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AmCham CEO calls for tax enforcement

Published: 
Friday, September 14, 2018

CEO of the AmChamTT Nirad Tewarie has made a call for better tax enforcement rather than increased taxes.

In an address at a Legislation, Technology & Competitiveness conference at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, he asked: “Are we going to punish those who are compliant and doing a good job and raise taxes on who we know and who we can find them because it is easy, or are we going to find those who are outside the tax net and ensure they pay their fair share?”

Tewarie said Uber’s decision to leave the country is an example of a potentially helpful service being discouraged from doing business in T&T.

“If the government’s policy is to make transportation easier and make mass transportation or reduce the number of cars on the road, Uber was one of the possible solutions. One of many possible solutions. Part of the problem there was the time it takes to get a certificate of good character,” he said.

Minister of Trade Paula Gopee Scoon admitted there was a lot of outdated legislation which needto be updated to improve the ease of business.

However, she added that the private sector was not without fault, as some businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector, stay within their comfort zones and don’t not adjust to the times.

“They are happy where they are, they are not prepared to invest in technology. That is a challenge that they face in the private sector,” said Gopee-Scoon who called for an improvement within the sector.

“We need a culture of quality in the country and the private sector has a serious role to play in term of quality,” she said.

Gopee-Scoon said on the trade front, more innovations are needed.

“As it relates to export I think it’s very important that we grow from this very narrow spectrum of a goods and services. I an talking about being more innovative, creating more quality goods that could really be distinguished out there in various niche markets around the world,” she said.

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