Caroline Toni Sirju-Ramnarine, Atlantic’s Vice President of Corporate Operations and Transformation has been appointed the new President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) replacing outgoing President, Patricia Ghany who served a three-year term from 2018 – 2021.
“For me, AMCHAM T&T has always been a chamber best characterized for its altruistic actions by people committed to making a difference in the lives of others,” Sirju-Ramnarine told AMCHAM T&T’s approximately 300 member companies in her inaugural address at the organization’s 28th Annual General Meeting on June 22.
Sirju-Ramnarine who is the third woman to be elected as President in the organization’s 28th year history said companies today must remain optimistic and look for opportunities out of the pandemic. She cites progress with vaccines around the world and countries that have pursued aggressive vaccination programmes showing signs of a faster return to normal. “Locally, we are pleased to see the recent progress on that front, and I encourage everyone to do their part in getting us back to normalcy as soon as we can.”
Sirju-Ramnarine said that AMCHAM T&T is ready to commit to three priority areas of strategic focus to future-proof the local economy. The three areas she highlighted were: the Recovery of the Economy; the use of Technology; and the preparation of Youth and the Workforce for the Future. “The question today is how can we make the pandemic situation a pivot point to a new future for Trinidad and Tobago? The simple answer starts with businesses being able to recover and bounce back stronger. For this to happen, we have to re-instill confidence in the economy.”
The new AMCHAM T&T President also said the development of a tech sector will be another major strategic pillar that will be key to the country’s successful recovery from the pandemic. “With efforts focused on re-shoring and nearshoring, coupled with the transformation imperatives laid bare by the pandemic, we have a golden opportunity to make the goal of creating a tech hub, a reality,” Sirju-Ramnarine said. “In addition to the benefits of creating a tech industry, we also have to harness the transformative power of technology. In this vein, the digital transformation of businesses and the Government will be key to a successful recovery.”
Sirju-Ramnarine also highlighted AMCHAM T&T’s priority focus on youths in the new workforce of the future. She said developing youths in the new workforce of the future requires building a “Culture of Curiosity” that moulds a cadre of young people with analytical thinking skills and other critical skills for the future. “This requires significant work that must be done in examining the role of schools and on the current curriculum. While the pandemic has shown that online school cannot work in totality, we have seen many new tools and techniques being incorporated into the way teachers teach and how students learn. Therefore, our education system must see technical and vocational skills ranging from specific software to soft-skill training as investments into our future.”
Atlantic congratulates Toni on her appointment and wishes her every success in her tenure as President of AMCHAM T&T.