Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.
Trinidad and Tobago (TT) is a high-income, small island developing country with a GDP per capita of approximately $15,243 and an annual GDP of $21.4 billion in 2021. It has the largest economy in the English-speaking Caribbean due to natural gas and petrochemical production. In 2020, the oil and gas sector accounted for 17 percent of GDP and 73 percent of export earnings, lower than usual due to declining natural gas production and the COVID-19 pandemic-driven economic recession.
The United States remains TT’s largest trading partner, accounting for 50 percent of the country’s imports and 41.4 percent of TT’s exports in 2021. Major categories of U.S. exports include petroleum oil, machinery, chemicals, plastics, and food and beverage products.
TT’s investment climate is generally open and most investment barriers have been eliminated. Major issues affecting companies are long delays in obtaining foreign exchange, inefficient government bureaucracy, crime, low labor productivity, and corruption.
Top five reasons to export to TT:
- TT is a high-income country with close cultural, social, and economic ties to the United States.
- TT has a strong appetite for imported products and U.S. products are considered high quality goods.
- TT is buffered by foreign reserves that currently provide 8 months of import cover, and a sovereign wealth fund.
- TT’s business environment is generally open and most barriers to trade have been eliminated.
- TT benefits from a stable democratic political system.
Political & Economic Environment: State Department’s website for background on the country’s political environment.