(Trinidad Guardian) T&T spends more of its national budget on security than most other Caribbean countries, says Ashley Taylor, president of the Point Lisas Port Development Corporation Ltd (Plipdeco). “A startling statistic reveals according to a recently concluded UNDP study, Caribbean Human Development Report 2012, that T&T spent 13.9 per cent of its annual national budget on security,” he said.
“We spend 5.4 percentage points more on an average than of seven other Caribbean nations that also include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Suriname. “The next highest in terms of percentage expenditure was St Lucia at 11 per cent.”
Taylor was speaking yesterday at an American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham T&T) seminar on Security Guidelines Initiatives at the Marriott Hotel, Invaders Bay, Port-of-Spain. AmCham director Raoul John, who also spoke, said crime affects the business environment.
“It is an indisputable fact that crime affects us all and continues to be one of the pressing issues facing our business and national community,” he said. “As a business organisation, we are obliged to address crime as a hurdle to conducting business.” He referred to a report they submitted to the Ministry of National Security in 2011.
“This view was reinforced in a chamber report to the Ministry of National Security in January 2011, where it was noted in the period of 2000 to 2009, crime has had a significant impact on the business community,” John said. “It is in this context that AmCham T&T Security Committee was established to provide exchange of information to assist on how to protect our organisations’ assets.”
He said the committee aims to promote security co-operation and timely exchange of information among team members and security and law enforcement agencies. John also spoke about a project the AmCham Security Committee will launch which seeks to provide best-practice information and tools to member companies to evaluate the processes use to select security service providers.