According to Gervase Warner CEO of Massy Group, “No one is coming to rescue the region”. But he views this as a blessing in disguise for the Caribbean. He states that current situations provides the region with cause, “To turn inward together before they looked outward individually”.

The economic outlook for the region points towards Trinidad and Tobago as facing the greatest challenges. David Jessop in an article entitled The Changing Face of the Caribbean points to the likelihood of other Caribbean nations becoming players in the oil and gas industries. At the very least, this would stifle Trinidad and Tobago’s growth potential in the energy sector and it would remove Trinidad and Tobago as “King of the hill” in the Caribbean in this respect, a status which it has owned since 1908. Jessop states, “Over the next ten years it is likely that the ways in which we all think about the Caribbean will change radically”. He backs this up by pointing to oil and gas discoveries in or off Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and potential investments in explorations off Barbados, The Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and The Dominican Republic.

Jessop recognizes great prospects for Caribbean Tourism if played right. He speaks of improved marketing and global international positioning with “Real prospects of increasing the value of the industry by moving it to a higher level in terms of facilities, service, cuisine and perception”. Perception is where Trinidad and Tobago can stand to gain or lose most. Trinidad “owns” the steelpan while Tobago has attractive beaches, breathtaking landscapes and a most colorful history, but on the other hand, crime and corruption play havoc with how this nation is perceived.

University of the West Indies economist Dr. Roger Hosein emphasizes that it has to be “All hands on deck” pulling in the same direction in Trinidad and Tobago for 2017. He cites uncertainties in the energy sector as a leading factor why making forecasts for 2017 is all but impossible. He suggests that the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is likely to contract again in 2017 as it did in 2016, when it contracted by about 4.5 %.

Massy Holdings CEO Gervase Warner
Massy Holdings CEO Gervase Warner