The country’s growing crime rate could be a significant deterrent in attracting foreign direct investment, ANSA McAL chief operating officer Gerry Brooks has said.
Brooks told the Express at the company’s release of its financial results for 2012 on Tuesday at Tatil Building, Maraval Road, Port of Spain, that the cost of crime impacts the country’s competitiveness.
“Crime is a deterrent in many ways. We have to keep our eye on the ball regarding its impact on foreign direct investment. For firms wanting to come into T&T in the energy sector, we have got to be very careful, because for foreign nationals coming here, one of the things preeminent in their minds is safety for themselves and their families...so we need to get it right from a FDI standpoint. The second area is the cost of crime, Crime costs a lot—security costs, executives having to take time off to go to court, electronic security, and the products we will be trying to export. When you add these costs, there is the danger our businesses can become uncompetitive,” he said.
He also lamented the impact on families and the country’s young people.
“At the country level our future is in young men and women. We are a very small country. We cannot afford to lose young men and women who are the promise of tomorrow, not only from an intellectual standpoint, but who will provide energy and labour and much-needed skills.
“At a family level it is tragic because it is worrying to get up in the morning and see on a daily basis, on a weekly basis seeing four, five, six, seven people dying. We have to find a solution to it. That solution has to be crafted in the form of the judiciary, the police and the court system coming together and finding brave new ways to solve the problem.
“I think we have to unclog the courts from the old matters and how we administer the court system to get the courts running more efficiently,” he said.