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Trinidad and Tobago


Official name: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Head of State: President Maxwell Richards (inaugurated 17 Mar 2003)






Head of government: Prime Minister Patrick Manning (PNM) (since Dec 2001) Ruling party: People's National Movement (PNM) Area: 5,128 square km Population: 1.30 million (2004) Capital: Port of Spain Official language: English Currency: Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TT$) = 100 cents

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Tunapuna Arima

Port of Spain

Sangre Grande

Gulf of Paria

Charlotteville Tobago Plymouth

Roxborough Scarborough

Rio Claro San Fernando La Brea Point Fortin Bonasse Siparia Princes Town Guayaguayare

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Miles Km

Exchange rate: TT$6.15 per US$ (Jul 2004) GDP per capita: US$7,355 (2003) GDP real growth: 6.70% (2003) Labour force: 564,000 (2003)

rinidad and Tobago is the most cosmopolitan of West Indian societies. Forty-three per cent of the population are of African descent, 41 per cent of Indian origin. Race relations were at the forefront of the immediate problems confronting Trinidad and Tobago in 2003, together with the need for electoral reform and fiscal consolidation. The business community has criticised successive governments for delaying the formulation of a plan for sustainable economic growth. These pressures have forced Trinidad and Tobago's prime minister, Patrick Manning, to go beyond his party's manifesto promises, which employers have claimed to be shallow and unimaginative and limit the `reckless spending' that has driven up the country's debt in recent years, in order to stabilise the economy.


Political reform

Trinidad and Tobago's politics generally follow the country's principal ethnic division: Afro-Trinidadians supporting the People's National Movement (PNM) and Indo-Trinidadians supporting various Indian-majority parties, notably the United National Congress (UNC). Following a stalemate in the 2001 elections when each of the two main parties won 18 seats, Trinidad and Tobago's then president ANR Robinson invited PNM leader Manning to form a government before the end of the year, but the stalemate rendered this

impossible. Fresh elections were eventually held in October 2002 in which the PNM won 20 seats against the UNC's 16. Chastened by the political impasse which left the country with no parliament for several months, a consensus was reached between the two parties on the need for political change and constitutional reform. Somehow, reforms will have to be introduced if the country's deep seated racial antagonism is to be overcome. In Trinidad and Tobago ideologies have traditionally counted for little, race for a lot. Opinion polls showed that the 2002 elections were the most racially polarised in Trinidad and Tobago's 42 years of post independence history. The 2002 elections became a highly charged battle between the two parties and more acutely between their two leaders. The leader of the UNC, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, once seen as an advocate of national unity and opponent of racial enmity found his image tainted by the dispute. Known for his combative political style, Panday suffered from allegations of corruption over the non-disclosure of a London bank account.

Unemployment: 10.20% (2003) Inflation: 3.70% (2003) Oil production: 163,000 bpd (2003) Balance of trade: US$400.00 million (2003) Foreign debt: US$2.80 billion (2003)


Trinidad and Tobago's fiscal health has traditionally been dependent on the state of the hydrocarbons industry, which provides significant revenues to the government. Like monetary policy, fiscal policy


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has been tight for some years. Taking in to account the size of the oil and gas industry and given the possibility that existing oil reserves may only last another decade, the government is well aware of the need to focus on optimising revenues from the sector. Trinidad and Tobago registered a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2003, completing a decade of sustained annual growth (which had been preceded by eight years of economic decline). For the fiscal year 2002/03 the government ran a small surplus ­ 0.8 per cent of GDP, which was below official forecasts. The surplus was largely due to increased tax revenues from the hydrocarbons sector, following the rise in oil prices. Despite the continued rise in the oil price, for the fiscal year 2003/04 the government projected a budget deficit of 1 per cent of GDP, based on a sustained 5.5 per cent GDP growth rate and a 3 per cent inflation rate, down on the 3.7 per cent rate registered in 2003. Core inflation, which excludes food prices, was down to 2 per cent in 2003. However, rising food prices in 2004 brought protests at the lack of government intervention from the trades union movement and Trinidad and Tobago's vociferous housewives' association. Matters were not improved when, in August 2004, a government minister suggested that Trinidadians eat cassava and other cheaper provisions. The minimum wage in Trinidad and Tobago is TT$8 (US$1.50 per day). The 2003/04 budget anticipated a number of seemingly enlightened new fiscal measures, which included terminating the bank savings tax, an increase in pensions, increased benefits for the disabled, tax increases for the gambling industry and higher taxation for oil companies exceeding given levels of production. The government's development strategy up to 2020 envisage increased expenditure on education, health and infrastructure. Central to the 2004 budget was debt reduction; in 2003 Trinidad and Tobago's total debt was equivalent to 53 per cent of GDP. The level of external debt has been on a downward trend since the 1990s, when external debt alone corresponded to 45 per cent of GDP; by 2002 that figure had been reduced to below 20 per cent. Monetary policy is determined by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, which sets discount rates and reserve requirements and also regulates the operations of commercial banks and other financial institutions. In 2003 monetary policy remained stable, not only enabling inflation to be controlled, but allowing the central bank some leeway with interest rates. In 2003 these remained unchanged at 5.25 per cent for the bank's repo rate and 11.5 per cent for the prime lending rate. In September 2003 the central bank decided to ease liquidity to stimulate demand and boost the non-hydrocarbon sectors of the economy. The repo rate was lowered by 0.25 per cent, to 5.0 per cent, leading to a parallel reduction in lending rates. GDP growth in 2003 was largely driven by a 9.5 per cent increase in the hydrocarbon sector following the inauguration of two new liquefaction plants by the Atlanta LNG consortium. Non-petroleum activity increased by 5.9 per cent, centred on the services and construction sectors ­ the latter growing by 13 per cent following the implementation of the public investment programme. The investment climate was also strong in 2003 and looked set to continue its buoyancy into 2004, benefiting from GDP growth and stable inflation levels. Rising oil prices boosted the economy and sustained economic growth created opportunities for diversification. Trinidad and Tobago's oil industry, however, remained the most attractive area for foreign investment. Trinidad and Tobago needs foreign investment if it is to create jobs. Although unemployment dropped from 11 per cent in 2002 to 10.2 per cent in 2003, it remained unacceptably high. The sugar industry had continued to contract, due to restructuring and the closure of the state-owned sugar company, Caroni, with the loss of 9,000 jobs. Under a Special Preferential Sugar (SPS) agreement with the European Union (EU), until 2007 Trinidad and Tobago continues to receive three times the world market price for its sugar. Although the employment trend in the sugar industry appeared to be reversing in 2003, this was not the case in the rest of the agricultural sector, where zero growth did little to improve employment prospects. Conscious of the difficulties public utilities have had in terms of inefficiency, the government sought to accelerate privatisation as part of its development strategy. The government is particularly keen to attract investment in the natural gas industry, seeking to capitalise on recent finds as soon as possible. Trinidad and Tobago's sound monetary policies also enabled the Trinidad and Tobago dollar to remain stable against the US dollar. Although the exchange rate came under some pressure in early 2003, central bank intervention enabled the exchange rate to remain virtually unchanged, closing 2003 at TT$6.93 to the US dollar.


Unit Population m Gross domestic product (GDP) US$bn GDP per capita GDP real growth Inflation Unemployment Oil output Natural gas output Exports (fob) (goods) Imports (fob) (goods) Balance of trade Current account Foreign debt Total reserves minus gold Foreign exchange Exchange rate US$ % % % '000 bpd bn cum US$m US$m US$m US$m US$bn US$m US$m per US$ 1999 1.29 6.55 5,074 5.1 3.4 13.1 141.0 10.9 2,816.0 2,752.0 64.0 31.0 2.5 945.4 945.4 6.30 2000 1.29 7.30 6,186 4.0 3.5 12.1 135.0 12.6 4,220.0 3,557.0 663.0 379.0 2.2 1,386.3 1,386.2 6.30

Trinidad and Tobago

2001 1.29 8.90 6,758 3.5 3.2 11.1 135.0 12.9 4,159.0 3,552.0 607.0 553.0 2.1 1,907.1 1,876.0 6.23 2002 1.30 9.40 7,255 5.2 3.8 11.0 162.0 16.8 4,060.0 3,110.0 1,100.0 350.0 2.5 2,062.0 1,960.0 6.16 2003 1.30 9.57 7,355 6.7 3.7 10.2 163.0 24.8 4,200.0 3,800.0 400.0 ­ 2.8 ­ ­ 6.15


Trinidad and Tobago has traditionally been heavily dependent on the production of oil and natural gas; it is the only significant exporter of oil and gas in the Caribbean region and the largest supplier of liquefied gas to the United States. Agreement was expected by the end of 2004 on the joint development with Venezuela of South America's


Trinidad and Tobago

largest natural gas field, the Deltana Platform Field, which straddles both countries' waters. The Deltana field is estimated to hold up to 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In 2003, Trinidad and Tobago's total oil production averaged 156,700 barrels per day (bpd), of which 125,000bpd was crude oil. Oil reserves, estimated at 990 million barrels, are expected to last only another decade unless new reserves are found. In 2003, BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT) was the largest oil producer, with 74,000bpd. Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin), the state oil company, was the second largest oil producer, with 48,000bpd. The country's crude oil production is expected to increase once BHP Billiton's Angostura field comes on stream in late 2004 or early 2005. The government seeks to increase oil production to 210,000bpd by the end of 2004. Natural gas production in Trinidad and Tobago has increased dramatically. In 2002, production reached 16.8 billion cubic metres (cum) of natural gas, up 14 per cent year-on-year. By January 2004, natural gas reserves in had reached 740 billion cum. Increased natural gas production has made Trinidad and Tobago one of the world's major natural gas development centres.


Trinidad and Tobago's sound economic management and abundant hydrocarbon resources augur well for the next decade. Politically, reforms will have to be made if the country's government is not to be paralysed at the expense of ethnic divisions and differences.

Risk assessment

Politics Economy Regional stability COUNTRY PROFILE

Historical profile 1498 Trinidad was sighted by a Spanish expedition led by Christopher Columbus. 1532 The island was colonised by the Spanish. 1595 Spanish colonisers were defeated by an English fleet under Sir Walter Raleigh. 1630s The Dutch settled on Tobago and created sugar plantations. 1763 Trinidad was occupied by France, with Spanish consent. 1781 The French seized Tobago. 1797 Trinidad was seized by the British during the Napoleonic wars. 1802 Trinidad was officially transferred to British sovereignty. 1814 Tobago became a British colony of the Windward Island group. 1834 Slavery was abolished and indentured workers were brought in from India to work on the sugar plantations. 1889 Tobago was amalgamated with Trinidad and together the islands became a unified British colony. 1945 Universal suffrage was granted. 1956 Eric Williams founded the People's National Movement (PNM). 1958 Trinidad and Tobago became part of the British-sponsored West Indies Federation. 1959 Britain gave Trinidad and Tobago internal self-government with Williams as prime minister. 1962 When Jamaica opted to leave the Federation, Trinidad and Tobago followed, becoming independent within the Commonwealth. 1967 Trinidad and Tobago joined the Organisation of American States (OAS). 1968 Anglophone Caribbean states, including Trinidad and Tobago, formed the Caribbean Free Trade Area (Carifta), which became the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) in 1973. 1970 A state of emergency was declared after the army mutinied against the minority East Indian population. 1972 The state of emergency was lifted.

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International relations

Trinidad and Tobago maintains close relations with its Caribbean neighbours and its major trading partners in North America and Europe. Trinidad is the most industrialised and second largest country in the English-speaking Caribbean. It has traditionally played a leading role in the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom). Trinidad and Tobago has also adopted a proactive role in early discussions of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), establishing itself as a serious contender to host the organisation's secretariat in its capital city, Port of Spain. Trinidad was the first Commonwealth member country to join the Organisation of American States (OAS) and hosted the inaugural meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, a 35-member grouping which has its headquarters in Trinidad. Relations with neighbouring Barbados have been soured for over a decade by a maritime border dispute, culminating in Barbados taking its case to the United Nations. The dispute, which affects both countries' fishing rights, is one of the few instances where the UNC and the PNM are in total agreement.

1976 On 1 August, Trinidad and Tobago became a republic within the Commonwealth. The PNM won the September parliamentary elections. Ellis Clarke, previously the governor general, was sworn in as the country's first president in December and Eric Williams became prime minister. 1981 Williams died and George Chambers became prime minister. 1986 The PNM lost power ­ its first defeat since 1957 ­ as the Tobago-based National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR), headed by Arthur Robinson, won a decisive victory. 1987 Noor Hassanali became president. 1990 More than 100 Islamic extremists staged an uprising, blowing up the police headquarters, seizing parliament and holding Prime Minister Robinson and several senior officials hostage. The coup attempt was short-lived. 1991 The NAR lost the December general election to the PNM. Patrick Manning became prime minister. 1995 The South Asian-dominated United National Congress (UNC) won the largest number of seats at the general election and formed a coalition government with the support of the NAR. Basdeo Panday became prime minister. 1999 Trinidad and Tobago restored the death sentence. 2000 The ruling UNC won the general election. 2001 Parliament was dissolved in October when the prime minister demanded new elections for 10 December after the UNC lost its majority. The UNC and the PNM each won 18 seats in the election and held talks on forming a coalition, agreeing to accept President Robinson's nomination for prime minister. Patrick Manning (PNM) was sworn in as prime minister on 24 December. However, Basdeo Panday, the former prime minister, scrapped the agreement, politically paralysing the country. 2002 Prime Minister Patrick Manning's PNM won the parliamentary elections. 2003 On 14 February, parliament elected Maxwell Richards as president; he was inaugurated on 17 March. Political structure Constitution The constitution was adopted in 1976. Form of state Republic The executive Executive power is divided between the president, who is the head of state, and the prime minister, who is the head of government. The president is elected every five years by an electoral college made up of members of both houses of parliament.


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The prime minister, who has a cabinet composed of members of parliament, is usually the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives. National legislature The parliament is bicameral. The House of Representatives has 36 members elected by universal suffrage for a fiveyear term. The Senate consists of 31 members which are appointed by the president: 16 on the prime minister's advice, six on the advice of the leader of the opposition and nine chosen exclusively by the president. Legal system An independent judiciary is guaranteed by the Constitution. Foreign investors have the same laws and rights as Trinidad and Tobago citizens. The Supreme Court is the highest legal body and is operated via a three-tier system. Civil trials are handled by a single judge in the high court without a jury. Decisions made by the high court can be presented for appeal to the three judge court of appeal. Court of appeal decisions can be appealed to the privy council judicial committee in London. The privy council is to be replaced as the highest court of appeal by the regional Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is expected to be set up by 2005. Last elections 14 February 2003 (presidential election by Electoral College); 10 December 2001 (parliamentary). Results: Presidential: Maxwell Richards was elected by the Electoral College. Parliamentary: the People's National Movement (PNM) won 20 seats out of 36 and the United National Congress (UNC) 16 seats. Next elections 2006 (parliamentary); 2008 (presidential). Political parties Ruling party People's National Movement (PNM) Main opposition party United National Congress (UNC) Population 1.30 million (2004) Ethnic make-up Trinidad and Tobago has a complex ethnic make-up. The descendants of African slaves who had been transported to Trinidad and Tobago to work on the plantations form the largest ethnic group. There are also large numbers of Indians descended from indentured labourers, plus small Chinese and European (mainly British) populations. Black (43 per cent), East Indian (40 per cent), mixed (14 per cent), white (1 per cent), Chinese (1 per cent). Religions Roman Catholics (34 per cent), Hindus (30 per cent), Protestants (19 per cent), Muslims (10 per cent). Education In 2000, the adult illiteracy rate was estimated at 1.1 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively for men and women. Primary schooling lasts for seven years followed by secondary, academic and technical or vocational qualifications. World Bank estimates show that the total primary school enrolment of the relevant age group typically stood at 99 per cent for boys and 98 per cent for girls (including repetition rates) between 1994­2000. The number of pupils per primary school teacher is typically 25. Public expenditure on education typically amounted to 3.6 per cent of annual gross national income between 1994­97. A University of Trinidad and Tobago, costing US$100.00 million, is expected to open in 2006. British Petroleum (BP) donated US$10 million towards construction of the university which will be founded as a charitable trust by the government. Compulsory years: 5 to 11. Pupils per teacher: 25 in primary schools. Health In 2002, 88 per cent of children were immunised against measles before aged one year, this figure dropped from a high of 91 per cent in 2001. Improved water sources are available to 86 per cent of the population. Total expenditure on health is around 4 per cent of GDP, of which government spending is 44 per cent. Life expectancy: 72 years (World Bank) Fertility rate/Maternal mortality rate: 1.8 births per woman (World Bank 2002). Anaemia is common among 53 per cent of pregnant women. Birth rate/Death rate: 8 deaths and 13 births per 1,000 people (World Bank) Infant mortality rate: 17 per 1,000 live births (World Bank) Head of population per physician/ bed: 0.8 physicians and 5.1 hospital beds typically available for 1,000 people. Welfare Trinidad and Tobago operates social insurance and social assistance systems that were implemented in 1999. The 1999 law ensures state provision for employees, domestic and agricultural workers, but does not cover self-employed workers. Social assistance covers residents aged 65 or older or 40 years for those with special needs, based on a means test. Old age pensions are available to men aged 60­65 and above with 750 weeks of contribution and compulsory retirement. The state also operates a welfare system for benefits covering sickness, maternity, medical provision for workers and family allowance, including a food subsidy. Medical care is available in public hospitals and health offices and centres for recipients of means-tested pensions. Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing a rise in social problems related to young people, despite the economy's improved performance. Restricted access to the secondary education system and unemployment (which reached 30 per cent for the 15­19 age group in 2001), poverty and reduced family care have contributed to youth involvement in crime and drug abuse. Main cities Port of Spain (capital, estimated population 45,300 in 2003) is the commercial centre and main port of entry; San Fernando (60,600) is the chief town in south Trinidad and the centre of the oil industry; Arima (28,900) is east of Port of Spain, increasingly industrialised. Scarborough (estimated population 4,500) is the main town and port of Tobago. Languages spoken Hindi is commonly spoken within the East Indian community. Official language/s English Media Press There are three daily newspapers, including Trinidad and Tobago Express and Trinidad Guardian, one bi-weekly and eight weeklies. Two major evening papers are Evening News and The Sun. Broadcasting Radio: There are 10 radio stations. Television: There are three television stations plus US cable channels. Commercial television operated by state-owned Trinidad and Tobago Television Company (TTT), Channel 6 (CCN) and Channel 4 (AVM). Economy Trinidad and Tobago has traditionally been heavily dependent on the production of oil and natural gas, with its economy significantly influenced by the fluctuations of oil and gas prices. The country is the only significant exporter of oil and gas in the Caribbean region. Oil has distorted the economy, with the non-oil sector lagging behind. Efforts to diversify the economy have centred on information technology and financial services, sectors which have grown in other parts of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, Trinidad and Tobago has a strong tourism industry accounting for 11 per cent of GDP. The industry receives a boost when


Trinidad and Tobago

other Caribbean nations endure harsh weather conditions, particularly as it is geographically less susceptible to the effects of hurricanes than many of its neighbours. In the long-term, the authorities must decide whether to opt for dedicating increasingly scarce land resources to the labour-intensive agricultural sector or the high-value tourism sector. However the future of the declining agricultural sector is bleak with the closure of the state owned sugar company Caroni. There was a strong investment climate in 2003 continuing to 2004 due to robust growth in GDP and stable inflation levels. Rising oil prices over the last few years have boosted the nation's economy and sustained growth is allowing for further diversification. The oil sector however remains one of the most attractive areas for foreign investment. In December 2003 energy companies announced a US$1.3 billion expansion of a liquefied natural gas facility on the islands. This will significantly increase Trinidad and Tobago's export revenues along with making the republic one of the world's largest LNG exporters. The government announced in July 2004 that policy would vigorously pursue further development of Trinidad and Tobago's oil and natural gas reserves. Money would be injected in both seismic surveys and exploration. External trade Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) which comprises a common market and customs union. Imports Principal imports include machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, mineral fuels, food, animals. Main sources: US (41.9 per cent of 2002 total), Côte d'Ivoire (5.5 per cent), UK (5.0 per cent), Japan (4.5 per cent), Brazil (4.3 per cent). Exports Principal exports include crude petroleum, petroleum products, methanol, chemicals, sugar, cocoa beans, coffee beans, iron and steel (bars and rods), fertilisers, urea, asphalt and manufactured products. Main destinations: US (56.9 per cent of 2002 total), Jamaica (7.3 per cent), France (4.4 per cent), Barbados (3.9 per cent), Canada (2.5 per cent). Agriculture Farming The agricultural sector contributes around 3 per cent to GDP and employs around 8 per cent of the workforce, with about 23 per cent of the total land area farmed. The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) ­ primarily a government-owned bank ­ provides loans to farmers and finances about 85 per cent of the country's agricultural development. The farming of major cash crops (sugar, coffee, cocoa and citrus fruits) has slumped owing to labour shortages, diseases and falling export demand. Although there is abundant rainfall, it is unevenly distributed, some areas becoming waterlogged thereby curtailing production. Only 3 per cent of arable land is irrigated. About 60 per cent of the country's agriculture is in private hands and 40 per cent is controlled by the government. The Agricultural Development Corporation is charged with developing the agricultural sector and redeployed the energies of the ADB and the National Agricultural Market and Development Corporation preventing any overlap in responsibilities. The sector is also the subject of an investment incentive programme, involving tax exemptions for approved projects. Other measures include a US$21 million four-year repair and rehabilitation programme for roads and more funding for water management and flood defence systems. Crop production in 2003 included: 873,007 metric tonnes (mt) sugar cane, 2,955mt maize, 901mt cassava, 2,935mt rice, 6,700mt bananas, 4,400mt plantains, 3,475mt pulses, 8,552mt roots and tubers, 16,500mt coconuts, 13,030mt citrus fruit, 3,800mt pineapples, 2,145mt oilcrops, 1,708mt tomatoes, 2,000mt eggplants, 165mt tobacco, 984mt cocoa beans, 586mt green coffee, 64,660mt fruit in total, 22,437mt vegetables in total. Livestock production included: 66,183mt meat in total, 762mt beef, 2,838mt pig-meat, 71mt lamb and goat meat, 56,512mt poultry, 3,696mt eggs, 43mt honey, 8,897mt milk,127mt cattle hides. Fishing The country does not have a large commercial fishing industry, but relies on small private fishermen whose production does not meet domestic demand. The fishing sector is an important local source of food. Forestry Forests cover around one-third of the total land area. Deforestation accounted for an average annual loss of 0.9 per cent, equivalent of 2,000 hectares of forest cover, in 1990­2000. The country has a well-developed commercial forests industry, based primarily on the harvesting of teak and Caribbean pine. Some three-quarters of the wood is used for industrial purposes, and the rest is used for fuel and charcoal. It produces modest quantities of industrial round timber and sawn timber. Much of the domestic demand is met by imports of sawn timber, wood-based panels and paper products. Production in 2002 included: 86,664 cubic metres (cum) roundwood, 43,000cum sawnwood, 51,000cum sawlogs and veneers, 35,664cum woodfuel, 1,863mt charcoal. Industry and manufacturing Trinidad and Tobago is the most industrialised of the Caribbean islands. The industrial sector typically contributes 44 per cent of GDP, of which manufacturing contributes 8 per cent. Development since the 1970s has centred on heavy exportoriented industries which are geared towards maximising the country's energy resources. The principal manufactured products include refined petroleum, petrochemicals, nitrogenous fertilisers, iron, steel, methanol, plastics, sugar, and various importsubstitution products such as clothing, soap, and footwear. There are also attempts to establish local assembly plants for televisions and motor vehicles, using imported parts. The growth of the petrochemicals sector has helped offset the effects of a decline in the sugar industry. Manufacturing firms stand to lose out with the termination of an export allowance under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules coupled with the opening up of markets under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Caricom single market. In response, the government is investing in improving capital in the manufacturing sector. In December 2003, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago concluded an agreement to import raw sugar from Guyana in 2004, to meet the additional requirements of the sugar refinery operated by the Sugar Manufacturing Company Limited (SCML). Industrial production increased by 2.6 per cent in 2003. Tourism Trinidad and Tobago is unusual in the Caribbean in not being dependent on tourism. The sector is relatively under-developed by Caribbean standards, accounting for around 2 per cent of the region's arrivals. Its potential as a means of economic diversification is recognised and the sector is being encouraged and promoted, especially in Tobago, where it is the only industry. The sector accounts for around 5 per cent of GDP and provides employment for 55,000 people. Visitor stop-over numbers rose steadily to 398,559 in 2000, but fell back following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. Recovery was delayed until 2003, when arrivals rebounded to a record 407,814 arrivals. Overall figures were nonetheless down, because the cruise ship business collapsed from 104,000 passengers to 55,532 in the same period. Infrastructure is improving and air routes to


Nations of the World: A Political, Economic and Business Handbook

Europe and the US are being expanded. The US is the principal market, followed by the Caribbean and the UK. Mining Trinidad and Tobago's mining sector revolves around the petroleum industry. Asphalt and pitch sand are extracted. Other minerals quarried include diorite, limestone, argillite clay and porcelainite. The world's largest supply of natural asphalt is found in La Brea on Trinidad. Hydrocarbons The petroleum sector contributes 24 per cent of GDP and crude oil accounts for more than 65 per cent of the country's export earnings. Proven oil reserves were estimated at 1.9 billion barrels in 2003, with production of around 163,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 4.4 per cent on 2002. Untapped deep water reserves are estimated at around one billion barrels, although many oil finds have not proved to be commercially viable. In 2004, Trinidad and Tobago has proven reserves of 740 billion cubic metres (cum), with reserves estimated as being much larger. Production is at 24.8 billion cum, an increase of 43.4 per cent on 2002 nearing Venezuelan production levels. The country's largest gas producer is BP-Amoco. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is exported by the Atlantic LNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago (joint owned by BP-Amoco, British Gas, Tractebel and the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago) to Spain and the US for use in electricity, industry and petrochemical production. LNG output tripled to 14.7 billion cum per annum with the construction of Atlantic LNG's third train, completed in May 2003. The government is encouraging a further 50 per cent expansion of LNG production, using offshore gas reserves discovered in 2002. The expansion, to be commissioned in early-2006, will add a fourth unit to the facility in southern Trinidad with a capacity of 5.2 million tonnes per year, which will lift exports to 15 million tonnes a year. A pipeline which will link Trinidad and Tobago to Martinique and Guadeloupe, and long run would connect the northern Caribbean. There are hopes that if successful this pipeline would be further extended to the US port of Miami. This will significantly increase Trinidad and Tobago's market for exports of natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago neither produces or imports coal. Energy The electricity sector was previously a state monopoly, but since 1994, a joint venture ­ Powergen ­ between the government, Amoco, and the Southern Electric Company of Atlanta, operates at a peak of 700MW but has capacity of 1,178MW. Banking and insurance The country has a number of international and domestic commercial banks including Citibank, Royal Bank and Scotia Bank. Central bank Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Main financial centre Port of Spain Time GMT minus four hours Geography Trinidad and Tobago lies in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Venezuela. Trinidad is the larger of the two islands, Tobago lies 32km north-east of Trinidad. The terrain of Trinidad is principally flat, although three ranges of higher land ­ peaking at almost 1,000 metres ­ cross the island from west to east. Climate The islands have a humid, tropical climate with a rainy season from June to December, and an annual temperature range between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. Dress codes Dress is generally informal and suited to the hot tropical climate. Men generally wear a shirt and tie for business meetings. Entry requirements Passports Passports are needed by all nationals entering Trinidad and Tobago except nationals of other Caricom countries, for whom other forms of identification such as ID cards and driver's licences are sufficient. Visa Required by all who are not exempt; a full list can be found at Trinidad-Tobago/trinidad14.html. Business travellers should submit an employer's letter stating credentials with the visa application form. Currency advice/regulations Travellers must not import or export more than TT$20,000 local currency. Foreign currency up to US$5,000 in value can be imported or exported. Amounts in excess of this limit must be declared on arrival and departure. Traveller's cheques are accepted. Prohibited imports Illicit drugs, weapons and explosives, specific animals (including monkeys and mongoose), animals that have died on transit, products used in relation to certain animals (such as used animal blankets and saddles) as well as dung may not be brought into Trinidad and Tobago. Health (for visitors) Mandatory precautions Yellow fever vaccination certificate if arriving from infected area. Advisable precautions Yellow fever, hepatitis 'A' , polio and tetanus vaccinations are advisable. Water precautions should be taken. Hotels A limited range of hotels is available in Trinidad and Tobago. They are generally expensive, although less so in Tobago. A 10 per cent tip is usual. A hotel room tax (in properties of 16 rooms or over) of 10 per cent has replaced value-added tax. Book well in advance if arriving during Carnival time. Credit cards Credit cards are accepted. Public holidays Fixed dates 1 Jan (New Year's Day), 30 Mar (Spiritual Baptist Liberation Shouter Day), 30 May (Indian Arrival Day), 19 Jun (Labour Day), 1 Aug (Emancipation Day), 31 Aug (Independence Day), 25 Dec (Christmas Day), 26 Dec (Boxing Day). Variable dates Good Friday, Easter Monday, Corpus Christi (May/Jun), Hindu Festival Divali, Muslim Festival Eid Al-Fitr. Any public holiday falling on a Sunday, is taken on the next Monday. Working hours Carnival (two-day event immediately preceding Ash Wednesday) is usually taken as an unofficial holiday. Banking Mon­Thu: 0800­1400; Fri: 0800­1200, 1500­1700. Business Business hours are 0800­1600. Government Mon­Fri: 0815­1630. Shops Mon­Fri: 0800­1630; Sat: 0800­1200. Supermarkets stay open later in the evenings and are open all day Saturday. Some open on Sunday. Some close on Thursday afternoon. Telecommunications Telephone/fax Although national and international phone access is widely available, the cost of calls is more expensive in Trinidad and Tobago than in most countries in the Caribbean. A US$275 million submarine fibre optic cable was installed in 2001 to provide the country with the latest telecommunications technology. Postal services Airmail to Europe and the US takes one to two weeks.


Trinidad and Tobago

Courier services The islands are served by the major international courier companies. Mobile phones Telecommunications Service of Trinidad and Tobago (TTST) dominates the cellular phone market. Internet/e-mail Internet access is available in Internet cafes and some public libraries in the major urban areas. In 2003, around 11 per cent of the population were Internet users. Electricity supply Domestic: 115 and 230V AC, 60 cycles. Industrial: 400V, 60 cycles three-phase. Weights and measures Metric system legally in use since 1981, but many traders continue to use the imperial system. Social customs/useful tips Both the social and business environment in Trinidad and Tobago are friendly and informal, and it is common to be on a first-name basis with people whom you have met before. Security The last major instance of political violence was in 1990, and the islands are generally a safe place to visit. The usual precautions against pickpockets should be taken in crowded areas. Getting there Air National airline: BWIA International (Trinidad & Tobago Airways) International airport/s: Port of SpainPiarco (POS), 25km east of city; duty-free shop, bar, restaurant, bank, post office, shops, car hire. Crown Point International, Tobago. Airport tax: International departure tax and security fee of TT$100; excluding transit passengers. Surface Main port/s: (Trinidad) Chaguaramas, Point Lisas, Port of Spain; (Tobago) Scarborough. Getting about National transport Air: There are flights approximately every half-hour operated by BWIA between Port of Spain and Tobago. Regional airline Carib Express (20 per cent owned by British Airways) based at Barbados. Road: There is an extensive road network of around 8,000km. Major highways run north-south and east-west. Traffic jams are common. Buses: Cheap and generally crowded. Water: Regular roll-on/roll-off ferries sail Port of Spain to Scarborough. Journey time five hours. A fast ferry service linking Trinidad and Tobago takes two hours 30 minutes. City transport Taxis: Shared, route taxis are widely used. Routes with standard fares operated by passenger cars bearing 'H' registration plates and two-coloured Maxi Taxis (yellow stripe in Port of Spain). Negotiate fares for regular taxis in advance. Limousine service available at airport. Taxis can be hired by distance, by the hour or by the day. Car hire National driving licences of most countries accepted for a period of three months from arrival. Insurance required. Cars drive on left. The maximum speed limit is 80kph on highways. Banking Agricultural Development Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, PO Box 154, Port of Spain (tel: 623-6261/5, 625-6539; fax: 624-3087). Bank of Commerce, PO Box 69, Port of Spain (tel: 627-9325/8; fax: 627-0904). Bank of Nova Scotia, The Scotia Building, 56­58 Richmond Street, Port of Spain (tel: 625-3566/5222; fax: 623-0256). Citibank, PO Box 1249, 12 Queen's Park East, Port of Spain (tel: 625-6445/9, 625-1046/9; fax: 624-8131; 625-6820). Citicorp Merchant Bank, 12 Queen's Park East, Port of Spain (tel: 623-3344; fax: 624-8131). CLICO Investment Bank, 1 Rust Street, St. Clair, Port of Spain (tel: 628-3628; fax 628-3639). First Citizens Bank, Park & Henry Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 623-2423, 623-2576/8; fax: 627-5956). Republic Bank Ltd, PO Box 1153, Port of Spain, Trinidad (tel: 625-3611, 623-0371; fax: 623-0371); Corner Wilson and Castries St, Scarborough, Tobago (tel: 639-2561). Royal Merchant Bank & Finance Company, 7th Floor, 55 Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 625-3511, 624-5212). The Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Head Office, Royal Court, 19-21 Park Street, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4291, 625-3764; fax: 624-4866). Central bank Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, PO Box 1250, Eric Williams Plaza, Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 625-4835; fax: 627-4696; e-mail: [email protected]; internet: Travel information Cruise Ship Complex, Port of Spain (tel: 627-4477). Piarco International Airport (tel: 664-5196). Tourist Information Office, Crown Point Airport (tel: 639-0509); Piarco Airport (tel: 669-5196). UK Information Office for Trinidad and Tobago, Unit 12 TIDCO Mall, Sangster's Hill, Scarborough (tel: 639-4333; fax: 639-4514). Ministry of tourism Ministry of Tourism, 45 St Vincent Street, Port of Spain (tel: 627-0002; fax: 625-6404). National tourist organisation offices Tourism and Industrial Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd


Telephone area codes This international direct dialling code for Trinidad and Tobago is +1-868 followed by subscriber's number. Useful telephone numbers Police: 999, 623-5191 Fire: 990 Ambulance: 990, 625-3222/3 Chambers of Commerce American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Lady Young Road, Port of Spain (tel: 627-8570; fax: 627-7405; e-mail: [email protected]). British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Building, Columbus Circle, West Moorings, PO Box 499, Port of Spain (tel: 637-6966; fax: 637-7427; e-mail: [email protected]). Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Lady Young Road, PO Box 442, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4830; fax: 623-6116; e-mail: [email protected]). Greater Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Kibon House, 1 Endevour Road, Chaguanas (tel/fax: 671-5754; e-mail: [email protected]). South Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Cross Crossing Shopping Centre, Lady Hailes Avenue, PO Box 80, San Fernando (tel: 657-9077; fax: 652-5613; e-mail: [email protected]). Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Chamber House, Columbus Circle, West Moorings, PO Box 499, Port of Spain (tel: 637-6966; fax: 637-7425; e-mail: [email protected]).


Nations of the World: A Political, Economic and Business Handbook

(TIDCO), 10-14 Phillips Street, Port of Spain (tel: 623-1932/4; fax: 623-3848); e-mail: [email protected] Ministries Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Kent House, Long Circular Road, Maraval (tel: 628-1323; fax: 622-4783). Ministry of Community Empowerment, Autorama Building, El Socorro Road, San Juan (tel: 675-6728; fax: 674-4021). Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Agostini Compound, 3 Duncan Street, Port of Spain (tel: 623-7741; fax: 625-4737). Ministry of Culture, Algico Building, Jerningham Avenue, Queen's Park East, Port of Spain (tel: 625-3012; fax: 625-3278). Ministry of Education, Hayes Street, St Clair (tel: 622-2181; fax: 628-7818). Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Level 9, Riverside Plaza, Corner Besson & Piccadilly Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 623-6708; fax: 623-2726). Ministry of Enterprise Development, Level 15, Riverside Plaza, Corner Besson & Piccadilly Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 623-2931; fax: 627-8488). Ministry of the Environment, Level 16, Eric Williams Finance Building, Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 627-9700; fax: 625-1585). Ministry of Finance, Level 8, Eric Williams Finance Building, Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 627-9700; 627-6108). Ministry of Food Production and Marine Resources, PO Box 389, St Clair Circle, St Clair (tel: 622-1221; 622-8202). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Knowsley Building, 1 Queen's Park West, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4116; fax: 627-0571). Ministry of Health, Corner Duncan Street & Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 627-0012; fax: 623-9528). Ministry of Housing and Settlements, NHA Building, Corner George Street & South Quay, Port of Spain (tel: 624-5058; fax: 625-2793). Ministry of Human Development, Sacred Heart Building, 16-18 Sackville Street, Port of Spain (tel: 624-2000; fax: 625-7003). Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Corner Richmond & London Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 625-1225; fax: 625-8070). Ministry of Integrated Planning and Development, Level 14, Eric Williams Finance Building, Independence Square, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4308; fax: 623-8123). Ministry of Labour, Manpower Development and Industrial Relations, Level 11, Riverside Plaza, Corner Besson & Piccadilly Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4241; fax: 624-4091). Ministry of Legal Affairs, 72-74 South Quay, Port of Spain (tel: 625-4586; fax: 625-9803). Ministry of Local Government, Kent House, Long Circular Road, Maraval (tel: 628-1325; fax: 622-7410). Ministry of National Security, Temple Court, 31-33 Abercromby Street, Port of Spain (tel: 623-2441; fax: 625-3925). Ministry of Sport, ISSA Nicholas Building, Corner Frederick & Duke Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 625-5622; fax: 623-4507). Ministry of Transport, Corner Richmond & London Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 625-1225; fax: 627-9886). Office of The Attorney General, Cabildo Chambers, Corner Sackville & St Vincent Streets, Port of Spain (tel: 623-7010; fax: 625-0470). Office of The Prime Minister, Whitehall, Maraval Road, Port of Spain (tel: 622-1625; fax: 622-0055). Other useful addresses Caribbean Employers' Confederation, 43 Dundonald Street, Port of Spain (tel: 625-4723). Caribbean Industrial Research Institute, O'Meara Industrial Estate, Macoya Road, Trincity, Arima (tel: 662-7161/4; fax: 663-4180). Export Development Corporation, Export House, 10-14 Phillips Street, PO Box 582, Port of Spain (tel: 623-6022/3; fax: 625-0050). Industrial Development Corporation, 10-12 Independence Square, PO Box 949, Port of Spain (tel: 623-7291/6, 623-7289). Management Development Centre, Room 212, Salvatoria Building, PO Box 1301, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4951/3). National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, Goodrich Bay Road, Point Lisas Industrial Estate, Point Lisas (tel: 636-4662; fax: 679-2384). Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (PETROTRIN), Administrative Building, Southern Main Road, Pointe-à-Pierre (tel: 658-4200, 658-4230; fax: 658-1315; e-mail: [email protected]). Shipping Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Room 12a, 64-66 South Quay, Port of Spain (tel: 623-8570). Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (TSTT), 54 Frederick Street, PO Box 971, Port of Spain (tel: 624-5756/5703; fax: 625-4585; e-mail: [email protected]). Tourism & Industrial Development of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd (TIDCO) (foreign investment proposals), 10-14 Phillips Street, Port of Spain (tel: 623-6022/3; fax: 625-0837; e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]). Tobago House of Assembly, (Foreign Investment Proposals in Tobago), Bacolet Street, Scarborough. Trinidad and Tobago Development Finance Co Ltd, PO Box 187, 8-10 Cipriani Boulevard, Port of Spain (tel: 623-4665/7, 625-4666/8; fax: 624-3563). Trinidad and Tobago Embassy (USA), 1708 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC (tel: 202-467-6490; fax: 202-785-3130; e-mail: [email protected]). Trinidad and Tobago Export Trading Company Limited, Level 4 Long Circular Mall, Long Circular Road, St. James (tel: 622-7968; fax: 628-2349). Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association, 8 Stanmore Avenue, Port of Spain (tel: 623-1029/31, fax: 623-1031). Internet sites Government website: Information on economic trends, investment opportunities, infrastructure, news and events: Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd: Prime Minister's Office: Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd: Tourism and Industrial Development Company (TIDCO): Trinidad and Tobago company database:




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