035_Global13_Spotlight_Tri&Tob

Global 13

SpotlightTrinidad and Tobago In addition, several pieces of legislation – such as the Companies Act, Fiscal Incen- Tobago Key data tives Act, Value Added Tax etc – are being Scarborough•  Population: 1,341,000 (2010) amended so as to remove burdensome pro- cedures and regulations which adversely  Ethnic groups: Indian (40%), African affect the business community. In January (37.5%) and others 2012, the Electronic Transactions Act was  Literacy: 98.8% proclaimed into law, which now allows the •Port of Spain  Life expectancy: 70 years state to transact business in the electronic  Capital: Port of Spain (pop: 57,000) realm. Trinidad  Land area: 5,128 km2 Earlier this year 2012, there were over  GDP: US$26.49 billion (2011 est.) 13 state agencies across various ministries in Trinidad and Tobago in which potential  GNI per capita: US$15,380 (2010 est.)San Fernando• investors had to interact with. The cabinet  Main exports: petroleum and petroleum in August 2012 streamlined the portfolios products, liquefi ed natural gas, of each of these agencies, and assigned methanol, ammonia, steel products, InvesTT – a subsidiary of Evolving Tec- Venezuela beverages, cereal, sugar, cocoa Knologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited (eTecK) – as the offi cial tion to expand and strengthen trade rela- a peaceful and stable democratic nation. Investment Promotion Agency. This will al- tions with Latin American countries, given Additionally, considering the chang- low for a smoother and better coordinated the geographic proximity and increasing ing patterns in world trade and investment investment facilitation process in Trinidad purchasing power of its citizenry. We have fl ows, such countries as Brazil, China, and Tobago. commenced initiatives with such countries South Africa and India also emerge as We are also strengthening entrepreneur- as Panama, Guatemala and El Salvador. We candidates for future engagement. We are ship. Under the Ministry of Labour and consider these to be important markets, es- therefore actively seeking to enhance our Small and Micro Enterprise Development, pecially for the exports of goods and serv- relationships with these countries. the National Integrated Business Incubator ices from the non-energy sector. programme focuses on pre-incubator train- Our traditional sector, energy, requires Economic diversifi cation from oil and ing and incubator services and fi nancing in us to engage other economies whose eco- natural gas is proving to be a diffi cult goal community-based centres. nomic activities are aligned to this industry. to achieve by successive governments in Here we envisage trade and economic rela- Trinidad and Tobago, including yours. What With which countries or regions does your tions with a number of African and Asian are the special diffi culties being faced by government see its future trade and eco- countries. your government in this regard? nomic relationships, and why? Economic diversifi cation for countries Trinidad and Tobago continues to value its Economic diversifi cation blessed with an endowment of natural re- However, it is absolutely essential that it is not a quick-fi x solution, ernments worldwide, including Trinidadsources has been a challenge for many gov- existing trade and economic relationships. deepens its existing relationships and ex- it has to be sustained in and Tobago. pands with other countries as we promote The special diffi culties faced by my ad- the growth and diversifi cation of our econo- the medium and long ministration are not new but are issues that my. In the area of trade, Trinidad and Toba- have posed challenges to previous admin- term. It requires political go envisages consolidation of relationships istrations as well. The special diffi culties with its traditional trading partners, such as will and fortitude to water are: vulnerability of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, Canada, Europe and our international economic environment; risk neighbours within the Caricom region. and nurture the seeds of aversions of local businessmen; very lim- The USA is our main trading partner. diversifi cation, through ited value added to products and lack of ca- In 2011, total trade with the USA was ap- pacity and ability to adapt technology and proximately US$7 billion. It is also the the economic ups and to innovate; outdated legal/regulatory and highest source of inward investment for institutional/administrative frameworks for energy and non-energy products and serv- downs, to take deep roots private sector activities; productivity lev- ices sectors (66 percent in 2010). Europe and bear fruit els; and very limited foreign investment is our second largest partner through the in the non-energy sector. CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership However, my administration remains Agreement. We are assiduously working towards committed to broadening the role played by Caricom is our third largest trading part- making Trinidad and Tobago the gateway the non-energy sector of the economy. In- ner, and that market is critical as the region to the Americas, as it is ideally positioned deed, in 2012, the growth in the non-petro- seeks to deepen the integration process. geographically. We have also signifi cantly leum industry (estimated at approximately Canada is our sixth major export market integrated Spanish into our society, in or- 1.9 percent) is expected to outperform the for energy and non-energy products, espe- der to facilitate more robust trade with our petroleum industry and will also be the fi rst cially for the large diaspora community in South American partners. time since 2009 that this sector of the econ- Toronto and Ottawa. Our progressive economy is consistently omy has achieved positive growth. My administration has stated its inten- bolstered by our international reputation as Under the auspices of the Ministry of globalfirst quarter 2013 www.global-briefing.org l35


Global 13
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