Daily Brief - Thursday 29th September, 2022


Manufacturers: Fix crime, ease of doing business, pay VAT refunds

Manufacturers called for better customs and port operations, an improvement in the ease of doing business and a continuation in payment of VAT returns during the TTMA's post-budget forum on Tuesday. TTMA president Tricia Coosal, addressing stakeholders and Finance Minister Colm Imbert at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, said one of the obstacles to business is crime and called for “practical and successful solutions” to the scourge of crime. Read more here



CARIRI supports ideas, innovation, new products

"Put caraille in doubles, or shrimp or goat – that is innovation," suggested Minister of Planning and Development Pennelope Beckles during a function on Wednesday. The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) was celebrating the achievements of its programme Bridging the Gap to Commercial Application of Innovation at the Hyatt. The programme was explained in detail and local innovators and beneficiaries displayed their creations. The idea behind the programme originated at the Danish Technological Institute, which trained a team from CARIRI to execute a programme like its Idea Advisory Service in Trinidad. CARIRI partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank to execute the project and classed innovators into two groups: those interested in a business start-up, and those seeking to license their ideas to an existing company in exchange for royalties. Read more here

New NGO offers medical support for needy

The LivHealth Charitable Foundation (LCF) launched on Tuesday, having surpassed its goal of raising enough funds to provide palliative care for 100 patients for one year. “I can’t express the gratitude for the support for the launch of the LivHealth Charitable Foundation. These efforts will touch so many patients’ lives and truly alleviate so much suffering. I just want to thank all our sponsors, all our supporters, everybody whose attendance, and everyone who came (and) showed up to donate last night. It was truly beautiful seeing the support for our fellow people, our community,” LivHealth CEO Dr Chelsea Garcia told Guardian Media during the event. Read more here



JTUM stands with TTUTA over wage protests

Government’s victory in the Industrial Court on Sunday, which put paid to the planned "rest and reflection" day of protest on Monday, is being termed "a frontal attack" on the trade union movement by JTUM head Ancel Roget. Representatives from several unions, under the umbrella of the Joint Trade Union Movement (Jtum) gathered on Wednesday at the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) office in Barataria, as a show of solidarity with the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA). Also present were the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU), the TT Registered Nurses Association, the Contractors and General Workers Trade Union, Communications Workers Union, Postal Workers Union, Industrial and General Sanitation Workers Union, and Fire Services Association and another umbrella body, the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC). Read more here



Keeping energy up: Government sticks with hydrocarbons, analysts advise caution

Finance Minister Colm Imbert is optimistic that changes to the supplemental petroleum tax (SPT) is the one move that could encourage new investment in the energy sector. Imbert expressed this optimism when he presented the 2022/2023 budget in the House of Representatives on Monday. Energy Minister Stuart Young shared Imbert’s optimism. Former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine and UWI economist Dr Vaalmiki Arjoon, however, said optimism about improvements in the energy sector could be balanced with the necessary caution that goes with the volatile nature of the global energy industry. Read more here

Bankers Association welcomes reduced budget deficit

The Bankers’ Association of T&T (BATT) has commended the Government’s efforts to close the deficit in Financial Year 2022 and in 2023. Commenting on the recent fiscal package unveiled by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday, the BATT said the 2023 fiscal package focus on the vulnerable, lower income groups, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as its deeper commitment to financial inclusion, digitalisation, and the incorporation of renewables within the energy mix are welcomed measures, closely aligned with BATT’s advocacy. It said it is particularly encouraged by the Government’s continued investment in ICT infrastructure and consequently its role in the digital transformation of the economy. Read more here



GECOM reiterates that it is not a court of law

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has reiterated that allegations of unlawful acts during an election can only be determined by a court of law. The commission in a release noted that recently, there have been numerous public pronouncements calling for GECOM to conduct internal investigations into allegations of electoral fraud that were reported to have occurred during the 2nd March, 2020 General and Regional Elections. These calls have been emanating from Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton and other elements in the political opposition. Read more here



Ukraine war: Finland closes border to Russian tourists

Finland is closing its border to Russian tourists from Friday - the last of Moscow's EU neighbours to do so. Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all closed their borders to Russian tourists earlier this month. But Russians will still be allowed to visit family or for work and study in Finland, the foreign minister said. The decision comes after the number of Russians arriving at the border surged following a call-up of 300,000 military reservists by President Vladimir Putin. Queues have formed at border crossings as people try to flee, including long lines at Russia's border into Georgia, which does not require a visa for travel. Finland - which shares a 1,300km (800 mile) border with Russia and does require a visa - also reported an increase in people trying to cross the border following the partial mobilisation. Read more here


29th September 2022


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