Focus on crime for new TT Chamber President
Newly appointed president of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Kiran Maharaj said the chamber, under her leadership, will focus on crime, especially how it affects SMEs and on the development of youth and the SME sector.
Speaking to the media after her inaugural speech at the chamber’s annual business meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Maharaj said SMEs are facing threats in their day-to-day operations.
“I feel that the authorities and the powers that be don’t understand the issues that SMEs are facing on the ground,” she said. “They don’t understand that, 'Listen, I own a small business. I close up my shop and leave there and I go home, but now I don’t know if I am being followed. I don’t know if I can get to the bank to deposit my money.' These are simple everyday things that are really very stressful for small businesses.”
Speaking on the two-day symposium on crime as a public health issue held by Caricom and hosted in TT, Maharaj said while she didn’t attend, she felt it was a necessary conversation and a step in the right direction.
“I did see bits of it (and) I feel that some of the elephants in the room were addressed. I think it was an important first step. Where we are at on crime means that we have to look at it holistically. We are at dire straits and I think the crime symposium is a very good first start. What we need now is follow-up.”
In her inaugural speech Maharaj said crime was a plague that must be stamped out. She called on the police to improve on their seven per cent detection rate.
She said the chamber needs to be responsive and proactive in a business landscape that is constantly evolving. She added that the global events of the last three years – covid19 and the Ukrainian/Russian conflict – underscored the importance of agility and resilience in the business community.
Overall, she said the chamber needs to find ways to increase economic participation and introduce new opportunities which do not limit access to finance; enhance social infrastructure provisions via ESG mandates; embrace emerging technology opportunities and enhance the adoption of digital technology; and increase innovation diffusion and levels of entrepreneurialism.
"Focus on crime for new TT Chamber President"