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President of the American Chamber of Commerce T&T Patricia Ghany

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Patricia Ghany has been re-elected as President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (Amcham T&T).

This is Ghany’s third term as the Amcham president after initially being elected to the position in 2018.

Ghany was elected yesterday at Amcham’s first-ever virtual Annual General Meeting.

Speaking on the theme “Business in the New Normal” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ghany laid out the Chamber’s vision and plans both for society and the role for business.

“Our success as a country cannot be measured simply by GDP growth. Neither can our businesses’ success be measured only by profit. From what I have seen in my more than two decades as part of Amcham T&T and in my own business, for the most part, the business community has always taken an interest and supported both fence-line communities and the national community,” she said.

“Now, we may need to do a little more and, quite frankly, communicate what we do a little better. This is beyond CSR. It’s about building resilient communities and contributing to the overall sustainability of the country and, hopefully, the region,” Ghany said.

Ghany said even in the new normal, the old, fundamental rules still apply, especially the rule of law. “Fairness and access to justice are key to developing a conducive business environment. But so too are they to building a resilient and cohesive society.

In the old normal or the new normal, strong adherence to the rule of law is key,” she said.

Ghany said as a country, we need to do a better job of fixing the systems that inhibit social mobility and perpetuate inequality.

“We cannot fool ourselves by talking about outliers who emerge successfully from structural inequity and try to hold them up as examples that can be easily replicated. As citizens, we should have a vested interest in making our society better. And as businesses, we should see that if the rule of law is assured for those who are often most invisible and on the “margins of society” it will be assured for business too, making the entire economy more efficient and attractive,” she said.

Ghany said as the energy sector remains the mainstay of this country’s economy, and will continue to be so in the short and medium term, it is imperative that we address issues around the energy value chain.

“I am not being alarmist when I say that continued inaction and reluctance to make decisions is putting the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate in jeopardy. We need to act and act fast on this, but at this point, I prefer not to say more,” she said.

Ghany said the country also needs to transition to renewable energy, leveraging both our natural assets but also the technology and expertise of the multinationals already operating and invested in T&T.