Trinidad and Tobago’s (TT) Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar is promising to create 50,000 jobs if re-elected Prime Minister in the twin island republic. Some of the jobs, she said, could come from opportunities in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry.
According to an April 28 report in the TT Guardian, Persad-Bissessar was at the time speaking at the United National Congress’s (UNC) 30th anniversary celebrations at the car park of the UNC’s Couva South constituency office in Couva.
In her address, Persad-Bissessar took the opportunity to reveal some of the plans she has for the country if her party wins the elections. Noting that many young people are either unemployed or underpaid, she said, “So, you are now on the verge of giving up. You feel you are a burden on your parents. And your time spent in school was wasted. Do not give up. I promise you today that we will make, as our first priority, the creation of 50,000 well-paying jobs. We did it before. We will do it again.”
The former prime minister also announced plans to immediately restructure the health sector to make it a hub for medical tourism that will employ doctors, nurses and health care providers.
“We will mandate our foreign missions to identify the jobs of the digital future and prepare you to take them up. We will leverage the expertise in our energy sector and carefully match that with manpower needs in nearby Guyana to the mutual benefit of both countries.”
In September 2018, Persad-Bissessar had urged the government in the twin-island republic to pursue a partnership with Guyana to refine its oil in order to avert the closure of the Petrotrin refinery.
“I understand Guyana has found another well and they are producing, can we not group in some way and find a way to work together as a Caricom (sic) where we can help them refine their oil?” she asked at the time.
Reacting at the time, former Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud, had said Guyana oil industry should not be Trinidad’s ‘next meal’. “Do remember none or even limited opportunities were given to Guyanese during TT’s 110 years plus as an oil and gas producer. Guyana will neither be the bogey-man in your political gambits nor be allowed to be only the convenient rainy-day friend because we are to be the next largest oil and gas economy of the Caribbean,” he said.