|Trinidad Tobago Economy|
The country of Trinidad & Tobago is situated in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea. It lies off the coastline of Venezuela, to the north-east and is to the south of the island of Grenada. It is made up of two main islands, of which Trinidad is the larger. The islands cover quite a substantial area, 1,980 square miles in total and have a combined population of approximately 1.3 million people. Trinidad & Tobago used to use the East Caribbean Dollar (as many of the Caribbean territories and nations do today) but since changed to its own Trinidad & Tobago Dollar. The Trinidad & Tobago economy benefits from several industries that sustain the country and provide it with a high level of economic growth.
Early Days of Agriculture
The island of Trinidad has an ancient history but was settled by Western foreigners as early as 1530. There then followed a long period of the islands being inhabited by the Spanish and new laws granting free land for Roman Catholic foreign settlers saw an influx of people from Ireland, Scotland, Germany and Italy.
Trinidad & Tobago was hugely affected by the French Revolution in 1789 and as a result its economy blossomed. The production of sugar cane and cocoa became apparent on the islands and the agricultural industry sustained the country right up until the early 20th century. Tobago, on the other hand, was settled in the 16th century by the Dutch and the mainstays of its economy were tobacco and cotton. The two islands became an independent nation in 1962.
Industry Growth in Trinidad & Tobago Economy
One of the biggest contributors to the present day Trinidad & Tobago economy is the industrial sector. In particular, Trinidad & Tobago is noted worldwide for its investments in the production and exportation of petroleum, petrochemicals, fertilisers, steel and aluminum. In recent years the country has benefited from interest in the natural gas sector of the industry and this is an area that is seeing a lot of growth.
Indeed, the whole of the oil and gas sector is doing very well on the islands and the country is one of the leading producers in the Caribbean area. Overall, the oil and gas industry accounts for 40% of Trinidad & Tobago's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rate and for 80% of the exports leaving the country. The flip-side of this is that the sector only employs around 5% of the available workforce (which totals approximately 629,000).
Trinidad & Tobago Remains a Hot Spot for Tourists
One area that is growing at a slow but steady rate to help the Trinidad & Tobago economy is tourism. Unlike the majority of other Caribbean islands and nations, Trinidad & Tobago is not heavily dependent on tourism and sees fewer visitors gracing their shores every year than the likes of Jamaica or St Lucia. This has resulted in the growth of the tourism sector taking a back seat, but the government has ensured that the infrastructure of the country is being improved, such as an extensive network of paved roads, reliable telecommunication services and the construction of new buildings. All of this is good news and will make it easy for the country to attract more tourists in the future, should it need to boost its economic growth.
With the continuance of growth of the oil, gas and the industrial sector as a whole, there is little doubt that the Trinidad & Tobago economy will continue to go from strength to strength in the near future. Of course, there is a large reliance on foreign investment to ensure that this can happen but with an excellent reputation under its belt, the Trinidad & Tobago economy looks set to remain stable and should weather any potential issues that arise.