«Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014 Ministry of Planning and the Economy October 2011 Table of Contents PREFACE BY THE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ...»
• Targeting innovation initiatives at areas that have the potential to provide high impact in terms of value creation and job generation
• Developing a framework to attract and retain talent in the country
• Engaging the Diaspora and expanding the network of ‘ambassadors’ of Trinidad and Tobago
• Establishing a comprehensive incentive programme to attract entrepreneurs and support incubators in Trinidad and Tobago
• Promoting a stronger research effort that is supported by the re-orientation of education resources towards science-based learning and a rethinking of curriculum in alignment with market demand, the entrepreneurial imperative and the diversification thrust
• Establishing mechanisms to link research efforts to commercial prospects and to industry innovation
• Strengthening the capacity of the creative industries to contribute to economic growth Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 8 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Creating A New Growth Dynamic Widening and Deepening the Production Base and Building Production Clusters Promoting new and sustainable high value-added industries will strengthen the economy by creating new engines of growth. This effort must be accompanied by initiatives to increase the competitiveness and productivity of existing industries. In this regard, the opportunities for expanding and deepening the production base in existing industries and sectors will be explored in collaboration with the private sector. The Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (CCI) will lead the direct interface with industry required to action this.
Additionally, diversification must be seen within a wider economic space, internally but moreso externally. High value production systems can be created by linking new and existing industries to form production clusters that maximise the potential for value creation.1 These production clusters consist of networks of inter-dependent firms linked to each other in valueadded production chains. Firm linkages must be made for example among the agriculture, tourism, cultural and health industries, and between the energy and the green industry to maximise the potential for value-added and simultaneously meet global standards. The CCI will also play a supportive and facilitative role in this regard.
Cluster development is already being promoted in the ICT industry through initiatives under the Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company (e TecK). Over the medium-term, Government will explore the potential for regional cluster development, by partnering with resource-rich neighbouring countries in specific industries to produce globally competitive products.
Developing Culture, Supporting Creative Industries The expansion and development of cultural industries offer vast potential for improving the growth trajectory and creating employment and wealth generating opportunities. Growth can be fuelled by creating the conditions in which artistic expression can be brought to the level of global excellence in the performing and visual arts, literary and fashion industries, architectural design and the software industries, among others. Creating an endogenous growth dynamic based on culture and creativity will mean not only promoting our world class artistes but also supporting sustainable livelihoods and expanding opportunities for visitors and tourists while 1 Cluster development will allow for the exploitation of economies of scale and will encourage collaboration for innovation. This strategy has fostered the growth of high value-added industries in Mauritius and Singapore.
The Green Industry and Alternative Energy Sources Trinidad and Tobago must commence the process of transitioning to a low carbon society. As such, Government is committed to the development of a new growth dynamic that transforms the existing consumption-based economic growth into an environmentally-friendly one - a model that emphasises the efficient use of resources and minimises pollution by utilising environmentally-friendly technologies and supporting green industry.
Reflecting the growing importance of green technology, Government will capitalise on the rising global interest in green growth and products, support green technology as a new growth engine and develop new industries that can successfully engage in the global environmentallyfriendly technology market. Government will also explore avenues for creating a greener transportation system.
An important element of the agenda involves taking into account environmental considerations when procuring goods and services, and avoiding activities such as the purchase of single-use disposable items.
The development of alternative energy sources is another aspect of greening that will aid in diversification of the economy. Given the natural and geographic advantages of the country, the promotion of solar, wave and wind energy industries can potentially provide a new growth dynamic that will move the economy to a lower dependence on hydrocarbons and ensure increasing competitiveness in the changing global energy industry. Through the Economic Development Board (EDB) some of these strategic initiatives for diversification will be explored and pursued.
Creating New Economic Spaces An important thrust of the economic and social transformation effort is the wider dispersion of productive activities across the country. In order to expand the economic space within the country, Government has identified five (5) growth poles for focussed attention. Four (4) of the designated areas are in Trinidad - Central, the South Western Peninsula, East Port of Spain Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 10 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 and the North-Coast. The fifth growth pole is the North-East Region of Tobago. The chosen areas will benefit from a special package of fiscal incentives, including the granting of Free Trade Zone Status and will be allowed to access the tax incentives provided to the Agriculture, Manufacturing and Tourism Sectors. Specific growth initiatives also target Invader’s Bay in Port of Spain, the Chaguaramas Peninsula, Tamana Intech Park, Cove Estate in Tobago and the Capital City of Port of Spain. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is funding consulting support for this effort.
Creating Opportunities For Investment And Export Expansion – Ttbizlink Multi-Language Platform As part of its trade and investment strategy, Government will expand TTBizLink into several languages based on factors such as cultural linkages, geographical location, strategic importance, and countries with market potential. The initiative will assist in the penetration of new export markets. Over the medium-term, a Multi-language Platform will be activated which will allow investors to access helpful links to Government and business services and information in six (6) languages other than English, namely Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French and Portuguese. This initiative is being driven by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
THE SOCIAL IMPERATIVES OF TRANSFORMING OUR SOCIETY
Social and Economic Transformation Go Hand in Hand The process of economic transformation must occur simultaneously with social transformation and must not only involve strategic reform measures within the social sector, but on a deeper level, the transforming of values and attitudes.
The areas targeted for reform in the social sphere are the social services including safety net programmes geared towards reducing poverty, the education and training system, the health system, regional and community development and housing and community creation.
Values and Attitudes In terms of our values and attitudes, we need to inculcate a passion for lifelong learning among our citizenry, heighten our sense of civic responsibility as well as our commitment to nation building and place a premium on the value of productivity. This combination of reforms within specific areas of our social system and the positive changes in our values and attitudes will have a catalytic effect on the economic transformation effort. The transformation will, therefore, comprise not only infrastructural, legislative, policy, programme/project reforms, which
Stepping Out of Poverty In order to lift persons out of poverty, as opposed to reinforcing a culture of dependency, social safety net programmes will be designed and structured using a developmental approach, better targeted, and with clear exit strategies. Conditionalities for cash as well as training components of make-work programmes such as the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) will be implemented. The restructuring of CEPEP has already commenced. These reform measures coupled with a desire for lifelong learning, will encourage citizens to advance towards better paying jobs through education and training thereby creating greater equity. A similar approach is being taken towards the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP), which is currently being restructured, refocused and diversified.
Education for Opportunity and Freedom It is, therefore, imperative that the changes to our social programmes be supported by a strong education system, one which must be made seamless and relevant to our development needs.
In addition to focusing on improving the success rate at secondary schools and diversifying the curriculum, Government will continue to increase the number of Workforce Assessment Centres, develop a Labour Market Information System (LMIS), strengthen and refocus its training strategy as well as review its scholarship programme. These initiatives will enable citizens to reintegrate into the education and training system and assist in the alignment with the absorptive capacity of the labour market. Increased education and participation in the economy will not only foster feelings of inclusion among citizens but will increase productivity as well.
As part of the social transformation thrust, the education system will be reformed with the emphasis on curricula reform, teacher training, the adoption of new teaching methodologies as well as the infusion of technology in the learning process. Government’s laptop programme (eConnect and Learn-eCAL) serves as a key example of the importance of incorporating new ways of learning and promoting technology adaptation among the youth. These reforms will instill some of the required values and attitudes necessary for national development. The goal is also to develop the will and skill of our citizens thereby building our human capital – one of the key elements required for establishing a National Innovation System. Education will supInnovation for Lasting Prosperity 12 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 port the greater freedom of the citizen as economic and social transformation takes place and new opportunities become visible.
A Healthier Nation A socially transformed Trinidad and Tobago will also comprise a health system that is of the highest standard and which emphasises preventative medicine. This is to ensure that citizens have access to quality health care and are less prone to health problems, in particular, non-communicable diseases (NCDs). By promoting healthy lifestyles and providing effective, quality health care, citizens are physically and mentally able to produce and excel. There will also be the added benefit of reducing the current financial burden on our health system. Through the upgrade and expansion of hospitals and Enhanced Health Facilities, Government’s Chronic Disease Risk Factor Screening Campaign, its mobile clinics as well as the establishment of a Tobacco Control Unit, these reforms will be achieved.
Consulting the Citizen In order to promote citizen participation and citizens’ rights, decisions will be based on consultation and consensus building where these impact directly on the citizen and on communities. Furthermore, in keeping with Government’s commitment to economic inclusiveness and ‘Prosperity for All’, resources will be allocated equitably in support of balanced regional development. These are the primary reasons for Government’s solicitation of Regional Development Plans based on community input. This approach recognises the vision, strength, skills and resources that reside within communities. It is based on greater collaboration amongst social partners: government, business, labour and civil society to establish the basis for social capital rebuilding. This model of development will also be applied in the five (5) growth poles identified by Government.
Planning for Sustainable Communities While promoting development based on citizen participation and inclusion, sound development planning as well as gender mainstreaming will also be taken into account. Government has already conducted consultations within five (5) communities on its Land Use Policy for these specific districts and more communities will be involved. Moreover, the National Land Use Policy is currently being drafted.
In relation to the housing sector, housing settlements will be so designed that sustainable communities including avenues for attractive business opportunities and community coherence will be promoted. Infrastructural development including public transport, public spaces and
Greater Self-Reliance and Prosperity for All The social transformation coupled with the economic transformation measures will serve to positively impact upon our socio-economic problems such as crime, poverty and inequity.
Citizens will also come to possess the wherewithal for future development. Our strategy is therefore, to create more wealth, to diversify, to include all with the will to participate, to spread wealth gaining opportunities, to strengthen the culture and spirit of entrepreneurship and self-reliance and to usher in an era of prosperity for all.
EFFECTING THE TRANSFORMATION IN A SPATIAL CONTEXT