Trinidad and Tobago - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
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Selling to the Government

Opportunities to sell to the government exist in digital transformation, alternative energy feasibility studies, healthcare, construction, and public utilities.  The GoTT tends to engage foreign suppliers in these areas more willingly, however, when bids come with financing proposals.  Competitiveness factors like price, value, training, and post-sale service are important elements of any bid.  Agencies publish tender announcements in the three daily newspapers and also on the government website under “Active Tender Notices Online.”  There are approximately 100 government ministries and state companies with the authority to purchase goods and services, but no standardized procedures. The GoTT is in the process of establishing a new procurement regime but has not established a deadline for final proclamation and full implementation. The new government procurement regime permits non-competitive, direct awards for government-to-government purchases.

TT is not a party to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.  Some U.S. firms have identified a lack of transparency as an obstacle to foreign direct investment, specifically in public procurement.  TT’s public procurement processes suffer from the widespread perception of corruption and opacity. 

U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy.  A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies.  The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts.  Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales.  Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract.  Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB).  A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Trade Finance Guide.  The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

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