Trinidad’s Economy And Its Impact On Barbados

Barbadians should be paying careful attention to developments in Trinidad. The following report in the Trinidad Guardian suggests a deteriorating business climate. Trinidad is our major trading partner in the Caribbean-it provides investment, development finance,toursits and export markets. A weak Trinidad is bad news for Barbados. Several of our major public companies are head-quartered in […]

By Peter N. Boos

March 22, 2010

Barbadians should be paying careful attention to developments in Trinidad. The following report in the Trinidad Guardian suggests a deteriorating business climate.

Trinidad is our major trading partner in the Caribbean-it provides investment, development finance,toursits and export markets. A weak Trinidad is bad news for Barbados. Several of our major public companies are head-quartered in Trinidad or substantially owned by Trininadians.

Perhaps the only silver linining might be Barbados as a safe haven for Trinidad wealth and skills gained through immigration? Some movement in this direction has already occurred. Any short term benefits are however far less important than a scenario of Trinidad drifting into social chaos.

Trinidad is the strongest economy in CARICOM and any weakness there will have negative ramifications throughout the Region.
The CLICO effect has not really been felt as yet.

Caribbean Leaders need to wake up and smell the decay. Our very sovereignty is at risk.

Business will deteriorate
Published in the Trinidad Guardian: 21 Mar 2010
Economist Dr Dhanayshar Mahabir is predicting that sales throughout the country will deteriorate further. He also stated that while businesses were under pressure, “there was no solution at this time,” to help them bounce back. “There is little we can do without having tremendous adverse repercussions,” Mahabir insisted. “The economy is deteriorating at a fast pace. The situation is unnerving. And the Government is putting on a brave face.” Mahabir was speaking yesterday about the decline in sales on Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain where thousands flock daily for bargains and deals.

Mahabir attributed the laying off of individuals and the scaling down of jobs in the construction, manufacturing and services sectors for the dip in sales. “We do know that the economy is continuing to decline since the presentation of the last budget.” Mahabir also noted that more individuals at the lower end are likely to face the breadline. Although the unemployment figure is six per cent, Mahabir said there was also a tremendous amount of underemployment. “It is not surprising to hear that the Port-of-Spain business owners, especially those in retail trade, indicate that sales have fallen by five to 15 per cent.”
Unfortunately, Mahabir said “it is going to deteriorate further. The reason being there is no sign that construction will be revived soon.” Mahabir said another contributing factor was that the Caricom economies were still reeling from the international recession. “So our manufacturers are not exporting as much as they exported two years ago. They are experiencing a great deal of idle capacity. What we are seeing is contracting in a number of sectors and a fall for a demand in goods.” Mahabir said the silver lining in the cloud for T&T was that the country had 11 months on import cover in reserves. “That is the one saving grace for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Peter N. Boos

Chairman Emeritus Ernst & Young Caribbean (since 2004); Founding partner Business Barbados publication (1999) and the Barbados business web portal BusinessBarbados.com (2009); Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Substance Abuse Foundation Inc. (1996 to date); Founding Sponsor (2009) and First Chairman (2009-2014) Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc.; Founder of the Peter Boos Foundation (2004), (supporting youth development, entrepreneurship, education, addiction treatment, environmental protection, arts & culture development, relief of poverty and support of various community and charitable causes); Founder, Patron and first chairman ASPIRE Foundation (Barbados) Inc. - 'helping charities help' to strengthen and expand the Barbados Third Sector (2014 to date).

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