April 22nd, 2020
What do you see the business community focusing on coming out of the COVID-19 lockdown with regards to moving forward and what changes you foresee being implemented with the ‘new business norm’?
Tobago Tourism Agency Ltd
“There is an economic and social position that the passage of this pandemic is going bring to us, that we would not have otherwise arrived at by deliberate effort. There’s no escape from some pain as we approach a zero of some sorts.
Incomes will fall, frail businesses and enterprises will fail with or without support, and there will be a myriad of effects.
Regardless of our best efforts we will not be able to avert it, because all sensible predictions are that it’s going to be a U-shaped scenario.
The other side of the U will not resemble the decline, because the climb will be in a new reality which has already began as we adapt to the shock. The Caricom Heads of Government meeting held on April 15, 2020, was one such adaptation, with a virtual platform that didn’t require the multimillion-dollar logistics, for which they have become known.
On the way up, we have the opportunity to address issues of productivity, to build resilience and relevance into education, ensure sustainability in tourism, truly diversify the economy into growing business niches, foster linkages that add value to areas where we have clear comparative advantages and address once and for all the EODB (Ease Of Doing Business)
The emerging world will not allow us to return to what we knew as NORMAL. Therefore, we will have a painful experience, but at least we can make it worthwhile.”