In May 2016, I had the pleasure of being one of the business sector delegates who joined the Prime Minister on his official state visit to Ghana. It was my fifth visit to the country, though my first as part of an official Government delegation.
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The message that I took away from the feature presentation by Filipe Calderon, former President of Mexico, to the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference was that leadership is about taking decisions, even when they are tough and unpopular. Calderon’s presentation, delivered in a humble and often self-effacing manner, was both fascinating and inspiring.
The recycling movement locally has been gaining some momentum in recent years, at least in terms of awareness, even if action is still confined to a relatively small sector of the population. There are more bins and recycling points throughout the country than ever before, even if many of them are filled with rubbish.
There is an advertisement on the radio for communication training service that ends with a most dubious declaration that “It is not what you say, but how you say it”. While this statement that ‘style trumps content’ might be true in one of the hallowed governance institutions of our country where any content is allowed once one conforms to the rules of the Speaker, it is certainly not an operating principle for communications in the world of business.
Sanctity of contracts. This is probably an unexpected first line in an article advocating the need to renegotiate contractual arrangements however it is a very relevant consideration. Sanctity of contract refers to the principle that once a party enters into a contract, that party will honour its contractual obligations.
The Paris climate pledges submitted through the system of Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) action plans aim for global decarbonisation. The Trinidad & Tobago pledge includes the concept of a Caribbean Carbon Market (CCM) hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago. The market plan has been vetted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and was showcased at its 2015 summit in New York City.
In addition to the real and perceived negative socio-economic effects of low oil and gas prices and record low production levels, in Trinidad and Tobago (where God is alleged to have been born/naturalised), weak macroeconomic statistics have given rise to public disagreement on whether the economy is in a recession.
The Energy Chamber's corporate governance initiative: Improving corporate governance in the state sector
The state sector (defined as including any entity that requires taxpayers’ money to meet the cost of its core activities), is not immune to the current harsh realities facing the country. The foreseeable economic climate, should be forcing organisations to critically examine their business model, cost structure and the way they do business.
Two days before Christmas a front-page headline in the Business Express claimed that there had been 2,800 “oil job cuts and counting”. The article, by Aleem Khan, went on to explain that jobs in the oil and gas sector declined from 21,700 at the beginning of 2015 to 18,500 by mid-year – a 15% drop. This sounds extremely alarming and the journalist paints a picture of a crisis in employment brought about by the low price environment. But is this really what the data is telling us?
Crude oil production (i.e. non-condensate production) in Trinidad declined from a peak of 229,527 barrels of oil per day in 1972 to an average of 66,784 barrels of oil per day in 2014. Based on a projection of this historical decline, crude oil production in 2020 and 2030 will be in the order of 50,000 barrels of oil per day and 20,000 barrels of oil per day, respectively.
ON September 30th 2015, the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI) published its third TTEITI Report covering the period October 1st 2012 – September 30th 2013. This report provides an independent reconciliation of payments made to the government by energy companies with the revenues reported by Government as having been received from these energy companies.