Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...
has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Recent growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas
Liquefied natural gas or LNG is natural gas that has been converted temporarily to liquid form for ease of storage or transport....
(LNG), petrochemicals, and steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...
. Additional petrochemical, aluminum, and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but it also supplies manufactured goods, notably food and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment.
The country is also a regional financial center, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. Economic growth reached 12.6% in 2006 and 5.5% in 2007 as prices for oil, petrochemicals, and LNG remained high, and as foreign direct investment continued to grow to support expanded capacity in the energy sector.
Trinidad and Tobago's infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...
is adequate by regional standards. A major expansion of the Piarco International Airport
Piarco International Airport is the main airport serving Trinidad and Tobago located in Piarco, a town in northern Trinidad, about east of the capital city, Port of Spain. It is one of two international airports serving the twin isle republic. The other is located on the island of Tobago, A.N.R...
in Trinidad, the country's main airport, was completed in 2001. There is an extensive network
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...
of paved road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...
s, and utilities are fairly reliable in the cities. Some areas, however, especially rural districts, still suffer from water shortages. The government is addressing this problem with the construction of additional desalinization plants. Infrastructure improvement, especially rural roads and telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...
service, drainage and sewerage, are among the government's budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...
Telephone service is relatively modern and reliable. Mobile phone service
Mobile telephony is the provision of telephone services to phones which may move around freely rather than stay fixed in one location. Mobile phones connect to a terrestrial cellular network of base stations , whereas satellite phones connect to orbiting satellites...
is widespread and has been the major area of growth for several years. Digicel
Digicel is a mobile phone network provider covering parts of Oceania, Central America, and the Caribbean regions. The company is owned by Irishman Denis O'Brien, is incorporated in Bermuda, and based in Jamaica. It provides mobile services in 26 countries and territories throughout the Caribbean...
LaqTel Ltd. is a privately held up-start mobile phone and wireless service provider, of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently a division of Telcom Holdings Ltd. , LaqTel was first founded in 2002 by Dr...
were granted cellular licenses in 2005, breaking TSTT's monopoly. The Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...
has come into widespread use, although service can be slow at peak times. The government has been slow to open up this market to competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...
Economic aid - recipient:
$200,000 (2007 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.761 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
1 Trinidad and Tobago dollar
The dollar is the currency of Trinidad and Tobago. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively TT$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents...
(TT$) = 100 cents
Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TT$) per US$1 :
6.4200 (2011 est)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$12.44 billion (2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.419 billion (2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$15.57 billion (2006)
1 October - 30 September