Wednesday 23 October, 2019

Budget 2020: Widen capital stock, says economist

Local economist Dr Roger Hosein said that the proportion of total government expenditure allocated to capital should be increased in order to widen the country’s capital stock and maintain a low unemployment rate.

Speaking to Loop News ahead of Monday’s national budget presentation, Dr Hosein said widening the capital stock can help lower the unemployment rate as well as stimulate economic growth.

Dr Hosein said maintaining the growth of the economy, particularly diversification away from the energy sector, is critical.

“I will like to see the budget outline clear measures that can stimulate the growth of the economy, particularly the non-energy sector moving forward because it tends to be unsustainable and creates a dependency syndrome in the economy.”

He said increasing the country’s Ease of Doing Business rating is also important, adding that the country must upgrade from its current rating of 105 (in 2018).

Unemployment rising

Dr Hosein added that the rising unemployment rate is concerning.

“The unemployment rate has been marginally rising and I expect the government to introduce measures to improve this.”

Dr Hosein said investing in E-Teck parks is a viable option.

“In this regard I would push for the E-Teck parks, I think this could drive the revitalisation of the business industry,” he said.

Wooing Caribbean investors

Dr Hosein said Trinidad and Tobago is missing out on crucial Caribbean investment which would also help with bringing in foreign exchange.

“We need to go on an aggressive strategy to woo investment from the Diaspora. We should be able to attract various forms of investment which could help bring in more forex and widen trade development,” he said.

The national budget will be read in Parliament on October 7, 2019.

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