Trinidad & Tobago: Meeting Place of the Americas
Trinidad and Tobago, the gateway to the Caribbean and South America for international investors. These two beautiful tropical islands set between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean have transformed themselves into a regional economic powerhouse. In fact, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – which celebrated its 50th anniversary from Great Britain in 2012 – now has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Just one look at Port of Spain’s skyscraper-filled skyline shows that this is an economy on the move.
Trinidad, the country’s business hub, is the largest and more populous of the two islands and is home to sophisticated Port of Spain, the capital city. Much smaller Tobago is known for its exceptional natural beauty and was named “Best Eco Destination” at the World Travel Awards. The two islands are united under a stable, business-friendly government. Trinidad and Tobago: two fascinating, high-potential investment opportunities in one.
Finance and Economy
Trinidad and Tobago’s solid economy has earned high marks from international ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard and Poors. In fact, Trinidad and Tobago’s ratings are among the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Already recognized as a top financial-services hub for the CARICOM market, Trinidad and Tobago aims to position itself as an international financial-services centre. The right fundamentals are already in place: a vibrant economy; a well developed financial-services sector that contributes more than a third of the islands’ non-energy GDP; skilled, multilingual human resources; and a dominant role in the regional financial-services industry.
Financial-sector initiatives are part of the government of Trinidad and Tobago’s drive to diversify the economy and encourage value-added production, new innovation-based activities and a boost in exports. From the famed Angostura bitters to iron, steel, beverages, fish, cut flowers, sugar, candy, rum, financial services, ICT and more, all kinds of products and services have growth potential. Trinidad and Tobago is looking for investors who can help fast-forward its ambitious diversification strategy.
Works and Infrastructure
As an island nation whose economy depends on regional and international trade, Trinidad and Tobago has developed world-class infrastructure that includes five airports, over 8,000 kilometers of roads, cutting-edge telecommunications systems, oil and gas pipelines, an oil terminal at Galeota Point, extensive ferry services, and four ports. In fiscal year 2011 alone, Trinidad and Tobago invested more than US$708 million in building or improving its roads, bridges and drainage infrastructure, and many more projects are in the works.
Trinidad and Tobago is also expanding and upgrading its airports and ports. Piarco International Airport on Trinidad and ANR Robinson International on Tobago are both served by a growing list of global carriers, and Piarco International has carved out a niche as a leading aviation center. The state-of-the-art port at Port of Spain, the islands’ top shipping gateway as well as a cruise-ship and ferry-services hub, handled 380,000 TEUs of cargo in 2011 and is set for continued strong growth.
The first oil well was drilled on Trinidad way back in 1857, and petroleum quickly became the country’s main economic driver. Today, as Trinidad and Tobago’s many onshore and offshore rigs prove, the oil-and-gas sector continues to thrive. It is dominated by state-owned Petrotrin and the National Gas Company and has attracted a long list of big-name international players. Fifty-six new oil wells were drilled in Trinidad and Tobago in the first nine months of 2011 alone, while BP Trinidad and Tobago recently discovered an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of gas in its Savonette field off the islands’ east coast.
Planning and Development
Trinidad and Tobago invested more than US$7.4 billion in public-sector development projects in 2011 as part of its commitment to building a strong, sustainable economy for the future. The government’s ambitious development strategy for 2011 to 2014 covers all kinds of initiatives, while the Chaguaramas Development Authority recently opened a stunning, eco-friendly new boardwalk and plans many other innovative projects. Trinidad and Tobago is transforming itself every day, and international investors are welcome to participate.
As a tourism destination, Trinidad and Tobago has it all: beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, a colorful culture celebrated in lively festivals year-round, a welcoming English-speaking population, exceptional adventure and eco-tourism opportunities, the greatest biodiversity of any islands in the Caribbean, and, to top it off, state-of-the-art facilities and services for business travelers. Visitors can laze on a beach in the morning, eat lunch in a fine restaurant, hike in a pristine rainforest in the afternoon and dance the night away to the irresistible steelpan. The Vision 2020 diversification plan aims for tourism to play a leading role in Trinidad and Tobago’s sustainable economic growth and job creation.
Conclusion: A cutting-edge business hub, a leading financial-services center, a high-potential investment target in a wide range of sectors, a unique tourism destination, and the ideal gateway to Caribbean and Latin American markets: the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is all this and more. Come see for yourselves everything that these two exceptional islands have to offer.