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macrohistory & world report

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Map locatons of Trinidad and Tobago

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Trinidad and Tobago attracts considerable foreign direct investment from international businesses, particularly in energy, and has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8% per year, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, GDP has slowed down since then and contracted during 2009-2011 due to depressed natural gas prices and changing markets. Growth had been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas, petrochemicals, and steel with additional upstream and downstream investment planned. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources. It also supplies manufactured goods, notably food products 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. Oil production has declined over the last decade as the country focused the majority of its efforts on natural gas. The current administration has been working to arrest this decline by opening bid rounds and providing fiscal incentives for investments in on-shore and deep water acreage to boost oil reserves and production. The government keeps a close watch on the changing global gas markets and has shown flexibility in diversifying natural gas export destinations. Although Trinidad and Tobago enjoys cheap electricity from natural gas, the renewable energy sector has recently garnered increased interest. The country is also a regional financial center with a well-regulated and stable financial system. Other sectors the Government of Trinidad and Tobago targeted for increased investment and projected growth include tourism, agriculture, information and communications technology, and shipping. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus with the US. The US is Trinidad and Tobago's leading trade partner. The previous MANNING administration benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues, challenging the current government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment. Crime and bureaucratic hurdles continue to be the biggest deterrents for attracting more foreign direct investment and business."

Economic growth rate
2011: minus 1.4%
2010: minus 0.6%
2009: minus 3.5%

Work force in agriculture
2007: 3.8%

Pulic debt
2011: 31.7%

Exports/imports
2011: exports are 161.6% of imports in cash value, a favorable balance.

Exports petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers

Health expenditures
2009: 5.6% of GDP

People

Living in an urban area
2010: 14%

Density for 2005: 212 persons per square kilometer.

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 6.76 persons per 1,000 population

Ethnic groups
2000 census: Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8%

Religions
2000 census: Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, Muslim 5.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other Christian 5.8%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9%

Geography

Trinidad is 2 kilometers off the coast of Venezuela. Tobago is the smaller island, about one kilometer wide and 40 kilometers long and 40 kilometers north Trinidad. Together the islands are equivalent to 71.6 by 71.6 kilometers or roughly 45 by 45 miles. Tropical. Some hills and low mountains.

Government

Parliamentary democracy. President elected by members of the legislature (Senate and House) for a five-year term. Legislators are elected by popular vote for five-year terms. Capital: Port-of-Spain.

Recent History

Independence from Britain in 1962.

SOURCES:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.