Tobago hopes for economic boost
THE business community in Tobago is hoping that economic activity on the island will be boosted following the landslide victory of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) at the THA election on Monday night.
Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce chair Diane Hadad told the Express yesterday that the people have spoken and the newly elected party will have an opportunity to jump-start Tobago over the next four years.
“The chamber’s position is to give the PDP a chance to present its ideas to the people of Tobago as the party members would have said on the platform while campaigning how they intended to improve the issues on the island,” she said in a phone interview.
Hadad stressed that the new political party does not have a honeymoon period and needs to hit the ground running as it is 13 years of repairing Tobago the PDP has to do.
“They didn’t get this far without knowing the pain of Tobago. By understanding the pain, they should have suggested solutions. And if they are not going to be given the opportunity to push their solutions, then there would have been no point in the elections,” Hadad added.
She said the PDP must have strong systems in place and advisers in order to steer the ship and then the chamber and other private stakeholders need to work with them as well.
Asked where she believed the People’s National Movement (PNM) faltered, Hadad said while she was not a political analyst she observed that despite all the items being given away, residents made their minds up that they were fed up of the PNM.
Tobago Business Chamber chairman Martin George is hoping that the business sector will be revived on the island as the pandemic has done a number on it.
George said, “We are clear in our desire to work along with the incoming administration to ensure that the elements of the Tobago private sector are resuscitated, brought back to life so that we can have a vibrant dynamic business community here in Tobago,” he told the Express.
He called on the incoming PDP administration to lobby Central Government for the repeal of the Foreign Investors Act.
“This is at a time when Trinidad and Tobago as a whole needs foreign exchange and foreign investment, so that Act, which prohibits and creates a stumbling block for foreign investment, we need that repealed immediately,” George said. “This is a time when Trinidad and Tobago needs foreign exchange, we need the input of foreign investment. I have been saying this time and time again.”
George asked that measures be put in place for young entrepreneurs to be encouraged in good business management and administration practices.
“Young people can also recognise there is also a good opportunity in creating your own business to develop Tobago,” he added.
By: Andrea Perez-Sobers