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Richie Sookhai, President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC).
SHASTRI BOODAN

The Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) has expressed its concerns about the current situation occurring between Russia and Ukraine and hopes for a quick de-escalation of the ongoing events.

CCIC President, Richie Sookhai told Guardian Media on Thursday:

“War is never good for any nation because of the lives lost and trauma that ensues. However, these events are currently causing energy prices to rise, which means that T&T could benefit from such a dramatic increase.”

The CCIC believes that any revenue windfall arising from the current upswing in energy prices should be invested carefully.

“In light of this geopolitical event in Europe that has given rise to the current surge in energy prices, the government should have strategic plans in place to make wise investments,” Sookhai said.

He continued: “This cannot simply be talk as usual about diversification, but the citizens of T&T need to see monies spent in a way that would stimulate the economy and create jobs for the future”.

Sookhai also acknowledged that energy prices are not rising in isolation but alongside global commodities.

“This clash between Russia and Ukraine also has the potential to bring further inflationary pressure to T&T, as the two countries are major suppliers of wheat,” he pointed out.

“Food prices are already high in the country.  This international spat could mean increases in the average basket of goods as global supply disruptions continue to push commodity prices upwards,” said Sookhai.

The CCIC President indicated that investment in technology would be wise, especially in areas such as agriculture, since the future of global economic progress relies on technological advancement.

 “The rise in technological innovation is always accompanied by cost savings, and hence the impact can be deflationary,” Sookhai said.  “We can make these investments now to create buffers against inflation in the future.”