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  • Trinidad and Tobago

    Trinidad and Tobago

    Development Challenges 

    Trinidad and Tobago is one of the largest economies in the Caribbean, with a GDP of US$26,8 billion. The oil and gas sector contributes to almost half of the GDP and represents than two thirds of its merchandise exports . The economy was severely affected by the financial crisis, falling energy prices and the collapse of a large financial conglomerate established in the country. As a result, the GDP contracted by 3,5% in 2009 , after 15 years of uninterrupted GDP growth at an average annual rate of 7% . A leading Caribbean producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas to the United States, Trinidad and Tobago also supplies manufactured goods and cement to the Caribbean and has evolved into a financial centre for the region. Trinidad and Tobago is considered a high income country, with a GDP per head of US$20,300 , and shows a high human development, ranked 62nd out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Despite the macroeconomic framework and institutional stability of the country, Trinidad and Tobago still faces some development challenges, including:

    • Diversify the economy out of the oil and gas sector
    • Vulnerable to natural disasters (including droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes)
    • Insecurity and instability
    • Promote good governance
    • Large informal sector
    • Strengthen the business environment, especially the regulations to enforce contracts and register property

    Key Trade Issues

    • Attract Foreign Direct Investment, especially to the energy sector
    • Further economic and commercial regional integration within CARICOM
    • As a CARIFORUM member, further implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement between this regional group and the EU
    • As part of CARICOM, finalise negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada
    • Develop relationships with neighbouring Venezuela and LNG importers such as the United States

    Government Priorities
    Trinidad and Tobago aims at becoming a knowledge-based economy and the regional economic hub . The government objectives are described in the National Strategic Development Plan for Vision 2020.

    • Economic growth and diversification
    • Increase economic gains and improve environmental quality
    • Improve the education and health system
    • Reduce incidence of HIV/ AIDS
    • Improve the standard of living
    • Improve infrastructure- transportation, communication and ICT access
    • Increase emphasis on science and technology
    • Preserve the environment


    Trade and Tariff Graphs

    Graphs of the country’s export markets, its export performance in a key sector and tariffs exporters of a sample product face.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The map uses color codes to illustrate the relative size of different markets in the overall exports of the country shown in pink.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The vertical axis shows import values by key importing countries, while the horizontal axis shows export values by the country for the same sector. I.e. the country has gained market share in the case of an importing country at the bottom right of chart and lost market share for countries top left. The size of circles is proportional to market size.
    Market access map sample Market access map sample: The world map shows trade values and tariff levels for a key export product by importing countries. Color codes indicate protection levels. Red circles denote trade volumes.

    Trade and Investment Data

    Detailed data on the country’s export performance, key imports and foreign investment, grouped by product and service categories (HS and BOP).

    Trade Information Sources

    A listing of country specific print and online publications on trade related topics. Includes information from both ITC and external sources.

    Trade Contacts

    The most important trade contacts, including importers’ and exporters’ associations, trade support institutions, trade promotion organizations and institutions providing business development assistance.