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Trinidad’s economy, energy industry set to grow

PORT OF SPAIN, February 6, 2015 – The governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Jwala Rambarran, on Thursday announced that his institution would be injecting $150 million into the economy in an effort to adjust the foreign exchange supply/demand imbalance. Speaking at a meeting hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce, Rambarran also said that the economy was expected to grow by about 1.5 percent in 2015, up from 0.8 percent for last year.

“Bear in mind here we’re talking about real economic growth, so we are looking at the level of production that is taking place and is in a sense separated from what is happening with the energy prices,” he explained. Elaborating on the subject of energy, Rambarran said the country’s hydrocarbons industry would rebound from the 1.7-percent contraction in 2014, forecasting an estimated growth of 1 percent for 2015.

 

The statements come on the heels of Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs Kevin Ramnarine travelling to Washington, D.C., on January 26 to meet with Vice-President Joseph Biden to discuss regional energy initiatives at the Caribbean Energy Summit. At the event, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar proposed a $1-billion Caribbean Energy Thematic Fund in association with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Minister of Planning and Development Bhoe Tewarie last week stressed that while the initiative was “very well received” by the members of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom), Trinidad’s participation should not be taken for granted. “We’re not going to give away money but we will be willing to invest if there is a return on that investment,” Tewarie said in an interview with Business Day last week, adding that the country’s contribution would depend on “what other people are willing to do.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran recently also weighed in on the subject of regional co-operations. Speaking to TOGY on February 2, the minister highlighted the importance of the Association of Caribbean States and Trinidad’s positioning in the Caricom. He also underlined Persad-Bissessar’s four priorities outlined at the UN General Assembly General Debate in New York City in September 2014: Millennium Development Goals, sustainable development, post-2015 development and carbon dioxide emissions.

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