Private sector accused of being lazy

The pri­vate sec­tor must play a big­ger role in dri­ving the na­tion’s econ­o­my said Ryan Lewis, Di­rec­tor, Trinidad and To­ba­go Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (TTMA).

“The bud­get is read and done by the Gov­ern­ment but the big­ger ques­tion is what is the pri­vate sec­tor do­ing. That is where the jobs will be, where you all are look­ing for. A lot of you all will want to go in­to new in­no­v­a­tive busi­ness­es. So what is the pri­vate sec­tor do­ing to pro­vide more jobs for you? I be­lieve in the last 10 years the pri­vate sec­tor has been lazy. I think that the pri­vate sec­tor has been de­pen­dent on the Gov­ern­ment.”

Lewis spoke yes­ter­day at the St Mary’s Col­lege, post-bud­get pan­el dis­cus­sion held at CIC, Port-of-Spain.

He said there need to be new in­no­v­a­tive jobs dri­ven by tech­nol­o­gy.

“How many app de­vel­op­ers do you think there are in the coun­try?” he asked.

Lewis said that man­u­fac­tur­ing is 6 per­cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) and it is the coun­try’s fu­ture.

How­ev­er, he said T&T has been los­ing its com­pet­i­tive­ness and it will no longer be the busi­ness cap­i­tal of the re­gion if it con­tin­ues along this road.

“T&T has al­ways been the en­vy of the rest of the re­gion. We were the busi­ness cen­tre for 30 years. What it will take is a pri­vate sec­tor plan sup­port­ed by the Gov­ern­ment frame­work.”

He said the aim is to dou­ble man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put by 2025.