• 30 MAY 2017

Trinidad and Tobago to benefit from ECLAC’s research

President of the Republic of Chile Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet hosted Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Mrs Sharon Rowley and the rest of the Trinidad and Tobago delegation to a luncheon at the La Moneda Palace, Santiago Chile following the meetings held earlier yesterday (Monday 29th May, 2017).

Immediately after the luncheon the delegation left the Palace for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) headquarters, also situated in Santiago. ECLAC is one of the UN’s five Commissions founded with the purpose of coordinating economic and social development within the region.

There, the delegation met with Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Barcena and other members of the Commission’s executive team.

The meeting centered around discussions on how ECLAC could partner with Trinidad and Tobago with a view to utilizing its (ECLAC) research capabilities to assist the twin-island state in making more  data-driven decisions in the formulation of social and economic policies.

The Government remains committed, even in this challenging economic climate, to ensuring that it creates an environment where everyone can enjoy the best possible standard of living.

“We hope to manage these economic changes and do the best with what we have. That is where the use of your data comes in,” Prime Minister Rowley told the Commission.

“We are hoping that ECLAC’s technicians will assist us, particularly when it comes to the development of our social support systems. We want to ensure that the money allocated by the Parliament continues to benefit those for whom it is intended and that the programmes we create are the best options available.”

Prime Minister Rowley also told the Commission that it has a role to play in Trinidad and Tobago’s push towards diversification.

He said, “Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing economic shock because of the reduction in our revenue from the hydrocarbon sector. When this happens there is a clamour for diversification.  The Minister of Trade has been asked to identify and to shepherd us towards things we can do to expand our economic base while not abandoning what we have now.”

“The question now is can we preserve that quality of life with our current revenues and our current policies. This is where we would like ECLAC to assist us with their research as we move to expand our economic base.  Trinidad and Tobago has the ability to produce much more goods and services than our population can absorb and therefore it is imperative that we look towards other markets.”

Both parties agreed that there is value in working together and have committed to this process.

The itinerary of the second and final day of the Prime Minister’s official visit to Chile includes a breakfast meeting with the Chilean Energy Sector, a visit to a LNG terminal and a solar farm.