You can call me Gov
By NEWSDAY STAFF Saturday, July 14 2012
click on pic to zoom in
DIGGING IN: In one of his last acts as Central Bank Governor, Ewart Williams turns the sod yesterday to mark the official start of construction of the...
Forty-five-YEAR-OLD economist J’wala Rambarran was yesterday announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar as the country’s new Central Bank Governor who will take over from Ewart Williams, who demits office on Monday after serving ten years as Governor.
“After two days of deliberations, I am very pleased to announce the Cabinet of the Republic has made the decision to appoint Mr J’wala Rambarran, financial economist, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
“I am advised Mr Rambarran has over 20 years professional experience as an Economic Strategist and thought leader in consulting, in academia, in the private financial sector, with the IMF, and with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago,” Persad-Bissessar said.
“He has an extensive knowledge and experience of contemporary global and economic and financial issues and understanding of the institutional environment of Central Banks and supra national financial institutions,” she added.
Rambarran, she said, was also named among the top 50 alumni at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus for contributions to Caribbean economic development.
Speaking at the Magdalena Hotel where Cabinet members were on a retreat yesterday, Persad-Bissessar espoused Rambarran’s virtues saying, “He comes with sound leadership negotiation and strategic planning skills and is a graduate of executive economic and financial training programme from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, from the IMF Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“In our deliberations the one issue that arose and was cause for discussion was that he is 45 years of age.
But at the end of discussions Cabinet was of the collective view that age should not be a bar to performance of functions and duties,” Persad-Bissessar said.
She added that her own Minister of Tobago Development Dr Delmon Baker is only 35 and Chief Justice Ivor Achie was 47 at the time of his appointment to lead the judiciary.
Howai: Welcome aboard
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Finance and the Economy Minister Howai welcomed the new Central Bank Governor saying, “I welcome Mr Rambarran to his new post as Central Bank Governor.
“This is a most important position when it comes to governing the economy and Cabinet felt it was wise to spend time and deliberate carefully to evaluate all of the candidates and eventually come to the decision that is in the best interest of TT.”
Howai also expressed the Government’s gratitude to outgoing Governor Williams for his “great contribution” over the past ten years. “Governor Williams implemented a number of initiatives during his tenure to stabilise the economy and he deserves to be thanked for his contributions,” Minister Howai said. Howai, himself a recent Cabinet and Government appointee said he is looking forward to working with Rambarran to facilitate economic growth and development.
Speaking yesterday, prior to the announcement of Rambarran as his replacement, Governor Williams said that his successor, “whomever he or she is”, must keep a “respectful distance” from the Government of the day. Speaking at the sod-turning ceremony at the construction site for the Central Bank Governor’s official residence, which is to be completed in about a year, he said the Central Bank Governor must maintain a level of independence. (See page 15A)
“Be careful of your independence. The Bank’s success is highly correlated with a degree of independence which the leadership must be prepared to give. There will be conflicts but any Central Bank Governor who is coming in must maintain respect for the Government but also maintain a degree of distance,” Williams said. He also called on his successor to utilise the vast array of talent that will be found in the “dedicated and experienced team” at the Central Bank. Williams also said he has left a brief at the Office of the Central Bank Governor of policies in train and outstanding issues to be dealt with. He expressed a willingness to meet his successor to ensure a proper transfer of power and responsibility.