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There’s a saying that goes “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” COVID-19 has brought tough times, slowed the global economy and as a fallout, many countries are grappling with unprecedented health-care and socio-economic challenges. The Economist in March 2020, predicted a global economic contraction by 2.5%. It is in this vein therefore, that Trinidad and Tobago as a nation must be resilient, agile and seek to move past the prevailing environment. As a nation, the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago have risen to and done well against this COVID-19 challenge: this is now well-acknowledged. It is in this light that we must now continue to collaborate, as we seek to revamp and retool our economy for recovery, growth and development.  

On April 20, 2020, The Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley commissioned a team to develop Trinidad and Tobago’s Road Map to recovery post COVID-19.

In keeping with the now acknowledged mantra that “We are all in this together,” Dr. Rowley in his remarks to the country reminded us that “The period of recovery must be driven by actions of Government, the Private Sector, and Civil Society even at the individual and personal level.”

Some of the main aspects of the plan the Prime Minister related are:

  • The Government sector must become more agile, removing unnecessary bureaucracy, enhancing its execution capability to directly stimulate and enable development. 
  • Emphasis must be on removing constraints to private investment and initiatives that are integral to the achievement of the objectives of the Road Map. 
  • Civil society can provide an effective conduit for the implementation of many Government-funded social programmes. 
  • Medium-Long Term: Remodeling, Retooling and Transforming. The deficiencies and structural rigidities in the economy must be examined as the basis for remodeling and creating a new economy. The country must also seek to explore new sectors/industries that have not been previously embarked upon.
  • Developing an Effective Enabling Environment. The Roadmap must place considerable focus on the requirements for establishing an effective enabling environment that supports the achievement of the established objectives and targets. 
  • Inclusiveness, Collaboration and Partnerships. Inequalities that exist in the economy and at the wider societal level must be addressed. 
  • Programming of Resources. Execution must be feasible and take place within the context of resource availability and execution capability. 
  • Current State Analysis, Modelling and Projections. The current state of the economy and the projections for the near and medium terms will provide the benchmarks for monitoring and evaluating implementation progress.

A critical aspect for this plan to come together is to ensure that there is enhanced connectivity among all government Ministries, Divisions and Agencies (MDAs). It is also vital that bureaucratic procedures among MDAs in the provision of their services for the business sector and wider public, be reduced and ultimately eliminated. 

iGovTT is committed to successfully fulfilling its role in the success of our country’s road to recovery. In this, we are truly honoured and committed to contribute in whatever way we can towards building a rewarding and sustainable economy for the benefit of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.

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