Howai: We can't give our
neighbours $$ as before
Trinidad and Tobago is not able to financially assist its Caribbean neighbours as it has in the past, Finance Minister Larry Howai said yesterday.
He noted that while the country donates to Caricom neighbours through its Petroleum Fund it is very "unlikely" that it will be able to make the same level of contribution to the Fund. He noted that in the past two years, its financial support has decreased as T&T manages its own fiscal space.
Howai said the country was facing its own challenges despite the successful deepwater bid round recently concluded by the Ministry of Energy.
He was speaking at a press conference of a high level Caribbean Forum titled "Re-thinking Policy" which was co-hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) in Port of Spain yesterday.
The forum was aimed at discussing challenges in the region such as low growth and high debt.
Howai noted that Trinidad and Tobago was more fortunate than its neighbours, had more fiscal space to manoeuvre and the country's growth path was "aligned with the general thinking of the Fund".
A joint statement later yesterday by the IMF and the CDB, noted the Caribbean has important strengths on which it can build but low potential growth remains a key challenge for the region.
It noted that increased financial interconnectedness in the region presents large benefits but also carries risks.