Trinidad’s southwest peninsula will find an upcoming conference of particular interest. Hosted by the Trade and Economic Development Unit of the Department of Economics, it is part of a wider development project, Developing and Implementing a LED Framework for Regions with Extractive Industries, which is jointly funded by Atlantic and the Inter-American Development Bank.
At the macroeconomic level, Trinidad & Tobago is propelled by revenues from its extractive industries. In 1990, oil revenue as a percentage of total revenue stood at 41.2%; 21 years later, in 2011, the percentage stood at 47.3%. Likewise in 1990, petroleum value added accounted for 28.7% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP); by 2011, this percentage had increased significantly to 43.5%. This upward trend in economic importance signals that greater efforts must be made to harness its capacity to nurture the sustainable development of the respective host communities.
Typically, Local Economic Development or LED strategy is a bottom-up approach to development, offering local government, the private and not-for-profit sectors, and local communities the opportunity to work together to improve the local economy. It is in this context that the Conference, Achieving Sustainability in Regions with Extractive Industries, is pitched. It will bring together local, regional and international experts in the area of sustainability in regions with extractive industries, to present the ‘best practices’ associated with the development challenges peculiar to such regions and thereby seek to enhance the overall governance processes for regions with extractive industries.
Among the issues on the agenda are economics of regions with extractive industries, the imperative for small business development in localized host communities and linking extractive industries to the wider economy. A 3D Poster competition for secondary school students, sponsored by the Caribbean Local Economic Development project, provided a medium for young people to voice their opinion. The conference is at the Paria Suites Hotel in La Romaine on June 14.
For further information, please contact the Trade and Economic Development Unit at 662-2002 ext 83233 or 83231 Email email@example.com; visit www.sta.uwi.edu/conference/13/ted/registration.asp. Justin Joseph is a Researcher for The Trade and Economic Development Unit, Department of Economics, UWI. He holds a Bsc. and Msc. in Economics