Daily Brief - Wednesday 16th September, 2020


New loan option for SMEs

As many small businesses face an economic dilemma because of the pandemic, two companies have joined forces in the belief that their financial innovation can assist struggling entrepreneurs. Term Finance Holdings Limited (TFHL) and 3Stone Limited have developed Term Finance (SME TT) to provide improved and innovative access to finance and loans for small, micro, and medium (SME) sized enterprises. A strictly digital platform, SME TT which has been in beta testing for the past six months will be launched to the public on September 21. It is hoped that this new platform will provide economic diversification that focuses on innovation in the financial services infrastructure, to help small businesses with a competitive edge in the regional and international markets. Read more here

Angostura, Coosal partner to help Penal orphans

Just as they promised, officials of Angostura and the Coosal Group of Companies visited the Boodram orphans at their unfinished Penal home yesterday, with material and supplies. The children, Ravi, 12, Meera, 18 and Raveena, 21, tugged at the hearts of thousands of people after their story was highlighted exclusively by Guardian Media last Friday. Early yesterday, Rahim Mohammed, executive manager of Corporate Services at Angostura and Coosal general manager Operations Glenn Mahabirsingh visited the children and promised to do everything to complete construction of their home. Read more here



Trade Minister on Heritage Petroleum scrap sale: 'Out of my hands'

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon confirmed that she and other officials met with representatives of the TT Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) to discuss the disposal of scrap metals from Heritage Petroleum. Speaking briefly to Newsday on Tuesday, she said the decision by Heritage Petroleum to put out an advertisement inviting bids for the sale did not fall under her purview. “The matter is entirely in the hands of Heritage Petroleum as it involves the disposal of that company’s assets. I cannot speak on their behalf,” Goopee-Scoon said by phone. Read more here

Griffith not resigning, sticks to COVID law stand

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith hasn’t resigned, he’s sticking to his guns—and he’s disappointed about an article where Government sources criticised his recent statements about Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Yesterday, following rumours surfacing on Facebook that he had resigned, Griffith told the T&T Guardian, “People know this side of Gary Griffith—I do not retreat. I do not resign.” Read more here



Central Bank paints gloomy economic picture

Prospects for the domestic economy are anticipated to be stymied over the short- to medium-term as uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic weigh on global demand for energy products. Further, economic activity within the non-energy sector will also be thwarted by the lingering effects of the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 response. Read more here

‘T&T Govt needs common digital platform’

In 2020, and after 25 years of Internet connectivity in T&T, the Government is priorisiting digitisation. While the private sector has taken the lead, the public service has lagged. Read more here



US: Pompeo’s trip to Guyana, a celebration of democracy

In a demonstration of the US’ commitment to defend democracy, combat COVID-19 while revitalising economies in wake of the pandemic, Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, will visit several countries, including Guyana. This is according to the US Department of State which also noted that strengthening of security against regional threats will also be a main feature of Pompeo’s discussions. The secretary of state will visit Suriname before reaching Guyana while trips are also planned for Boa Vista, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; and Plano, Texas. Read more here

Tavares-Finson Wants New Parliament Library Named After First Female Senate President

President of the senate Tom Tavares-Finson has proposed that the library to be built at the new parliamentary building be named in honour of late former senator Jeanette Grant-Woodham. Grant-Woodham, the first female president of the senate, died at the age of 82 on September 8.  Tavares-Finson, who has been returned as president of the Senate, said at the appropriate time, he will properly make the request. Read more here



Trump fumbles during tough encounter with undecided voters

President Donald Trump faced life outside his own political bubble on Tuesday, where his self-congratulation, buck passing and audacious falsehoods conspicuously failed to meet the moment when he was confronted by undecided voters. Trump appeared at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia, and peppered a socially distanced audience with the rhetoric and talking points that delight his loyal base. But if his goal was to satisfy relatively small groups of voters who polls show haven't yet made up their mind, the President appeared to fall short and rarely addressed the substance of questions about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, race relations and health care. Read more here

Yoshihide Suga: The unexpected rise of Japan’s new prime minister

Shinzo Abe was Japan's prime minister for so long that people around the world came to recognise his face and perhaps even knew how to pronounce his name. So, should we all now be learning how to say Yoshihide Suga? That is a difficult question to answer. A month ago, there were very few who would have predicted what we are now witnessing. Firstly no one expected Mr Abe to go, certainly not before his beloved Tokyo Olympics. Even fewer would have guessed Mr Suga as his replacement. The 71-year-old is known in Japan as Mr Abe's fixer, the backroom guy who gets stuff done. When asked recently whether he thought of himself as a nice guy, Mr Suga responded: "I am very nice to those who do their job properly." Read more here

16th September 2020


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