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Tuesday 20 February 2018
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Chamber hopeful after meeting PM

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks with Caribbean Airlines chairman Shameer Ronnie Mohammed at yesterday’s meeting held at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort.

KINNESHA GEORGE-HARRY

After four hours of being locked in talks, the ministerial team accompanying Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley along with Tobago House of Assembly officials and members of the Tobago division of the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce emerged.

The in-camera meeting which took place yesterday at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort was aimed at finding solutions to Tobago’s declining tourism product, having suffered a decline in 2017 amidst problems on the air and sea bridge.

The talks, Newsday understands, was requested by the chamber in the face of a worsening situation in the economy and in the hope of finding workable solutions of getting the island back on track.

Addressing reporters mere minutes later, Rowley highlighted that a slightly different approach was taken during the meeting.

“The approach we took was to bring the decision-makers in front of those impacted by the decisions and it wasn’t a complaint session. It was a problem-solving session which was facilitated by questions being put to the various persons with responsibilities for the various problems, and their solutions and to see whether their answers were the kind of answers that could bring some element of comfort to those impacted,” he said.

Chamber chairman Demi John Cruickshank described the meeting as “fruitful.”

“I think the private sector is a lot clearer in terms of what the Government’s plans are for Tobago and I hope that in a very short space of time, we can see the economy of Tobago on the path of growth. I hope that in the very near future we would see a resolving of a number of the issues that we, as the private sector, have highlighted to the Prime Minister.

“He has given us his commitment to go back to the drawing board on a number of matters and deal with a number of the burning issues that the private sector would have had.”

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