Trinidad and Tobago have one of the strongest
economies in the Western Hemisphere, thanks to large oil
and natural gas resources. However, declining natural
gas production and falling prices, as well as increasing
competition in the world market, have led the economy to
shrink for several years.
The economy is different from the Caribbean
neighbors. Tourism, small-scale manufacturing and
agriculture play less role in Trinidad and Tobago.
Instead, extraction of natural gas and crude oil and
industrial activities linked to these assets dominate.
Major imports by Trinidad and Tobago, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
The energy sector normally accounts for just over
one-third of gross domestic product (GDP) and 80 percent
of exports (but only a small proportion of employment).
Oil production became the country's largest industry
already in the 1940s. Rising oil prices in the 1970s led
to rapid growth. A decline followed when prices fell in
the 1980s, but with the help of foreign loans,
privatizations of state-owned enterprises and an
investment in natural gas (see Natural Resources and
Energy), followed real growth from the 1990s.
High energy prices contributed to an average growth
of 8 percent in 2000-2007, well above the regional
average. The booming economy enabled investments in
infrastructure as well as social investments such as
increased pensions and minimum wages.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including TTO which represents the country of Trinidad and Tobago. Check
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Then came the collapse in connection with the global
financial crisis of 2008. A weak recovery for a few
years was followed by the sharp fall in prices in the
energy market from 2014. Growth was negative for several
years. In the long term, not only declining natural gas
assets are a problem, but also competition from shale
gas in the US and production of liquefied natural gas in
Qatar, among others.
The dependence on oil and gas revenues has prompted
Trinidad and Tobago to try to develop other economic
areas since the 1980s. Investments have been made in IT,
the hospitality industry and the financial sector.
Success has been limited, but the country has developed
into something of a regional financial center. There are
several banks, financial institutions and insurance
High crime and stingy bureaucracy are among the
things that deter foreign investors. The United States
classifies Trinidad and Tobago, as do most countries in
the region, as a country where money laundering is
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 16,844 (2018)
US $ 23,410 million (2018)
0.7 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
0.5 percent (2018)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
15.9 percent (2018)
The service sector's share of GDP
57.1 percent (2018)
0.9 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
45.1 percent (2018)
Trinidad / Tobago Dollar
Assistance per person
US $ 3 (2010)