BVC March, 2016 - page 40

40 March 2016 - Business View Caribbean
happened before, so the big emphasis is on efficiency.
You have to make sure operations are as efficient as
possible to reduce your costs, and so you can continue
to produce even in these low-price environments. The
big threat is on future investments and whether we’ll
see the investments we need in order to maintain our
production levels. Production of gas in Trinidad has
been falling over the last two years and that puts a
strain on our LNG facilities and on our petrochemical
companies because they’re not getting all the gas they
need to produce at capacity. So that affects them. The
only solution to that is investment in new gas produc-
tion, but obviously, in this environment, it’s even more
challenging than it was before.”
Isn’t part of the answer in Trinidad and Tobago, specifi-
cally, to increase the diversity of its economic sectors?
Of course, that is the long-term objective for the country
- to diversity our economy away from reliance on the car-
bon sector. But the reality of that diversification will take
many years; it’s not going to happen over the next two
or three. We can work on it now, but it’s not something
that’s going to give us an immediate solution to the prob-
lem that we’re in. I think what we need to be doing as an
industry and as a country is to reduce the level of subsi-
dies which are going from the state to individuals and to
business and we need to be much more efficient in how
we’re using the revenue that we have. We’ve become
quite wasteful because we have money coming in, so the
economy becomes quite wasteful in its use of resources.
We’re very energy inefficient; we waste a lot of electricity,
we waste a lot of transport fuels and if we can change
that structure and be less wasteful, the economy could
survive on a lower level of government expenditure.”
That’s not something that the Chamber can do on its
own, right?
Of course. Our role is to advocate that with the gov-
ernment and to put forward a position and to try to
convince a change in the policy environment to make
that happen.”
Every year, the Chamber sponsors a region-wide En-
1...,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39 41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,...62
Powered by FlippingBook