Wednesday 25 November, 2020

AMCHAM applauds new gov't, has hope for digital transformation agenda

File of AMCHAM T&T Board

File of AMCHAM T&T Board

The American Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AMCHAM T&T) has offered congratulations to Dr Keith Rowley on being re-elected Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

In a statement on Friday, AMCHAM T&T said it looked forward to working collaboratively with the new Government to foster greater economic growth and overall social development.

Praises were also heaped on the newly elected members of Parliament and recently appointed Senators and Ministers of Government.

The chamber also addressed the temporary delay in the official declaration of the August 10 results, expressing pride in the country’s handling of the political impasse. The comment was made as Guyana suffered a five-month-long political deadlock following their March 2 polls which saw a series of violent protests, US-levelled sanctions and drawn-out litigation.

“We note with some degree of pride, that our country can continue to boast of political stability even during periods in which election results are not declared immediately,” it said.

AMCHAM T&T also noted that this second consecutive term of Government should provide the administration greater incentive to engage in a robust legislative agenda that would radically transform the society by greatly improving the ease of doing business and the quality of life for all citizens.

“Specifically, we are looking forward to the prioritisation and fast-tracking of the full implementation of the Public Procurement Bill, The Bail Amendment Bill, Transformed Tax Collection and Administration, Customs and Immigration transformation, including full implementation of the ASYCUDA system,” it said.

As it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chamber said it looked forward to meaningful dialogue and engagement with the Government particularly on issues related to trade and investment opportunities, legislative reform, maintaining law and order and the plans for the digital transformation of the entire society.

“In that regard, we are greatly encouraged by the explicit addition of the Digital Transformation title to the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation. We are grateful to both parties for placing such high importance to the digital economy as a matter of priority in their campaigns this year and we trust that Government will stay true to their commitment to delivering this digital governance agenda to our citizens and that the Opposition will constructively support this objective,” it said.

AMCHAM T&T further reminded that it has been a long proponent of digital transformation as the organisation has called for legal digital identity, a single national identification number, full acceptance of electronic signatures by the Government and the implementation of legislative arrangements and processes for e-payments.

“With COVID-19 still a real threat, we believe a large part of the solution to securing our nation’s economy lies in the swift digital transformation in both the public and private sectors,” it said.

Additionally, the chamber reiterated its call for the Government and Opposition to work together for the good of the country.

“Our country and indeed the world is in a very unstable, uncertain place. To ensure we are successful in meeting the myriad of challenges before us, we believe this moment in our nation’s history requires collaborative, bold and clear leadership that truly addresses the real issues affecting the lives of citizens. We, therefore, repeat our often-made call that the government and opposition put aside petty differences and work towards leading the meaningful change that will improve the quality of life for our citizens,” it said.

The chamber ended with calls for transparency, adherence to the rule of law, respect for labour and management of the environment.

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