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Trade and Investment Opportunities

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Trinidad and Tobago is the Place for Business and is ideally situated as the Gateway to doing Business in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Trinidad and Tobago encourages trade and investment and has created an investor friendly environment by developing enabling legislation, modern infrastructure, air and sea connectivity, a well educated work force, market access to neighbouring markets through trade agreements and a stable political and economic environment.

Investment in Trinidad and Tobago

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) encourages Foreign Direct Investment in almost all sectors. Generally speaking, there are no restrictions or disincentives to investment. The Heritage Foundation index of economic freedom index for 2006 ranks Trinidad and Tobago fifth in Latin America and the Caribbean and 42nd worldwide out of 161 countries.

Foreign ownership of companies is permitted and welcomed under the Foreign Investment Act (1990). Many foreign companies are operating in Trinidad and Tobago in various sectors including commercial banking, air-courier services, airlines and insurance. Some companies have shown interest in setting up of electric power companies, oil and gas operations, petrochemical plants and a desalination plant. Investors are at present in negotiations with the Trinidad and Tobago government to build an aluminum smelter and plants for manufacture of petrochemicals and iron and steel, as well as gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago generally only gets involved in foreign investments when the investor is seeking government incentives or concessions such as tax holidays, duty-free imports of equipment and materials, or exemption from VAT on inputs. The government also becomes involved when an investor wishes to lease land in one of the government-owned industrial parks, and when a planned activity requires a licence, such as mining or drilling. Nationals and non-nationals are generally treated equally with respect to obtaining licences.

The government has encouraged foreign investment in several state enterprises, which were partially divested in the last few years. In nearly every case, foreign investors have purchased large minority holdings in privatised firms through various arrangements with the government.

Doing Business in the Energy Sector

Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is bolstered by its oil and natural gas resources. The energy sector accounts for 40 percent of government revenue and 70% of its exports. Crude oil production started in the early 1900s, hitting its peak in the 1970s which is generally viewed as a prosperous decade for the country. Today as the oil reserves deplete, it is being replaced by the large natural gas reserves which currently stand at 17.3 trillion cubic feet.

Government is currently focusing on developing downstream energy industries which use natural gas as one of its inputs, including petrochemicals (methane, ammonia and urea), fertilizers, iron, steel and aluminum plants.

Doing Business in the Non-Energy Sector

In recognition of the non-renewable energy resources, Government has begun a diversification plan to develop the non-oil sector by targeting the following non-energy sectors for development:

  • Fish and fish processing
  • Printing and packaging
  • Food and Beverage
  • Leisure and Merchant Marine
  • Entertainment – Film, Music, Arts, Theatre, Dance
  • Tourism
  • Services

Investment Opportunities 2012-2013

Trade & Investment Info

Avoidance Double Taxation Agreement-India
Bilateral Trade Agreements
Cost of Doing Business
Downstream Energy Industry
Exciting Opportunities
Food and Beverage Sector
Guide to Investing in Trinidad and Tobago
Hotel Investment
ICT Industry
IPPA India
Merchant Marine Industry
Overview of Doing Business
Seafood Industry
Tamana Intech Park, Trinidad
Yatching Industry