Thursday 17 October, 2019

'Dissatisfied' Farrell quits Economic Advisory Board

Dr Terrence Farrell has resigned as Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) over his dissatisfaction with the progress the Board has made under his stewardship.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister indicated that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley accepted Dr Farrell’s resignation with immediate effect and thanked him for his service, also wishing him well in his future endeavours.

The Prime Minister thanked him for the many reports and letters concerning the work of the Economic Development Advisory Board, which he said were considered in making the “critical, hard, decisions that were indispensable for the country’s long term economic survival”. 

“The economy, over the last two years has been managed with a steady hand, making adjustments along the way and the country’s future is now much more hopeful,” the Prime Minister added.

Dr Farrell said his assessment was a personal one, and by his standards he felt that he has not been able, as chairman, to attain those standards. 

The former Deputy Governor at the Central Bank explained that when he took up the Chairmanship of the EDAB he did not expect that all its recommendations would become policy and be implemented, but by his own standards, a reasonably high percentage should have been. 

However, Dr Farrell said he was not able to achieve that.

He made it clear that it was not that the EDAB has done nothing, as seven key suggestions were submitted to the a Government, including a Draft Diversification Strategy and Roadmap, a Proposal on Steelpan Manufacturing Industry for Export, and a Redraft of the National Innovation Policy.

He noted that there remains a large volume of work which is incomplete for lack of resources which has left a number of contributors disappointed with the lack of progress on their ideas and proposals. 

Thanking the Government for the opportunity to serve in the spirit of volunteerism, Dr Farell specially thanked Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, whom he said were supportive of the Board’s work. 

He also thanked the other members of the Board and all others who contributed to the work that the EDAB was able to accomplish thus far.

Dr Farrell previously held positions in the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago in 1980 and was Director of Research (1984-1989) and later Deputy Governor (1992-1995) where he was involved in policy initiatives including the debt restructuring and IMF programmes during 1987-1991 period, exchange control liberalisation and the flotation of the Trinidad and Tobago dollar in 1993 and the central bank's intervention of troubled financial institutions in the period 1986-1993.  He later worked in the private sector in various senior capacities.

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