the period of rapid economic growth 2004 2008 spending on social protection

The period of rapid economic growth 2004 2008

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the period of rapid economic growth (2004-2008), spending on social protection doubled. However, the high levels of expenditure were not translated in significantly improved socio-economic indica- tors. Overall, the reality is that government now has a significantly higher level of expenditures in the current period, at a time when revenues are signifi- cantly lower due to the decline in the energy sector. PERFORMANCE IN KEY GLOBAL INDICES Given the high level of Government expenditure and the performance in various global indices (Chart 2.2) , it appears that the country has also not realised its potential as more progress should have been made. In fact, the country’s ranking in the global competitiveness, ease of doing business, economic freedom, networked readiness and cor- ruption perception indices have either been deteri- orating or stagnated. Trinidad and Tobago’s Global Competitiveness ranking decreased from 67th in 2006 to 92nd in 2008 and remained fairly stagnant thereafter, reaching a new low of 94th in 2016. The Ease of Doing Business ranking declined from 55th in 2006 to 97th in 2011, improved to 66th in 2014 and declined to 88th in 2016. In terms of Economic Freedom 11 , Trinidad and Tobago’s ranking declined from 42nd in 2006 to 73rd in 2016. The Networked Readiness Index 12 fluctuated over the review period but ultimately remained fairly stagnant, as the rank- ing moved from 68th in 2006 to 67th in 2016. Lastly, in terms of the Corruption Perception Index, Trans- parency International ranked Trinidad and Tobago at 79th in 2006. This ranking declined to 91st in 2011, but improved to 72nd in 2015, before declining to 101st in 2016. 11 Index of Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation. The index measures the impact of liberty and free markets around the globe and its relationship with economic progress. 12 The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the capacity of countries to leverage ICTs for increased competitiveness and well-being. . org/global-information-technology-report-2015/network-readiness-index/ 17-18 V I S I O N 2 0 3 0 N AT I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T S T R AT E GY 2 0 1 6 - 2 0 3 0 Reviewing Performance and Looking to the Future
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COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE In 2001, at the onset of the preparatory work for Vision 2020, Trinidad and Tobago’s performance was compared with 15 selected countries, across various aspects of development. While size and ethnic multiplicity were major considerations in the selection, some countries were also chosen based on exceptional performance in key areas like public sector transformation, as in the case of New Zealand. The comparison revealed gaps in areas such as health and tertiary education performance and subsequently led to policies and actions to address the deficits in these and other areas .
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