Investment Climate

Investment Climate

After over 140 years of success in oil and gas, Trinidad and Tobago has a well-established economy. The country is now the 7th largest global exporter of methanol and ammonia from a single site and the largest exporter of methanol and ammonia to the U.S market.

(Source: IHS Chemical, World Methanol Analysis 2013; FERTECON Ammonia Outlook 2014).

  • US $16,000

    GDP per capita 2017
  • 1.5%

    Inflation rate 2017
  • 3.9%

    Unemployment 2017
  • BBB+

    Standards & Poor (April 2017)
  • US $21.6 Bn

    GDP at Market Prices 2017
  • Baa3

    Moody’s Investment Grade Status (April 2017)
  • 639,200

    Labour Force

Key Productive Sectors: Contributions to GDP

Key productive sectors include Energy Sector (including Petroleum, Natural Gas and Downstream industries); Manufacturing Sector; Services Sector.

Sector%
Oil and Gas19
Manufacturing6
Services71
Source: CSO, NATIONAL ECONOMIC ACCOUNTS DIVISION GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, 2009 - 2016 AT MARKET PRICES, (CURRENT PRICES) (Millions of dollars); http://cso.planning.gov.tt/content/gross-domestic-product-data-2009-2013

Major Trading Partners

  • CARICOM
  • Venezuela
  • Cuba
  • United States of America
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • China

Major Exports

  • Crude oil
  • Liquified natural gas
  • Asphalt
  • Petrochemicals: Methanol, urea, ammonia

Manufactured Goods

  • Food, beverages and tobacco
  • Chemicals and non-metallic minerals
  • Assembly type and related products
  • Cement
  • Iron and steel

Major Imports

  • Vehicles
  • Heavy machinery and transport equipment
  • Food and beverages
  • Mineral fuels and lubricants
  • Chemicals and related products
  • Animal fats and vegetable oils

Gross Domestic Product 2016

EconomyMillions in US Dollars
Trinidad & Tobago20989
Jamaica14027
Bahamas9047
Barbados4588
Guyana3446
Belize1765
Antigua & Barbuda1449
St Lucia1379
Grenada1016
St Kitts & Nevis917
St Vincent & the Grenadines771
Dominica525
Source: World Development Indicators database, World Bank, 17 April 2017

Infrastructure

Five undersea fibre connections provide a robust and redundant core infrastructure, while we also offer reliable energy utilities and transport connections.

  • 3rd for port capacity in the English-speaking Caribbean
  • 2nd most developed road network in the English-speaking Caribbean
  • 40 direct daily flights to major international cities
  • US$0.03 / kWh One of the lowest energy costs worldwide
  • 5 modern fiber optic links - Redundant and diverse fiber-optic submarine cables
  • 52.2% Mobile Internet penetration
  • 160% Mobile Cellular Penetration

Infrastructure & Energy Ranking

Trinidad and Tobago ranks 54 out of 139 economies for Infrastructure on the GCI 2016/17 Index. Our competitive advantage results from effective modes of transportation.

Advanced road networks, major industrial ports and an efficient air transport system ensure that goods and services can get to market without major delays and workers get to their jobs with ease. Both islands have an adequate supply of electricity and an extensive telecommunications network allows free flow of information for increased economic efficiency.

CountryRank
Trinidad and Tobago54
Costa Rica67
India68
Brazil72
Jamaica77
Colombia84
Dominican Republic101
Source: World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Index 2016/17

Technological Readiness Ranking

T&T ranks 50th out of 140 countries for Technological Readiness. Advanced communication technologies, necessary for routine production processes are accessible to businesses operating in the country. These technologies also enable innovation for increased competitiveness.

CountryRank
Trinidad and Tobago50
Colombia64
Jamaica77
Dominican Republic79
Philippines83
El Salvador93
India110
Source: World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Index 2016/17

Government Incentives to Investors

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (GORTT) encourages foreign direct investment in almost all sectors, with specific focus on the non-energy targeted sectors. Generally speaking, there are no restrictions or disincentives to investment.

 

Across Sectors

  • Research and Development Facility (RDF):

(i) for a single company project - TT $500,000;

(ii) for a business alliance of two or more companies - TT $1,000,000; and

(iii) for patent registration - TT $300,000.

  • Co-Financing. Companies can enjoy reimbursement, through exporTT, for a portion of the costs associated with entry into selected export markets. A company shall receive financial support on pre-approved investments, purchases, costs or expenses.

  • Importation of Goods for temporary use. The Comptroller may give permission to any person to import any goods without payment of duty thereon, upon being satisfied that the goods are so imported for temporary use only. Special conditions are applicable. Chapter 78:01 Customs Act

 

 

Manufacturing Incentives

Fiscal Incentives are benefits granted to large scale manufacturers or processing enterprises under the provisions of the Fiscal Incentives Act, Chapter 85:01 (as amended).

Other incentives include:

  • Import Duty Concessions
  • Approved Small Company Status
  • Free Trade Zones
  • Allowances to the manufacturing sector
  • Tax exemptions for the housing sector

 

Maritime Incentives

 

  • Import Duty Concessions. Locally registered firms engaged in ship building and ship repair are allowed duty free treatment on their machinery, equipment and materials for use in the boat and ship building and repairsindustry. Third Schedule ofthe Customs Act, Chapter 78:01

  • Free Zones Status. Firms in the Maritime sector can also benefit from Free Zone Status based upon theprovisions of the Free Zones Act, Chapter 81:07; Same as Free Zones Status under the Manufacturing Sector. Free Zones Act, Chapter 81:07

 

 

 

Creative Industries Incentives

Production Expenditure Rebate Programme

  • Tax Deduction for Sponsorship of Audio, Visual and VIDEO Production
  • Tax Deduction for artisitic works
  • Tax Deduction for Production Company
  • Customs Duty Exemption

 

Tourism Incentives

The Tourism Development Act (TDA), 2000 (as amended) provides for benefits to be granted to the owners/operators of various types of tourism projects, once these projects have the potential of contributing substantially to the growth of the tourism sector. The benefits that are offered include

  • Tax exemptions on profits not exceeding 7 years.
  • A range of tax exemptions on activities related to the tourism industry.
  • Specific Customs and Excise Duty exemptions

Generally there are no restrictions or disincentives to investment. Foreign ownership of companies is permitted and welcomed under the Foreign Investment Act (1990).

 

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For more information about Government Incentives