Supermarkets Assoc. calls for diversification and full reopening of economy

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Supermarkets Assoc. calls for diversification and full reopening of economy

Supermarket Association president Rajiv Diptee said the time has come for forced action in the diversification of the TT economy.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance Minister outlined the country’s economic outlook for the period October 2020 to January 2021, where he noted a decline of $1.8 billion or 13 per cent less in estimated revenue.

Diptee, in an interview with the Newsday, said he understood that Government was strapped for cash but called for diversification and a full reopening of the internal economy.

He described TT’s economic situation as “grim” and called for speedy investments for diversification.

Diptee said “While we are helpless on the international circuit, there are some things that we could be doing. Diversification has been ole talk, and to say we are going to start that conversation again – we are probably five to ten years too late.

“The pandemic has forced diversification. We have been advocating for investments in the local agro-processing industry. While it is not starting up at an ideal time, it is never too late.”

He told the media house that “The access to foreign exchange is not there and the pressures with shipping globally has reached a crisis level. We have a cocktail here that is going to create lot of pain for 2021.

“We have to look at alternative markets, as far as India. We have to look all over for the best buys because the pockets of the end customer have to afford what is being offered on the shelf.”