After more than 100 years in the oil and gas industry , Trinidad & Tobago has the developed infrastructure for a manufacturing hub in the English-speaking Caribbean, with large clusters in food and beverage, chemical/non-metallic minerals and assembly-type related industries.
T&T’s manufacturing industry is the country’s 3rd largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after Energy and Services. It includes industries across 7 distinct sub-industries.
The largest sub-industry - Food, Beverages and Tobacco - includes the production of alcoholic beverages, carbonated beverages, juices, cereals, chocolate, confectionery, canned foods, baked goods and tobacco products. There are over 11,000 people employed in this sub-industry, with approximately 270 registered manufacturers. Source: Review of the Economy 2014 – Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago
Research and Development
T&T is home to the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), a leading industrial research centre in the Caribbean which has been in existence for over 40 years. CARIRI has a cadre of modern laboratories and trained specialist professionals, technologists, technicians, consultants and researchers. It provides manufacturers with invaluable services for laboratory and field testing, research and development, and training
Products made in T&T can be found on the shelves of households throughout CARICOM. According to data provided by the Central Statistical Office (2011), of all products exported from Trinidad and Tobago, 95% were produced locally. The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) indicates that more than 200 manufacturers operate in T&T.
Why invest in Manufacturing?
Low Business Costs
T&T is 1st for cost effectiveness in Central America and the Caribbean. Electricity rates start as low as US $0.03 kWh, offering investors access to some of the lowest energy costs in the Western Hemisphere.
Easy Access to Raw Materials for Manufacturing Input
Downstream energy commodities produced in significant quantities in T&T include urea, melamine, bitumen and asphalt. The country’s location also offers easy access to mineral rich South American countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and Brazil.
Located to the north-east of Venezuela, Trinidad lies 11km, at its closest point, from the South American mainland, and approximately 12 miles off the international shipping lanes to the USA and European Union. The island provides an ideal location for importing raw materials from South American countries for processing and exportation.
Two International Ports
T&T is unique among Caribbean nations with the presence of two separate ports capable of handling international containerized cargo, as well as other types of cargo such as dry and liquid bulk and RORO carriers. These ports are in the capital, Port of Spain, and on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.
In 2013, Port of Spain was ranked the 3rd highest container port throughput in the Caribbean, experiencing a 4.2% increase in container traffic from 2012. Shipping lines with regular service to the ports at Port of Spain and Point Lisas include Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), CMA CGM Group, Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco, Zim, Bernuth and Hamburg Sud. Inclusive of these, over 63 shipping lines use ports in Trinidad and Tobago transporting containerized cargo to and from the USA, Europe, UK and the Far East.
Sources: Infrastructure Services Unit – NRID – ECLAC – United Nations, 2013
Market Access to 947 million consumers
T&T is a member of the CARICOM Customs Union which gives it market access to 16 million people located among 15 member nations of CARICOM. CARICOM has also signed several bilateral trade agreements with various nations and entities, and these also offer manufacturers located in T&T market access to a global export market of approximately 947 million people.
Educated, Skilled Workforce
In 2014, T&T had a workforce of approximately 649,100, of whom 56,500 are in manufacturing industries. The country has an attractive policy for tertiary education and this has led to approximately 7,000 tertiary level graduates across a wide range of disciplines. Manufacturing industries benefit from skilled labour trained in Mechanical, Chemical, Instrumentation and Process Engineering, Management Studies and IT related disciplines.
Locations/ location options
There are 8,611 acres of space allocated for industrial and business development in T&T. Currently 19 industrial parks provide ready facilities via 7,203 acres of real estate to manufacturing industries throughout the country.
Other real estate options exist in The Cove Eco Industrial and Business Park in Tobago, providing 140 acres of developed land lots and the Tamana InTech Park in Trinidad providing 1,100 acres of real estate. The development of the Piarco Aeropark Park by the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago will offer 168 acres of prime real estate just a stone's throw away from the Piarco International Airport.
Additionally, 617 acres are allocated for the establishment of an integrated Silicon Industrial Cluster, including individual Metallurgical Silicon, Polysilicon, Float Glass and Integrated Photovoltaic manufacturing plants.
Investment Opportunities exist in the following areas: