TT’s economy ‘surprisingly robust’
Saturday, October 27 2012
THIS country’s economy is “surprisingly robust”, Republic Bank Chairman Ronald Harford said yesterday shortly after receiving an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) at the graduation ceremony of the Social Sciences students of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus.
“And this — the economy’s robustness — is evident by the lifestyle of the young people in this country.
“They party hearty every Friday. Restaurants, pubs and the airports in Trinidad and Tobago are all full,” Harford said adding that he believes that unlike the recessionary years in the 1980s, where business collapse and persons abandoning their homes when they could not pay the mortgage, were the order of the day, Trinidad and Tobago’s present economy is thriving. Harford, a career banker said he believes that, “if the economy was not robust, we would be feeling much worse and there would not be so much liming and merriment.”
With regard to being awarded the LLD from UWI, Harford said it was an honour which left him “re-energised”.
Harford told Newsday he feels that because of the LLD, he now has a greater responsibility to give back to society and, “help humanity in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Harford said he sees the necessity for him to play a greater role in empowering the young people because, “Trinidad needs greater leadership.” He said his role in empowering the youth comes in his capacity as deputy chairman of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, where he raises and manages funds for an endowment fund for students.
Harford said that this fund gives out approximately 300 scholarships a year to needy and deserving young students. In addition to his work at the learning institution, Harford said he is also, “very keen on identifying young people to take on increased responsibilities.”
He is looking for young people in Republic Bank to become future leaders. According to Harford, there are General Managers in Republic Bank who are 40 years, or younger, an age span he described as unheard of in management of commercial banks.
He is determined on developing more young people for leadership roles. “I’m not happy with having just them (young managers in the bank)...I want more. I am always looking for bright people,” Harford said.
The three-day long graduation ceremony in UWI concludes today when students of the faculties of Humanities and Education and Medical Sciences graduate.