Economic Complexity – Creativity – Transportation are the focus of our discussion.


Chatting with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about Economic Complexity; Jules Sobion Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army about Creativity and Katherine Agong, Transportation Specialist about modernizing our transportation sector.

Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon shares a synopsis of his research paper on “Economic Complexity” which takes economic diversification 10 steps ahead towards breaking our dependency on hydrocarbons. He suggests that using an Economic Complexity lens can help us design an ecosystem which places greater emphasis on using technical knowledge, innovation and superior technologies to produce a healthy mix of commodities for both local consumption and export.The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a complex production structure. Imagine if Trinidad & Tobago had a thriving pharmaceutical sector, we could have partnered with pharmaceutical companies to manufacture vaccines. Our recovery strategy should focus on satisfying the unique pent-up demand which will soon be unleashed on the world. His paper on Economic Complexity considered 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries and concluded that a major hindering factor for growth is inequitable access to finance and foreign exchange from the commercial banks. Trinidad and Tobago has an opportunity to use the pandemic as a game changer by embracing the philosophy of Economic Complexity; transitioning from the model of a physical location to operating within a single digital space and removing the barriers which give us a low ranking on the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) ranking. At 18:00 minutes, the conversation shifts from discussing Economic Complexity with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about to chatting with Jules Sobion

Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army. Jules’s Pandemic Joys were understanding what Trinidad and Tobago has to offer as a destination; strengthening his storytelling muscles and nurturing his passion for building brands. His take on what is needed for creatives to thrive is to understand how the creative industry is evolving. Whether it is large events, music, art, theater, there is a need to understand how these sectors connect to the whole picture of Trinidad and Tobago. His biggest challenge as an entrepreneur was the feeling of “aloneness” as he created a different Carnival movement. Maybe there is a need for a space to teach creatives the fundamentals of business. The common problem experienced by Creatives is getting their brands onto larger world stages. Taking our local brands to the next level requires a willingness to create a runway for the traffic-jam of ideas and creatives waiting to take off. T&T’s future game will demand that we leverage technology to create experiences which combine in-person with virtual and the Entertainment Sector is uniquely poised to take the lead. As the Commander in Chief of Caesar’s Army exited the interview, his parting advice to younger creatives was that Rome was not built in a day. “Take things time by time, be resilient, be patient, and your fruits will bear.”

At 30:00 minutes, the Conversation welcomed Transportation Specialist, Katherine Agong, who represents the 30% of women operating in Transportation. Her interest in transportation started at the age of seven or eight when she experienced the anxiety of travelling from her home in Diego Martin to her primary school in Port of Spain and invariably arrived late to school. At that early stage, she wondered about solutions to the traffic problem.Fast forward a few years, Katherine is studying for her degree in Geography and Geology and discovers that there is actually a career to solve traffic and transport problems. A suggested solution to some of our problems is the creation of a national transportation planning and management agency like those that exist in the United States and across Europe. Our country CAN have a successful mass transit system, but we need to understand that people’s decision to travel is based on reliability, price, comfort, convenience, safety, and accessibility. The fact that 74% of our population use the car to get to and from work is an indication of their low level of trust in the system.There are solutions to our transportation problems. It is a question of how we implement those solutions. Park & Ride is a possibility, but mass transportation in our country can help towards our development, it can help towards people’s comforts and may improve people’s lives. She notes that other countries have solved their problems and so can we.

Demming Chronicles is happy to have chatted with Dr. Vaalmiki Arjoon about Economic Complexity; Jules Sobion Commander-In-Chief of Caesar’s Army about Creativity and Katherine Agong, Transportation Specialist about modernizing our transportation sector.

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