The views expressed here those of the Economic Development Advisory Board.  The Diversification Strategy and Roadmap has not (yet) been adopted by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Whatever is finally adopted by Government as its Diversification Plan will need to incorporate (high level) project costs and timelines. Any Diversification Plan will also need unique implementation machinery.

The Goal advocated for the Diversification Strategy and Roadmap (DSR) is to achieve 40% of Exports in 2030 as Non-Energy Exports, that is, excluding Crude and Refined Oil, LNG and Petrochemicals but inclusive of Services Exports.  This is a highly ambitious target.  We are currently at about 15% Non-Energy Exports.  Preliminary projections suggest that Non-Energy Exports will have to grow at an average annual rate of about 10% to achieve that target.

The DSR is predicated on a Vision for the Economy and Society (types of industries, jobs, technologies in use, labour market functioning etc); Macro-economic stability and a sound implementation strategy.

We have identified Seven (7) ‘INDUSTRIES’:

  • Food & Beverage Manufacturing and Indigenous Agricultural Products
  • Digital Platforms and ICT-Enabled Services
  • Maritime Aviation and Related Services
  • Creative Industries –  Film, Music, Fashion, Performing and Literary Arts – as well as Steelpan Manufacturing for Export
  • Energy Services – which includes Engineering services and some niche manufacturing
  • Tourism – there are Strategic Plans for Tourism as a whole and for Tobago;  Sports Tourism is being actively worked on by the EDAB with SportTT
  • Nearshore Financial Services – this is NOT Offshore Banking or Financial Services catering to tax avoidance, but rather setting up sub-regional HQs and BPO office for financial services firms

The Private Sector is to lead and drive these business opportunities (in the case of Energy Services we see an important role for the NGC/NEC).

There are Seven(7) ENABLERS:

  • Innovation
  • Government University Industry Collaboration
  • Diaspora Engagement
  • Economic and Commercial Diplomacy
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Infrastructure
  • Institutional Reforms

These require Public Sector initiatives.

We have also identified Seven(7) OBSTACLES:

  • Low Productivity
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Leadership and Management Culture
  • Crime and Criminality
  • Ethnic Competition
  • Corruption and
  • Income and Wealth Inequality

These can only be addressed through tripartite mechanisms.

For further details please download the PowerPoint presentation below in which an audio file is embedded.

diversification-strategy-and-roadmap

Diversification Strategy and Roadmap – (This presentation document contains an embedded audio file.)