The Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (The Chamber) commends the Government for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, the containment of the virus has been, as the Prime Minister quoted, “Equal To Any And Better Than Many”. The Government’s actions have undisputedly saved lives and now it is time to focus on livelihoods responsibly.
We are happy The Government has agreed to reopen the manufacturing, construction, automotive repair, tyre shops, laundry and dry-cleaning sectors early. We see this as protecting employment and generating foreign exchange earnings.
We fully support the desire to protect lives and we believe Trinidad and Tobago has taken all the steps to do so. We are confident that this country will be recognised as having one of the best responses to COVID-19 as we have had no cases reported over the past 21 days.
While the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce fully supports a riskbased re-start of the economy, today’s announcement by the Prime Minister on a phased re-opening took a very risk-averse approach. We recognise that a delicate balance is needed, but we are extremely disappointed and concerned about the potential impact to the ongoing viability of the majority of businesses. The approach outlined will result in increased unemployment, social tension, increased crime and further stress upon our already fragile economy.