br />

655-0717, 299-5142 • patries@ramkarancontracting.com<br />

Regency Recruitment & Resources Limited<br />

48 New Street, Port of Spain<br />

625-6225 • fax 625-8655<br />

www.regencytrinidad.com • lara@regencytrinidad.com<br />

Solutions Expertz Limited<br />

2 Coconut Drive, Cross Crossing, San Fernando<br />

374-7751, 374-7919 • fax 657-7721<br />

Terra Caribbean <strong>Trinidad</strong> Limited<br />

5-7 Sweet Briar Road, St Clair<br />

628-2391, fax 628-2900<br />

www.terracaribbean.com • jean-paul@terracaribbean.com<br />

Towers Consortium Consultancy Limited<br />

61 Sapphire Avenue, Bacolet Park, Bacolet, <strong>Tobago</strong><br />

635-1573, fax 639-5479 • www.facebook.com/pages/<br />

Towers-Consortium-Consultancy-Ltd/1622275004737023<br />

The University of the West Indies<br />

St Augustine Campus<br />

662-2002, fax 663-2002<br />

www.uwi.edu • brian.copeland@sta.uwi.edu<br />

Valorem Services Limited<br />

6 La Selva Drive, Golden View, El Dorado<br />

680-2064 • scyrus@valoremtt.com<br />

Vanus Investments Limited<br />

17 Centenary Street, Tunapuna<br />

663-0500 • joanna.j@vanusinvestments.com<br />

Williams Offices (<strong>Trinidad</strong>) Limited<br />

Level 2, Invader’s Bay Tower, Invader’s Bay, Port of Spain<br />

235-6000, 235-6001<br />

stephanie.quesnel@regus.com<br />

Yekof’s General Trading Import & Export Ltd.<br />

47 Eighth Street, Barataria<br />

473-2374, 293-8121<br />

yebk2000@yahoo.co.uk<br />

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS<br />

Andy Berahazar Jr. • Colleen Cameron • Tamia Griffith<br />

Shenelle Hills-Fife • Nikita Legall<br />

48<br />

<strong>Trinidad</strong><br />

and <strong>Tobago</strong> Chamber<br />

of Industry and Commerce<br />

www.chamber.org.tt/contaCT-magazine


The perfect venue for<br />

corporate and private events!<br />

Conveniently located in a safe<br />

and convenient neighbourhood<br />

next to The Falls at West Mall.<br />

Fully air-conditioned room with 2204 sq ft of space,<br />

and ample on-site parking with security.<br />

Welcome to the<br />

Leon Agostini<br />

Conference Hall<br />

We offer full service to our clients at competitive rates.<br />

Ideal for business meetings, training sessions, press conferences, weddings, graduations, birthday parties, and<br />

anything in between – we have the ideal package for you.<br />

Call 637 6966 ext. 1285 and let us help you plan your<br />

meeting or special gathering.

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