According to countryaah, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the oldest petroleum producing countries in the world, and revenues from this sector are of great importance to the country’s economy. Petroleum exploration on land started as early as 1902, with production starting a few years later, and in 1955 petroleum was also found at sea. It was previously assumed that oil deposits would end around 2003–05, but new major discoveries of oil and natural gas in the 1990s and 2000s brought new growth. Revenue from the petroleum business has been used to establish other industries, and Trinidad and Tobago have become one of the more industrialized countries in the Caribbean.
Until recently, Trinidad and Tobago have had the region’s most extensive state-controlled economy. From the beginning of the 1980s, the country experienced financial problems due to falling oil prices and related products. As the economic problems increased, the International Monetary Fund contributed to liberalization of the economy. a large part of the former state-owned enterprises were privatized. From the latter part of the 1990s, the economy showed signs of recovery, but as in so many other countries, this occurred at the expense of the country’s social development, and the proportion of poor people increased.
Agriculture and fisheries have a modest economic scope, and in 2004 the sector contributed only 0.9% of GDP and employed approx. 5% of the working population. In the same year, industry and mining contributed about 50% of GDP and employed approx. 30% of the working population. Service industries have been growing rapidly, and contributed in 2004 with nearly half of GDP and employed close to 2 / 3 of the working population. The tourism industry represents a significant part of this, and is also an important source of foreign currency. Various tourist facilities such as hotels, harbors etc. have been improved to attract more tourists, and the country receives around 400,000 visitors annually. Around 1/3 coming from the US.
In 2005, GDP per household was estimated at USD 12,900.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
The earth is partly volcanic in origin and very fertile. The cultivation of sugar on large plantations was formerly the main industry in the country, but today sugar accounts for a very small part of export revenue. In 2004, 680,000 tonnes were produced, which is half of the 2002 production. Oranges, cocoa and coffee are also grown for export. Corn, sweet potato, vegetables and rice are also grown, mostly for their own consumption. The livestock team includes pigs, cattle, goats, sheep and chickens; In addition, beekeeping is run with honey production. Trinidad and Tobago were formerly net exporters of food, but now have large food imports.
Some forestry is being run. Of the annual harvest around 90,000 m 3 is 2/3 to the industrial processing (sawn timber, pulp and paper) and the rest of the fuel.
Fishing is of no great economic importance, but is important in the local diet.
After considerable efforts on oil and gas exploration, new big discoveries were made in the 1990s that gave rise to optimism for the industry. In the mid-2000s, production was 7405 million m 3. Trinidad and Tobago have the world’s largest occurrence of natural asphalt (bitumen) in Pitch Lake. Cement and limestone are also extracted.
The chemical and petrochemical industries are significant. There are petroleum refineries in Pointe-à-Pierre and Point Fortin with large production and exports of petroleum and petroleum products. Trinidad and Tobago are among the world’s largest producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ammonia. Artificial fertilizers, plastic and glassware, as well as electronic equipment are also produced. Near the capital there are also iron and steel mills and cement industry; in addition, the electronics industry, the textile and clothing industry and the production of food and beverages (juice, sugar, rum etc.).
Trinidad and Tobago have a current account surplus abroad. The main export goods are petroleum and petroleum products. In addition, chemicals (ammonia, etc.), textiles and food and beverages are exported; machinery and means of transport are partially re-exported. The country has significant imports of machinery (oil drilling equipment etc.) and transport equipment, as well as industrial finished goods and food products. Trinidad and Tobago have a surplus in the balance of trade abroad. According to Countryaah, the United States is the most important trading country in terms of both exports and imports.
Transport and Communications
The road network is well developed, with approx. 8300 km of public roads. Main ports are Port of Spain, Pointe-à-Pierre and Point Lisas in Trinidad, and Scarborough in Tobago. Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Crown Point in Tobago.