Tobago the “Greatest Little Island on the Planet”
November 2nd, 2022
The Honourable Farley Chavez Augustine – Chief Secretary and Secretary for Finance, Trade and the Economy
Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
For many reasons, the two-year period of March 2020-March 2022 will remain an unforgettable part of history in Tobago, in Trinidad and Tobago and across the globe. The gradual lifting of health restrictions and the reopening of the economy has undoubtedly brought relief to many. There are few individuals who can say they were not impacted economically, socially, physically or mentally by the pandemic, or that they have not dealt with loss in any form. Yet, if history has taught us anything, it is that opportunity is often found in the company of adversity. Thus, our outlook tends to determine our level
As Tobago looks forward to fiscal 2023, this calls for us to reassess, reshape and realign our approach to ensure that the residents of our great island are the beneficiaries of every economic gain we accrue. This is why the island’s budget presentation (2022-2023) outlined development aimed at improving the people’s welfare. Our desire is to make Tobago the “Greatest Little Island on the Planet”. To do so, we must guide Tobago towards fulfilling its considerable potential in a manner that is both sustainable and amenable to the future growth of our resources and our human capital.
We must contribute to this by boosting education and human capital development, and by fostering the spirits of creativity and innovation. We must be intentional about developing an efficient, effective and accountable public service. We must provide quality, science-driven healthcare, while protecting the most vulnerable among us; and we must safeguard the peace and security of our residents, as well as our natural, social and cultural heritage. Of course, this must be undergirded by a technologically driven economy, and transparent, accountable and inclusive governance. Yes, this is a grand ambition, but one that is eminently achievable.
The island’s quest for autonomy is critical to many of these reforms. Autonomy will allow us to put the right resources in the right places and to minimise the bureaucratic delays that threaten to stall our progress. It will also place renewed focus on Tobago’s role in national development. In the end, this will redound to greater, sustainable economic growth within the island, and on a national scale. It is surely the kind of future we look forward to with great optimism and confidence.
Tobago House of Assembly
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Tel: (868) 639-3421/2696; Fax: (868) 639-5374
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