Daily Brief - Friday 9th October, 2020


Imbert gives manufacturers $50m export surprise

Finance Minister Colm Imbert gave manufacturers an unexpected but not unwelcome surprise Tuesday when he announced a new $50 million facility specifically geared to increase exports. Speaking at the TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) post-budget forum at the Hyatt Regency Port of Spain, Imbert said during the planning of the budget, he received a request from the Ministry of Trade for funds to assist exporters in growing foreign markets. “I can tell you now we’ve put $50 million into the Ministry of Trade’s allocation specifically for that for overseas market development and export promotion. This is purely for manufacturers,” he said. The ministry will determine the best way to invest the money, including ways to assist local manufacturers with crossing non-tariff barriers and even putting people on the ground in foreign countries to lobby on TT’s behalf. Read more here



Tobago's top three SEA places go to girls

Susannah Thompson is Tobago’s top Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) student for 2020. Thompson, who attended St Nicholas Private School, passed for her first choice, Bishop Anstey High School. Lambeau Anglican’s Keyanna Thomas placed second and Jada Gibbs, of St Andrew’s Anglican School, came in third. Read more here

SEA joy as girls take top six national spots

Girls took the top six places in this year’s Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examinations. And although the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the usual result-day celebrations at schools around the country yesterday, the Ministry of Education honoured 11 students in a special ceremony at its Port-of-Spain headquarters. The students were given laptops and devices, along with internet packages from Unilever, Bmobile and the ministry during the ceremony. Read more here



Gopee-Scoon: Invest in women, technology to navigate out of covid19

The role of women is critical to the recovery and development of states as they battle their way out of the covid19 pandemic. This was the view expressed by an international panel including Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, at the International Trade Centre’s (ICT) virtual Good Trade Summit on Wednesday. The discussion was themed “Women and trade at the heart of the pandemic recovery” and highlighted current mechanisms used and identified new opportunities for progress. Read more here

Former ministers call for salary cuts from the top

Leaders at all levels of Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T’s) society, including PNM Ministers, UNC MPs and company CEOS should take voluntary pay cuts and they should do so in the challenging economic times to show they’re sharing the public’s burden, says former UNC minister Vasant Bharath. His call was supported by the UNC’s Devant Maharaj who has attacked UNC MP Dr Roodal Mooonilal’s recent challenge to Government that he’d give up his tax exempted car if PNM MPs gave up theirs. The call came ahead of today’s Budget 2021 debate when the Opposition Leader will reply to the Government’s 2021 fiscal measures. Read more here



Bars in south Trinidad struggle under covid19 restrictions

The economic impact of covid19 has left many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grasping at every opportunity and incentive to survive. Bars, in particular, came under heavy scrutiny by both the government and the public as a source from which the virus may be spread. Health regulations via the Public Health Ordinance implemented by the government in March, including the first round of lockdown measures, restricted bars from operating and also prevented in-house dining at restaurants, casinos and other clubs until April 20. Read more here

bpTT begins work on new natural gas development

bp Trinidad and Tobago LLC (bpTT) has commenced work on its Matapal field development which is expected to deliver gas in 2022. In a press release the company said Matapal is a subsea development comprising three wells that tie-back into the existing Juniper platform. Matapal will deliver gas into the Trinidad gas market from resources discovered by the Savannah exploration well drilled in 2017. The development will have a production capacity of 400 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd). Read more here



Indian investors set sight on sugar

Revitalising the sugar industry will be no easy task for local authorities, but the industry, which has been financially challenged for years, has attracted the attention of two companies from India. The Guyana Chronicle was reliably informed that the two companies have signalled a firm interest to invest in the local sugar industry. A senior source from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), while not naming those companies, said they have a wealth of experience in the management and sale of sugar. Read more here

Guilty - Uchence Wilson, Cronies Convicted In Telling Twist In Gang Trial

The alleged mastermind of the Uchence Wilson Gang exhaled heavily on Thursday as Chief Justice Bryan Sykes found him and several cronies guilty on several major charges. It is a major turn in the course of the case. Up until yesterday, for consecutive days, several of the accused were freed of charges because there was lack of evidence, according to the presiding judge. Read more here



Trump is getting increasingly desperate, sparking new fears for his health

President Donald Trump's increasing political desperation is raising concerns about his judgment following his aggressive Covid-19 treatment and as suspicion mounts that the White House is not telling the truth about his health. In a day of chaos Thursday, Trump repeatedly shifted his position on a new plan for a virtual second presidential debate and suddenly decided to back negotiations over a coronavirus economic rescue package he had killed off earlier in the week. His actions suggested a campaign in disarray as he trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden by double digits only 26 days from Election Day. Read more here

Coronavirus: Spain imposes state of emergency on Madrid

The Spanish government has ordered a 15-day state of emergency to bring down Covid-19 infection rates in the capital, after a court overturned a partial lockdown imposed a week ago. Madrid and nine nearby cities will see restrictions on movement enforced. The capital has been at the centre of a political row, with the centre-right city authorities challenging the Socialist government's demands. Cases are down and a state of emergency is unjustified, say city officials. Read more here

9th October 2020


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