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«Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014 Ministry of Planning and the Economy October 2011 Table of Contents PREFACE BY THE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ...»

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Box 3:

Agriculture and Food Security - Medium-term Objectives

Box 4:

Health Care Services and Hospitals - Medium-term Objectives

Box 5:

Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation Box 6:

Medium-term Objectives The Creative Sector in Trinidad and Tobago

Box 7:

Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation - Chaguaramas

Box 8:

Development Project Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation - East Port of

Box 9:

Spain Development Project Box 10: Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation – Creating a Sustainable Capital City Box 11: Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation - Invader’s Bay Project Box 12: Some Areas Targeted for Investment and Growth Box 13: Poverty Reduction - Medium-term Objectives Box 14: Human Capital Development - Medium-term Objectives Innovation for Lasting Prosperity x Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Appendices Appendix I Key Programmes And Projects Appendix II National Priorities By Ministries

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Innovation for Lasting Prosperity xii Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 National Mission The mission is to achieve economic inclusiveness in an innovation-driven growth economy with greater equity, more meaningful participation and a rising tide of prosperity for all in Trinidad and Tobago.

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Innovation for Lasting Prosperity xiv Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Seven Interconnected Pillars


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This Medium-Term Policy Framework (MTPF) 2011–2014, embracing the theme ‘Innovation for Lasting Prosperity’ outlines Government’s perspective and intent on the socio-economic transformation that needs to take place in order to achieve our commitment to the people of Trinidad and Tobago of ‘Prosperity for All’. It is intended to be the first of the MTPFs to be articulated by this Government.

Within the context of the seven (7) development pillars articulated by the Government, the

main thrusts of this MTPF are:

• To diversify and deepen the production base in order to ensure that in a context of depleting energy resources, the economy will continue to grow and sustain a high standard of living

• To move the economy up the value chain, improve competitiveness and expand investment both local and foreign

• To have a secure and safe nation and to strengthen the framework, institutions and infrastructure to support human security

• To expand the capacity of our citizens for knowledge accumulation and use, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial activity

• To reduce socio-economic and regional inequalities within our borders, move people out of poverty and promote social inclusion through more meaningful economic participation As the first overarching planning document of the new Administration, the opportunity has been taken in Part I to articulate in some detail the broad strategic direction being taken to restructure and transform the economy and the society; and the policy shifts that are necessarily being engineered to ensure that there is a decisive departure from past attempts at managing our development. This is in keeping with our understanding of the expectations of our citizens as well as in keeping with our commitment to them to lead and effect change.

This policy framework is a landmark achievement as it represents the first time any attempt has been made to integrate and articulate Government’s approach to development on the basis of shared priorities and cross cutting interventions. It represents a departure from the independent approach of State entities which results in the creation of silos. This framework encourages

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In setting five (5) priorities for action over the next three (3) years, the Government is effectively responding to some of the major concerns of the population while, at the same time, setting the foundations for achieving sustainable economic and social advancement of all citizens in the

future. The priorities as elaborated in Part II of this MTPF are:

1. Crime and Law and Order;

2. Agriculture and Food Security;

3. Health Care Services and Hospitals;

4. Economic Growth, Job Creation, Competitiveness and Innovation; and

5. Poverty Reduction and Human Capital Development.

A final chapter outlines the role of the key stakeholders and the new institutional arrangements that have been put in place to guide and manage the development process.

The Appendices identify the main projects in the 2011/2012 Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) that are aligned to the five (5) priorities for action over the planning horizon and the specific priorities of each Ministry.

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 2 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 PART 1


Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 3 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 4 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Chapter I The Framework For Economic And Social Transformation


Trinidad and Tobago has benefitted from a range of initiatives in the past, but is now embarking on an entirely new phase of its development. While optimising opportunities from oil and gas, which includes diversification of the energy sector, the rock of our revenue so far, Trinidad and Tobago must craft a strategy for survival, growth and sustainability in a scenario in which the assumption must be that petroleum resources are finite. Going forward, the goal is to shift from the over dependence on hydrocarbon resources to an emphasis on the development of human capital and the alignment of through-put from the education and training sector with an investment, diversification, competitiveness and innovation strategy. However more favourable the situation might eventually turn out to be in the hydrocarbon sector, it is prudent to take decisions now to engineer a policy shift that will result in sustainable growth, in a context in which oil and gas are no longer the mainstay of the Trinidad and Tobago economy.

As Government engages in the process of economic transformation, a simultaneous and complementary effort of social transformation must take place, understanding that social transformation can both influence and be influenced by economic transformation. The goal is to create the conditions which will engender greater equity and inclusiveness in the society through expanded opportunities for wealth generation and accumulation and participation in the national development process for each individual, community and region in the country.

Government’s economic and social transformation strategy is based on the following four (4)


1. Generate productivity-led growth on the basis of a more diversified production structure with the emphasis on value and wealth creation;

2. Create the conditions for greater inclusiveness and equity in socio-economic development;

3. Build the knowledge and talent of our human resources; and

4. Pursue socio-economic development in the context of prudent spatial management and environmental limits.

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 5 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014


The global landscape is full of challenges and uncertainties that will impact on Trinidad and Tobago’s ability to successfully manage the transition from an energy dependent economy.

Globalisation and rapid technological advances have resulted in fundamental, long-term changes in commerce and industry. Markets, industries and companies have become global in scope with few products being made entirely in a single country. Labour is now internationally mobile, existing jobs are becoming obsolete and new occupations require greater knowledge, skills and adaptability from workers. Countries are now competing with each other for talent and capital, while skilled workforces and business-friendly environments have become critical elements of international competitiveness.

There is an economic power shift that is evolving in the world and that will take some time to resolve itself. But, while a significant proportion of the world is in relative turmoil, the Region in which we live is one of relative stability poised for growth.

At the same time, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have strengthened their domestic capabilities and enhanced their economies and new players, especially from Asia have emerged. These countries have become formidable global competitors as they attract high levels of investment and export more sophisticated products.

Nevertheless, opportunities exist for countries such as Trinidad and Tobago to create a viable economic base in knowledge-based industries. The challenge for us is to develop a global niche by excelling in selected products, while forging strategic links with economic partners, so that exports can flourish in international markets. The emphasis has to be on high valued goods that can support higher paying jobs and greater competitiveness.

Apart from the external factors, there are internal challenges as well. Foremost among them are the creation of a conducive business environment and the building of a high quality human capital base to drive the shift towards a higher level of value creation and productivity.

Although Trinidad and Tobago has done fairly well economically, it lags behind many developing countries in productivity and innovation. Closing this gap is central to economic diversification. To be competitive, Trinidad and Tobago must seek not only to become better in its current operations, but also make quantum leaps in producing innovative products and services.

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 6 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Higher levels of productivity must be the cornerstone of any effort to create a sustainable, diversified economy. In addition, greater focus has to be placed on attracting a larger flow of visitors, well spread out across any given year to create a larger consumer market for the goods and services that we produce. Developing and aggressively marketing Brand T&T in external markets must also be given priority attention.

Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is dominated by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the low levels of international competition in the domestic marketplace are structural problems that are difficult to overcome. Moreover, the external environment for Trinidad and Tobago’s energy products has changed as new players such as Qatar and Russia have emerged and countries such as the United States of America are aggressively seeking alternative sources of energy. On the supply side, our oil and gas industry is at the maturity stage of its life cycle.

In addition, our fiscal position has become tighter due to a less buoyant economy, as revenue has been reduced. In terms of expenditure, there are increasing pressures for greater spending on wages and social infrastructure, including health care and sustaining the level of transfers and subsidies presents a major challenge.


For Trinidad and Tobago, global competitiveness has four (4) dimensions: being internationally competitive within the domestic market, being competitive enough in the global market to systematically expand exports particularly in niche areas, developing locally-based firms with global presence and attracting international firms that regard our human talent pool as a competitive asset in a knowledge-based, technologically-driven economy.

In order to sustain higher levels of growth, Government will continue to strengthen the foundations of the economy, diversify and restructure it and establish a formidable IT platform.

As such, the focus of the medium-term economic strategy will be on the promotion of a conducive environment for growth and competitiveness on a foundation of macroeconomic stability; by strengthening the functioning of the legal system; by providing stable Government;

by promoting savings and investment; by making strategic interventions with public sector spending especially in social infrastructure projects and high impact interventions in communities and in job creation. However, a sound foundation alone, though essential, is not sufficient to guarantee the growth and expansion that is required.

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 7 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 The agenda for economic transformation aims to reposition Trinidad and Tobago from competing on the basis of production processes and investment in plants to an information, technology-driven, innovative, knowledge-based and globally connected economy; the foundation of which is rooted in the acquisition, exploitation, creation and strategic deployment of knowledge and skills. We must transform Trinidad and Tobago’s current mix of goods and services into products and services of higher value. In this effort, there is an increasingly important role for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which have a greater potential to successfully tap niche areas. The objective is to have products and services that differentiate themselves in the world market place on the basis of quality, value and innovation rather than on price alone. In so doing, we must also move aggressively to improve the skills base of the workforce, expand exports, improve the quality of jobs, generate higher incomes and effect a significant growth in productivity.

To move the economy to a higher growth plane, Government is committed to the promotion of innovation as the basis for transforming existing production systems and creating new goods

and services. Over the medium-term, the emphasis will be on the following:

• Establishing an innovation system with supporting mechanisms for financing, intellectual property protection and linkages between research and development and commercialisation

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