Government to help fast track stalled private sector projects
On January 11th, 2018, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago announced that Cabinet took a decision to create a body that would be the interface between the government and the private sector. The Government Private Sector Implementation Committee was established with a mandate “to interact with the private sector, with the objective of identifying potential areas for development and the projects to be implemented in connection therewith”.
The rationale behind the creation of the committee was that there are a significant number of stalled private sector initiatives, originating from a bottleneck at ministry and/or state agency levels. Therefore, it is envisioned that the committee will seek to clear this bottleneck by working with the requisite ministry and/or state agency. The committee will not be implementing new projects but rather facilitate their progress through the various state entities utilising their existing procedures. As such, it should be noted that the intention is not to duplicate the efforts already being undertaken by state enterprises but to maintain a synergy amongst these entities.
The committee is headed by Christian E. Mouttet and comprises Richard P. Young, Blair Ferguson, S. Ronnie Mohammed and Gloria Jones-Knapp. Nadia James-Reyes Tineo, Director of Legal Services from the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, is the Secretary of the committee.
Cabinet has developed the terms of reference for the committee which will focus on projects that adhere to the following:
• are greater in value than TTD 10 million;
• originate from the private sector (local or foreign) and with access to funding (either local or foreign; not from government);
• would diversify the economy away from its dependency on oil and gas. As such, this would exclude projects that provide services and other support to the oil and gas sector;
• support and boost the manufacturing and tourism industries;
• support and encourage innovation, import substitution and job creation;
• must be “value added job creation” and not ‘middle-man’ type jobs or projects;
• would improve the quality of life for the citizenry without competing with existing state enterprises. Ideas may include; innovative low-cost housing, power generation and food production.
The committee has started meeting with private entities and has also met with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association and the American Chamber of Commerce.
Private entities wishing to seek the committee’s assistance can email its Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.