Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OECD classifies T&T as "high income developed country"

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said on Monday her government’s efficient handling of the Trinidad and Tobago economy has earned the country a place among the developed countries of the hemisphere, including Canada and the United States.

“We have been so successful at managing our economy, that the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) now classifies Trinidad and Tobago as a "high income, developed country". It classifies it as one of only five countries in this hemisphere listed as developed,” she told a meeting of the United National Congress at the Munroe Road Hindu School.

“The four others are Canada, the US, the Bahamas and Barbados…It is clear evidence that your PP government is managing the economy very well,” she said.

She noted that the “rainy day” Heritage and Stabilization Fund that the Panday UNC government introduced now stands at $30 billion. And the country’s foreign reserves are very healthy at $60 billion, she added. Persad-Bissessar said it is because of prudent fiscal management that Trinidad and Tobago is doing so well. She gave a snapshot of some of the other things we are delivering:

  • Solid growth in GDP over the last three quarters
  • Inflation down to between five% and six %
  • Unemployment down to five%
  • Settlement of 66 negotiations out of 75 left by previous Government
  • Resolving the CLICO and HCU matters while maintaining financial stability
  • Agriculture grew by two point six% last year
  • An increase in investments by energy sector in deep water drilling
And she said the country’s international reputation has been enhanced by the recent visits of the President of China and the Vice President of the USA.
She said her government would continue to build and develop every part of the country unlike the PNM that focused only on selected areas. “We work for all the people, all the time,” she said.

“When I embarked on this mission of service to the people, I pledged never to walk alone. I pledged to invite all our citizens to walk with me to shake our nation out of its deep slumber,” she added.

The Prime Minister said in order to move ahead she had to put aside “the emotional attachment to the past and look to the future. We in the People’s Partnership understood that change sometimes requires us to get rid of old habits in order to rise to new challenges.

“This is the kind of political dynamism that has take us forward. We embraced the idea of a just society based on respect, integrity, accountability, democracy and freedom.

“We embarked on that journey three years ago and we still have a long distance to travel. Once we stay united, we will reach our destination and achieve our goals.”

Persad-Bissessar said the country’s greatest strength is “our combined talents” and stated that in order to make use of that talent people must united for a common cause.

“I ask you to rise and serve our country and keep it strong and united so future generations would never again have to experience the hate and divisiveness that others used to inflict permanent scars on some of us.

“We must always remain known as a party that has stood on the side of decency and honesty, integrity and fairness. We must never condone wrongdoing nor support it in any form or fashion.

“I have never been afraid to take action against those who descended the moral ladder and I urge you to do likewise. We shall remain a party dedicated to do what is right.”
She said no one has a monopoly on building and developing her party and no one individual, including the political leader, is bigger than the party. 

“As your political leader, I had promised you that I would be your agent of unity, that I would reach out to other like-minded patriots so that we could join together as one strong, unshakeable, united front to defeat the dictatorial PNM! 

“Although we are different parties, with different perspectives and ideas, we have been able to stay together and work together because the principle upon which our partnership is based remains the same. Our primary mandate has always been and will always be "Service to the People!”

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai