«Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014 Ministry of Planning and the Economy October 2011 Table of Contents PREFACE BY THE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ...»
1. Crime reduction and containment, and improvement of the general environment for safety and security. This is essential for its own sake but also important for establishing the confidence level required for increased economic activity and creation of a new, more diversified economy;
2. Food security through development of the agricultural sector. This is a major area of emphasis in a volatile commodities market and will be the bedrock of greater national self-sufficiency which will lead to revitalisation of the farming and food production sectors;
3. (a) Job creation through investment and diversification and by building a more productive and competitive economy. This will be achieved through diversification within the energy sector and through growth of services and creative industries, and the tourism and agricultural sectors by fresh initiatives taken in the five (5) growth poles to create new economic spaces and diversified investment across the country.
(b) A highly targeted, geographically dispersed PSIP with projects selected on the basis of four (4) principles: (i) alignment with the seven (7) interconnected pillars; (ii) impact on people and communities; (iii) geographical distribution; and (iv) alignment of PSIP portfolio with national priorities;
4. Well managed hospitals and a better quality health service to all our citizens across the country with specific actions for expansion of facilities and construction of new hospitals;
5. Achievement of a poverty reduction target of two (2) per cent per year and improvement of the equity gap through a range of measures to promote economic and financial sustainability;
6. Alignment between national priorities, regional priorities within the 14 local government jurisdictions and the House of Assembly in Tobago and the 585 communities identified throughout Trinidad and Tobago; and
7. Building a growth momentum which will demand the dedicated effort of Government, private sector, workers and civil society. Notwithstanding the challenges and uncertainties, Government will pursue a growth target of 2 per cent in 2011-2012. Given the uncertainties of the international environment, it is difficult to make projections beyond 2012 with any certainty. But the focus of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago over the next three (3) years will be growth, job creation, competitiveness and inovation.
Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 20 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 In addition, the Government will strive for 90 per cent fulfilment of our obligations under each area of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in this medium-term planning period as we move towards full achievement of the targets by 2015.
Encouraging meaningful participation requires reducing the structural inequities that lead to inequitable access to the factors that contribute to enhanced income generating opportunities which perpetuate a cycle of poverty including education and training, and opportunities for self-determination.
The State has a critical role to play in setting the stage for such meaningful participation by ensuring that the economic development path chosen is inclusive and involves the participation of the widest cross section of the population by creating the right environment. The ultimate objective is to create a sense of belonging and ensure the basic minimum needs of the population are met which allows individuals to aspire to higher levels of self-actualisation.
In this respect, significant interventions will include the reduction of regional disparities by investing in basic infrastructure, including housing and amenities and opportunities for investment that create an environment for sustainable communities, incorporating ‘green’ principles into the design of living spaces. In this regard, five (5) growth poles have been identified for development.
The mainstreaming of gender into development planning will allow the differential impacts of programmes and projects on women and men to be assessed and targeted initiatives implemented to assist them to effectively participate in economic activities and raise their families out of the poverty cycle. Government will continue to reform relevant legislation to promote gender equality. A concerted effort will also be made to increase the number of women holding high level decision making positions within the State Sector.
The promotion of wellness through the health system and individual responsibility for personal health will lead to an improved quality of life and reduce the burden on the health system and allow individuals to live more productively.
Apart from the more tangible benefits of education, a renewed effort will focus on rebuilding a good work ethic that breeds a spirit of excellence, civic responsibility incorporated into the school curriculum and creating a disciplined society with a sense of national pride in Trinidad and Tobago.
THE SEVEN PILLARS OF DEVELOPMENTSeven (7) strategic and interconnected development pillars guide the design and execution of policy measures geared towards achieving the desired economic and social transformation.
The seven (7) Pillars define Government’s broad strategic approach to achieving sustainable growth and human development and essentially reinforce the principle of ‘Prosperity for All’.
In so doing, they provide for greater coherence, integration and co-ordination of Government’s planned interventions geared towards achieving specific results within set time frames.
Pillar 3 – National and Personal Security addresses the issue of crime and personal safety with the objectives being to eliminate fear for self and property and to create an environment in which all can enjoy freedom with responsibility.
The use of Information and Communication Technology – Pillar 4, is an essential element of the infrastructure underpinning the creation of a modern, competitive economy in an information rich, knowledge and technology-driven world.
The transformation of the society and the economy must be buttressed by Good Governance – Pillar 6, which is characterised by strong institutions responsive to the needs of the citizenry, adherence to a culture of democracy and the principles of accountability, transparency and fairness as well as expanded civic engagement.
Pillar 7 – Foreign Policy, underscores the importance of meaningful and decisive engagement with the community of nations and strategic positioning at the regional, hemispheric and wider global levels to the success of Trinidad and Tobago’s development strategy.
In the context of the seven (7) Development Pillars and the priorities identified for the mediumterm, Government has begun the process of initiating several policy shifts.
Foremost among them is the movement towards building a new economy that is capable of generating high levels of productivity-led, innovation-driven endogenous economic growth.
The new economy will not be dominated by the continued exploitation of natural resources or production of primary products which are subject to the vagaries of global developments, but instead, will be based on the knowledge, skill, talent and enterprise of our human capital and their engagement in productive activities higher up the value chain. In restructuring the economy, the emphasis will be on expanding the services sector, spurring the development of the knowledge and creative sectors especially in niche segments with the potential for building competitiveness, greater adaptation and use of technology, and innovation that is driven by indigenous knowledge and expanded research and development activity. In terms of immediate actions, priority is being given to building quality human capital, addressing the factors limiting competitiveness, creating new growth centres across the country, encouraging investment in knowledge industries and establishing the infrastructure for a National Innovation System.
The second main policy shift is linked to the first. Government is committed to the creation Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 24 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 of a more inclusive and cohesive society in which there is greater equity in the distribution of resources. In this effort, the issue of the quality of the jobs created and the opportunities that exist for wealth generation as opposed to income generation only, are not insignificant departures from past policy initiatives. The goal is to break the cycle of poverty through more meaningful economic participation. Government is therefore giving priority to education and skills training that are aligned to the needs of the new economy and the creation of expanded opportunities for high-paying jobs, small and micro-enterprise development and wealth generation and accumulation.
The third significant shift is the decisive move by Government to have greater people participation in the decision making process. This shift will give widespread legitimacy to the economic and social transformation that is underway and will advance the goal of creating more meaningful inclusiveness and cohesion in the society.
The other major policy shifts involve new approaches to planning and decision-making in the country. The point to be made is that socio-economic transformation and sustainable development will not be achieved in the absence of good planning. The new approaches fall under the
direction and co-ordination of the Ministry of Planning and the Economy and involve:
• Strenghtening the national statistics and information systems that will enable policy design and decision making to be data-driven and evidence-based. The reform of the Central Statistical Office and the incorporation of satellite data collection agencies within the National Statistics System are being accorded high priority
• Creating and adopting a life cycle-based analytical framework for addressing the needs of the population. In keeping with the principles of ‘Prosperity for All’ and ‘Everyone Counts’, the strategy is to focus planning efforts on the needs of: (i) each individual member of the family at each stage of his/her life cycle; (ii) the collective family unit;
(iii) each community; and (iv) each Region of the country. This approach will be particularly effective in breaking the cycle of poverty, especially for children, young adults, women and communities and in creating specifically targeted opportunities for socio-economic advancement
• Closely aligning the allocation and management of public investment resources with the priorities of Government and linking them with local plans and community aspirations
• Developing an integrated local and community planning framework for addressing the priorities of the 585 communities, 14 Local Government Regions and Tobago that is in alignment with national goals and priorities. This framework will serve as a tool
MAJOR THRUSTS OVER THE MEDIUM-TERM
Having regard to the development agenda being pursued, this first medium-term planning horizon will set the foundation and strengthen the systems necessary for achieving sustainable development. As a consequence, the major thrusts of this Medium-Term Policy Framework 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.
The principal thrust of this emphasis is to stimulate ‘Innovation for Lasting Prosperity’, in Trinidad and Tobago.
Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 26 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014
PRIORITIES FOR THEMEDIUM-TERM
Crime continues to be one of our country’s formidable challenges. In recent opinion surveys of the population, crime, law and order and vandalism have been ranked consistently as the number one issue facing the country. It is a problem that affects individuals psychologically;
communities are shattered and debilitated by it and as a national problem it undermines the ability of the State to provide safety and security for citizens.
The approach to crime containment and reduction is multi-pronged and involves: more effective law enforcement and policing, social interventions aimed at discouraging a lifestyle of crime and violence, reform of the justice system and the legal framework and rehabilitation of offenders. These are to be supported by national strategies for economic recovery, growth and expansion which will create jobs, foster greater economic inclusion and move us in the direction of achieving prosperity for all.
Strategy: Strengthen Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement Agencies As crime and criminal activity become more complex, priority is being given to increasing the sophistication of the resources and systems utilised and to the effective management of Law Enforcement Agencies. As such, emphasis is being placed on expanding the use of modern technology for tracking crime and ensuring connectivity between law enforcement agencies, capacity building and training of law enforcement officers, as well as the modernisation of physical infrastructure and information management systems.