28 January, 2019: – Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry encouraged members of the business community to consider new opportunities in manufacturing and increase levels of local investment. Speaking at the Cunupia Business Chamber Annual Awards and Dinner in Chaguanas on January 19, 2019 the Trade and Industry Minister encouraged the businessmen to seize new opportunities. “The future is bright” she stated, “for all who are considering investing or changing your business strategies the environment is indeed right for you to do so. Many of our efforts aimed at boosting the economy, despite the difficult times that we encountered when we entered office … have begun to materialize, so much so that growth for 2018 is expected to be recoded just under 2%.”

Citing the fact that Government has reduced expenditure by 22% in the past three years, the Minister advised the gathering to anticipate growth and improvements in 2019. “I was very pleased to hear the Minister of Finance come to the population to cite the fact that … our revenue streams have improved by more than 13% beyond that which was projected for the first quarter of fiscal 2019.” The Government, she added, has been able to contain inflation with Trinidad and Tobago enjoying the lowest employment rate in the region. The Minister conveyed the Government’s focus on diversification projects in collaboration with the private sector, in sectors such as agriculture and tourism, among others.

In delivering his remarks, Mr Rasheed Ali President of the Cunupia Business Chamber encouraged his membership to sow the seeds of innovation and cooperation. He described several community projects successfully undertaken by the Chamber including a collaboration which positively impacted crime in the community by deepening linkages with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. Mr Ali also outlined proposed initiatives for 2019 which, in keeping with the tenor of the Minister’s call for continued collaboration, are intended to build even more bridges between the association, the community and partners including the Government. He encouraged the Chamber’s members to work together to create a better future.