Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago holds the 84th most competitive economy in the world (2012–13, World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report) as well as one of the highest GDP growth and per capita income rates in Latin America. In 2011 manufacturing contributed 19.3% of GDP and the whole industry sector accounting for an estimated 57.8% of GDP in 2012 (CIA World Factbook). The country is classified 69th out of 185 countries by the World Bank for ease of doing business, a ranking based on how conducive the regulatory environment is to the opening and operation of a local firm. The same study places Trinidad and Tobago 23rd in the world for getting credit and 25th for protecting investors. Industry workers made up around a third of total employment in 2008 (32.2%, World Bank) and industrial production was estimated to be shrinking at a rate of -0.5% in 2012 (CIA World Factbook). Annual value added growth of manufacturing slowed significantly between 2010 and 2011, dropping from 61% to 1% (World Bank).
Trinidad and Tobago is the leading oil and gas producer in the Caribbean, with products also including petroleum and petroleum products, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and chemicals. Oil production eased up in the 21st century with the country focussing more on the extraction of natural gas, which generates income as well as provides affordable electricity for the people. The country’s GDP is fuelled by investments into LNG, steel and petrochemicals, with changing market values resulting in a drop in growth in 2009–11. In 2012, oil and gas totalled around four fifths of all exports and two fifths of GDP while employing 5% of the labour force. Other products include steel, cement, cotton textiles, food and beverages.
Holding one of the largest economies in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has evolved into a regional financial hub. The economy was hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis during which time its GDP growth rate halved.
Crime and bureaucratic hurdles are listed as obstacles to attracting further foreign direct investment and business into Trinidad and Tobago, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Exports are estimated to have totalled US$13.61 billion in 2012, down from $14.86 billion in 2011 (CIA World Factbook). Products are exported to Argentina, Chile, Jamaica and Spain, although the US remains Trinidad and Tobago’s main trade partner, receiving 40.3% of exports in 2012 (CIA World Factbook). Imports, again partnering the country mainly with the US, largely consist of machinery, minerals, chemicals and live animals.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report gives Trinidad and Tobago a production process sophistication value of 3.9 out of 7 where 7 is the most sophisticated, ranking it 54 out of 144 countries.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) is an umbrella organisation covering groups involved in the services sector in the country. TTCSI works to identify opportunities for alliance, business and trade on a global scale, as well as to promote the development of the services sector, the largest sector in the country’s economy.