Reduction of State Dominance in the Economy
Former Minister Kevin Ramnarine shares his views on critical areas which can help our economy grown and thrive. Five takeaways from this interview are: Trinidad and Tobago needs to revise our constitution with the aim of reducing the current concentration of power in the hands of the executive; intensify our focus on preserving our natural environment; urgently work on improving our Ease of Doing Business (EODB) ranking from 105 and establish the goal of becoming the bunkering hub of the region.
Reduced dependency on Hydrocarbons
Kevin noted that our modern economy which began in 1974 with the first oil boom has run its course. While the dominant narrative will continue to focus on hydrocarbons and the revenues from oil, gas, and methanol, global demand will continue to reduce and force us to pivot to other areas for revenue generation.
Bunkering Hub of the Hemisphere
Recognizing the explosive growth that is expected by our neighbours Guyana and Suriname, Kevin noted that we are naturally endowed to become the bunkering hub and transshipment point for the expected increased Maritime traffic. There are at least 5 docks in the Gulf of Paria which can accommodate large maritime vessels. A bright economic future can stand on the pillars of a reimagined Maritime Sector, a stronger Manufacturing Sector, and an improved EODB.
At 19:00 Dr. Rahanna Juman changes the conversation to remind us about the important role that Mangroves play in environmental protection, climate change mitigation, coastline protection, and even protection against storm surges.
She notes that Mangroves are sometimes described as the “Supermarket of the Seas” because of their ability to provide a range of organic materials. As Trinidad and Tobago continues to be called out for our huge carbon footprint we can use the revitalization and rehabilitation of our mangroves as part of our strategy to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide. A recent study concluded that our mangroves capture more than 4 times the amount of carbon that is captured by our terrestrial Forests. This special group of plants, both trees and shrubs can live in the harsh intertidal zone where they help protect our coastlines. Their ability to store vast amounts of carbon makes them an important weapon in the fight against climate change.
Protect our mangroves
Although 50% of mangroves have been cleared to make way for housing and industrialization, much can be done to remove the stressors on our mangroves. There needs to be a greater focus on strengthening our policy implementation and enforcement strategies especially as they relate to minimizing pollution caused by industrial waste and other run-offs into our rivers and streams. Citizens are encouraged to become active participants in the thrust to revive and rehabilitate our Mangroves. By protecting mangroves, we can help protect the future of our planet.