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N Touch
Tuesday 12 December 2017

‘Politics a closed chapter’

“Sometimes as many as six people want to buy stuff as is available. The only way to resolve that problem is to move impediments on the supply side. Government is in a strong position to do that,” he said. Does he talk with Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai on these matters? “No. I am left to run the shop here. He knows that this is a matter of concern to the financial industry at large. UTC, NIB (National Insurance Board), insurance companies etc.

New investors at UTC?

“In the present situation we have been having to look at extra-regional investments,” Mottley said. With the Caribbean region down, Mottley said this is “all the more reason to get something going in terms of investment grade quality in Trinidad. We are looking at global markets wherever there is.” He added that he would use the capital market expertise he gained at Credit Suisse to help the “UTC find opportunities in this regard.”

Another job

“My wife started this project, the Green Market in Santa Cruz. That’s taking a lot of her time and I might have been of greater assistance to her, had I not diverted so much attention. I do hear some complaints,” Mottley said with a chuckle.

“There is some, I would not say quite tension but some give and take. Of course, I listen to the conversations of other retirees and their recent trips around the world. Since my last meeting with my doctor in New York, he said everything is fine Wendell but if you have a choice of rennovating your house and travelling, travel now,” Mottley said with a smile.

He reiterated his decision to accept the invitation to serve as UTC chairman “follows a career pattern of my interest in development and UTC falls in line with that pattern of service through aiding the development process.” “I’ve always been interested in that,” Mottley said

The economy

“Globally, it is a period of transition. We need in Trinidad are possibly the only country in the region that has the resources to buffer that global transition.We have almost 12 months import cover, a strong foreign exchange reserves position, savings in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund, that clearly sets us apart from the Caribbean. Trinidad is in a sound position but we have to move to protect that position,” Mottley said. He noted that nowhere was this reality more apparent that in the country’s energy sector which continues to be a great source of funds for TT.

“We need to take decisions within the light of the competition posed by the shale gas revolution in the United States. You start with a strong position but you can’t use up our fat. We have to take positions to protect that strong position.”

A closed chapter

Mottley spoke with Business Day, 24 hours after former Grenada prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell led his New National Party to a resounding 15-nil victory over the National Democratic Congress in that country’s general election. Last year, former prime ministers Dr Kenny Anthony (St Lucia) and Portia Simpson Miller (Jamaica) also returned to political power. So does Mottley see a return to electoral politics in 2015 or beyond?

Mottley smiled when asked this question and gave a simple reply. “That’s a closed chapter,” he said. “I have found in my life consistently, maybe that’s the benefit of being an athlete. At a very early age, you have to learn to retire.

I have consistently found other things of interest to me to do following specific times,” Mottley explained.

“I retired from athletics and went into something else. I retired from politics and had a very enjoyable career on Wall Street. Post Wall Street, I’m enjoying what I am doing, assisting my wife at the farmer’s market and I am also trying to strengthen UTC.” So how does he explain the reason why some of his former political colleagues just don’t seem to know how long they can remain in politics or when their time is over, Mottley again had a simple answer to this. “They weren’t athletes.”


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