The former trade minister warns that things look grim going forward for T&T.

Former trade minister, Mariano Browne, warns that Trinidad and Tobago must brace for tough economic times ahead, since there is little we can do about the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, or falling energy prices.

The former trade minister warns that the local tourism and services sectors will be hard hit by the global coronavirus outbreak, as has been the case in other countries around the world.

And he notes that the current oil price war—between Russia, Saudi Arabia, and shale oil producers in North America—is not helping matters either.

According to Mariano Browne, this country is expected to record negative growth for 2019, given its fortunes in the energy sector last year, and the reality that projected production levels for oil and gas were not realised.

He says things look grim going forward for T&T.

“If you have a fall in production and you have a fall in prices, that’s a double whammy,” he points out. “That’s going to mean a huge hit to government finances. And if we’re talking about the impact of the coronavirus, there’s going to be some knock-on effect. If it’s going to affect the world, then we will be affected too. We are 1.2 million people in a world of 7 billion. So by definition, we can’t make the market, so this is really a fairly catastrophic period.”