THE Government of Trinidad and Tobago led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is the main reason why this country ranks low in global reports when it comes to the ease of doing of doing business especially with foreign firms.
This is according to Member of Parliament for Oropouche West Davendranath Tancoo in a media release on Thursday.
He stated, “Today our investment climate is one of the worst in the world!”
On Wednesday, the US Department of State published its annual Investment Climate Statements of which Trinidad and Tobago was included.
In its report, the US Department of State stated, “TT’s investment climate is generally open and most investment barriers have been eliminated, but stifling bureaucracy and opaque procedures remain.” While doing business with Trinidad and Tobago was less complicated than several other countries, lack of law enforcement, slow processing and crime continued to a deterrent to foreign investors, the US Department of State stated.
Tancoo said, “After spending over $250 billion from 2015-2020, and refusing to fully implement the Procurement Legislation, it is not surprising that the Rowley government has brought the country down to the bottom of the world ratings in terms of enforcing contracts. Over 91 per cent of the countries of the world now rank better than Trinidad and Tobago with regards to dealing with contracts which impact significantly on the ease of doing business.”
“Very low scores in access to foreign exchange, payment of taxes and registering property reflects a complete failure of government’s policy to stimulate the productive sectors and the economy overall. Ironically, the only fair ranking that the Rowley administration has been able to achieve is in dealing with the massive levels of insolvency which its policies have created and exacerbated,” he added.
He stated that with the upcoming Budget in October, one was left to wonder how the government will be managing its funds.
Tancoo stated, “One critical role of government is to create the environment for business investment and growth. Instead the report reveals gaping deficiencies in our Investment Climate. The resultant deficit in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and in local investment climate has caused the loss of jobs of tens of thousands of our citizens and the closure of hundreds of businesses with growing poverty and income inequality. This has a direct negative multiple effects on the country’s revenue from taxation as well.”
What was critically needed was people-centred budgeting, a deliberate strategy to budget and expend to ensure real growth, business confidence and the enhancement of quality of life of citizens, Tancoo said.