The Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development, Assemblyman Joel Jack says he remains cautiously optimistic about the impact of the global recession on Tobago's economic position. According to him despite the recent declaration, by the Central Bank Governor that the country is in a recession, continued budgetary adjustments and reproritised programmes by the House of Assembly will ensure limited impact on the island's economy. He, however, insisted that now more than ever the Assembly must deepen its partnerships with the private sector.
These issues were the centre of discussions today when the Secretary met with representatives of the Tobago Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Industry of Chamber and Commerce. The Chamber's team included the newly installed President Mr Selby Leslie and two past presidents Ms Diane Hadad and Mr David Wong. The Assemblyman formally welcomed the new President and updated the meeting on the issues raised earlier this year.
The Secretary intimated his unwavering desire to continue to work closely with the group which is required even more so now. He said, the need for economic diversification requires a more intimate working relationship with the Assembly and particularly the Division of Finance. Mr Leslie, also expressed his commitment to advancing economic development plans for the island and pledged his support for the establishment of Tobago's Productivity Council.
Discussed at the meeting were the Assembly's plans for the fiscal year with updates being provided on several key initiatives being undertaken by the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development including the Innovation Centre, the enhancement of the Assembly's accounting system and projects of the Business Development Unit and the Venture Capital Equity Fund Limited. The availability of foreign exchange on the island and Tobago's labour market conditions and GDP statistics were also examined with the Chamber representatives making recommendations on several activities. The next meeting is scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.