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February 15th, 2016

UTC Executive Director discusses downturn

 

2ndFebruary, 2016:Even as companies and consumers face the reality of an economic downturn, they need to shift their focus and look for ways to capitalize on the myriad of opportunitiesthat could arise in an economicdownturn, according to Executive Director, Unit Trust Corporation, Ian Chinapoo.

Chinapoo’scomments were made while delivering an address as a guest speaker at Nestlé’s Trinidad & Tobago and Nestlé Caribbean’s 2016 Kick-Off meeting,recently held at Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre. The Executive Director’s presentationfocused on Trinidad and Tobago’s current economic climate and what it means for the consumer and organizations in their day to day operations and decision making. The theme was titled, “Challenges, Shifting Priorities
&Opportunities That Will Confront Households & Firms in 2016.”

“The impact on the economy of a continuing drop in energy prices will have a ripple effect,” said Chinapoo, “but organizations need to shift priorities and consumers need to recognize the myriad of opportunities that they can capitalize on during an economic downturn.

“Don’t let a good downturn go to waste,” Chinapoo said, “because it forces both companies and consumers to make tough decisions.”

He outlined these opportunities, which included creative out of the box thinking and generation of new business ideas to deal with accelerated change and reduction of wastage.

For organizations, Chinapoo stressed that this was the time to look at what opportunities will arise in a downturn. “Turn a recession into an opportunity,” he said, as he urged companies to take a look at their production process and new markets.“Can you form backward linkage operations?Is there an opportunity for food processorsto become involved in agriculture and manufacturers in the production of raw material?”

“The economic downturn brings you back to basics, while you may not be able to control what happens with the economy, you can control your environment,” stressed the Executive Director. He referred to Jamaica who turned the downturn in sugar production into a lucrative rum producing industry. “For us at the Corporation, we launched the Calypso Macro Index Fund, with a 35% stake in energy companies, this was the time to buy,” he said.

Referring to the phenomenon known as Dutch Disease that plagues energy-producing countries who suffer when prices fall, Chinapoo said the remedy was economic diversification. “Regional economies are likely to benefit from lower energy prices as well as a strong economy. As a result, tourism is likely to improve in the region and manufacturers have to be positioned for this pick-up.”

Leaders, the UTC Executive Director, saidmust do two things in this current economic environment: Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be and retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.

Photograph caption: “UTC Executive Director Ian Chinapoo gestures during his presentation to employees of Nestlé Trinidad & Tobago and Nestlé Caribbean’s at their 2016 Kick-Off meeting at Trinidad Hilton.

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For more information please contact:

Rory Rostant,

UTC Communications Manager

Mobile number: 685-7975

Email address:rrostant@ttutc.com