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Financial News

Jan 2010 Financial News

'Manufacturing sector key to growth'

Jan 27, 2010

The manufacturing sector contracted 5.6 per cent in the third quarter of last year even though the Central Bank is projecting two per cent growth in 2010.

Greig Laughlin, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association, said yesterday ’the manufacturing sector is key to this country’s sustainability, economic growth and development. As a result we need to focus on training, retooling and innovation to improve its competitiveness,’ he said.

He was speaking at the launch of this year’s Trade and Investment Convention scheduled for May 19-22 at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain.

TIC has, over the last ten years, facilitated more than US$400 million in trade deals for the country and is expected to host more than 500 buyers from 35 countries this year.

TIC chairman Anthony Aboud said yesterday the local private sector had been doing well in spite of the global economic crisis. But that made many of them sluggish and they could stand to lose it all if they don’t start picking up the slack, he added.

’There are several businesses that have become very complacent because they have already captured the market and they have been doing very well for years without much effort. But Trinidad and Tobago is no longer an isolated economy. We have imports coming in from all over the world, coming in from Asia daily, and it is very difficult for our local manufacturing sector to compete with those large markets that have large manufacturing scales of economy. So what we need to do is we need to become more resilient and look for opportunities and do something a bit different,’ he said.

Aboud was speaking to the Express after the formal launch of the TIC at the Jaffa restaurant in Port of Spain yesterday.

’The complacency is not that they are lazy, but the complacency is that the environment in which we have done business for so long has changed, and when the environment changes, you need to change with it. You cannot stand still,’ he said.

He urged businesses to utilise TIC because it offered them an opportunity to market their products and meet partners.

Aabida Allaham
Trinidad Express
Wednesday, January 27th 2010