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Sunday 18 November 2018
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Paula tells businesses to hang on

File Photo: Minister of Trade and Industry 
Paula Gopee-Scoon.
File Photo: Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon.

UPDATE:

Businesses in south and central Trinidad have been advised to “hold on for another year” as government moves out of the failed oil refining business to the profitable exploration and production sector.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said during the official launch of the country’s newest business organisation, the Gasparillo Chamber of Commerce at the Gasparillo Ministry Centre, Happy Hill, Bonne Aventure, Gasparillo on Saturday night.
“These are trying times but hang on for another year or so while we get out of this and seek to establish this new Petrotrin. Look for opportunities outside of sales and distribution and maximise the investments in agriculture.”

She said investment opportunities were presently available at the new 133 acre Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, Couva.

She said an “anchor tenant” -which had been recruited- would establish a regional manufacturing and distribution facility at the site had been identified while an additional ten Chinese firms had also expressed interest in the Park.

“You too, must begin to look at opportunities in heavy and light manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.”

And regarding the shutting down of the oil refinery, she said the decision had been a “difficult one” as southern Trinidad has long been the “main artery” through which the national economy had grown.

“While refining may be a loss-making business, exploration and production, if operated efficiently and done right, can be very profitable to Petrotrin’s shareholders—the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

The new business model will focus on increasing the production of barrels of oil for the external market.
These activities would include the development and usage of new technologies, production facilities, upgraded infrastructure, and specialised services.

Through this major initiative, together with targeted Government projects in the areas of infrastructure development, large scale projects and social support, the people and communities of Gasparillo and other fence line areas will be given the opportunity to rebuild and recover and more importantly participate in the growth we see ahead.”

She said the local economy has “come a long way” since 2015 and which was characterised by “significant declines in economic activity both in the energy and non-energy sectors amid a sluggish global economy.”

She said a significant percentage of firms in Gasparillo and in Trinidad and Tobago are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which remain the backbone of the economy.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Businesses in south and central Trinidad have been advised to “hold on for another year” as government moves out of the failed oil refining business to the profitable exploration and production sector.

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said during the official launch of the country’s newest business organisation, the Gasparillo Chamber of Commerce at the Gasparillo Ministry Centre, Happy Hill, Bonne Aventure, Gasparillo on Saturday night.

“These are trying times but hang on for another year or so while we get out of this and seek to establish this new Petrotrin. Look for opportunities outside of sales and distribution and maximise the investments in agriculture.”

She said investment opportunities were presently available at the new 133 acre Phoenix Park Industrial Estate, Couva.

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