Energy Chamber CEO, Dr Thackwray “Dax” Driver has been appointed to the newly established National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC). This new tripartite body, chaired by Minister of Planning Camille Robinson-Regis, brings together equal representation from the government, the business sector and the labour movement with the objective of promoting dialogue on important national development issues. Establishment of a tripartite advisory Council was one of the PNM’s manifesto commitments prior to the 2015 general election and the new body has been widely welcomed by all stakeholders. 

The business community is represented on the Council through the three major national Chambers, the Manufacturers' Association and the Employers' Consultative Association, while the labour movement is represented by members of the Joint Trade Union Movement, the National Trade Union Centre and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs. In addition to the Minister of Planning, the Council has ministerial-level representation from Labour, Education, Finance and Social Development, in addition to a representative of the Tobago House of Assembly and Dr Terrance Farrell, Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board. 

The Council has been given a wide ranging remit to foster dialogue on the overall social and economic development of Trinidad and Tobago, with the Prime Minister stating in his feature address at the inauguration ceremony that boosting national productivity must be a primary focus of the Council. This focus was shared by a number of the other speakers at the inauguration ceremony, including both the Minister of Planning and Minister of Labour, Jennifer Baptise Primus, who reminded attendees that the government’s stated policy objective was to foster an industrial relations climate that was peaceful, competitive and productive. 

Energy Chamber CEO, Dax Driver, says that he welcomes the formation of the Council and is looking forward to contributing to its work: “I think that the NTAC has the potential to be an important institution for the overall democratic governance of Trinidad and Tobago. I hope to use my position on the Council to share the experiences and perspectives of our members and try to maintain a focus on the absolute necessity for all stakeholders to concentrate on building national competitiveness if we are to ensure the social and economic development of Trinidad and Tobago”. 

Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley announced at the inauguration ceremony that one of the first topics to be discussed by the NTAC would be the mid-year national budget review, before the revised budget was presented to Parliament in April 2016.