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Country Profile

Introduction

Welcome to the Trinidad and Tobago Gas Investment Guide. In setting out the investment attributes of this twin-island republic, this guide provides investors with a comprehensive and panoramic view of the investment climate in Trinidad and Tobago in general and of its natural gas sector in particular.

History

  • Christopher Columbus landed in Trinidad in 1498
  • Trinidad and Tobago enjoined in 1889
  • Independence from Britain – 31st August 1962
  • Republican status 24th  September 1976

Geography

map-of-tt

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is a twin-island state covering an area of 5,128 square kilometres (sq. km). The most southern of the chain of Caribbean islands, it is located about 10 km off the north-east coast of Venezuela. Its geographic coordinates are between 10° 2′ and 11° 12′ N latitude and 60° 30′ and 61° 56′ W longitude.

The islands’ geographic location in the Tropics means that they experience sunny conditions year round with the exception of periods during the rainy season. T&T is also in the path of, and influenced by, the regular blowing of the Northeast Trade Winds.

The total land area of the larger island Trinidad is 4,828 sq. km while that of the smaller island Tobago is 300 sq. km. Tobago lies 33 km to the north-east of Trinidad and is 20 minutes away from Trinidad by air and 2½ hours away by fast ferry.

The city of Port of Spain, which is the national capital and administrative centre, is located in the north-west of Trinidad. The administrative capital of Tobago is Scarborough.  The second city, San Fernando, which is known as the industrial capital of the country, is located in the south of Trinidad, 64 km from Port of Spain.

Point Lisas, which lies on the west coast between Port of Spain and San Fernando, is the site of the largest industrial estate in the Caribbean. The famous La Brea pitch lake the largest source of natural asphalt in the world, and the Atlantic LNG Plant are both located in the south-west of Trinidad.

Time Zone

T&T is on Greenwich Mean Time minus four hours. In winter, it is on US Eastern Standard Time plus one hour and in summer, it is on US Eastern Standard Time.

Climate

Average temperatures are approximately 32 degrees centigrade in the day and 25 degrees in the night.  There are two seasons, a dry season, which runs from January to May, and a wet season, which runs from June to December.  Average rainfall is approximately 2,000 mm. The islands lie to the south of the hurricane belt.

Population

2016 projections estimate the population at 1.3 million. The labour force was 641,900 with a participation rate of 60.0% and an unemployment rate of 3.3% by the end of 2015.

Education

T&T’s education system is modelled after the English system. Education is free up to undergraduate level at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). The certification provided at secondary school level is adequate for matriculation and entry-level programmes at regional universities and tertiary institutions in the U.K. and the U.S.A., based on the institutions’ requirements for a particular course of study.

T&T has many vocational schools and skills training programmes, all of which ensure a ready, available and well-trained work force of 500,000. UWI, UTT and other training providers offer a wide range of training in disciplines relevant to the energy sector. In-house and on-the-job training opportunities are provided by most operating companies.

Human Development

In 1990, the UN introduced the Human Development Index (HDI), which provides a composite measure of three basic dimensions of human development, (health, education and income), as an alternative to conventional indices of national development which focus mainly on economic measures. The average annual HDI growth for Trinidad and Tobago between 1990 to 2015 is 0.61% and the country has been rated with an HDI of 0.78. This gave T&T in 2015 a rank of 65 out of 188 countries with comparative date. The average HDI for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015 was 0.751, placing T&T above the regional average.

Language

The official language is English. Since 2004, the Government has been taking concerted action to make Spanish the first foreign language of T&T. To this end in 2004, Government initiated Spanish as the First Foreign Language Initiative ((SAFFL) project and established the Secretariat for the Implementation of Spanish (SIS), which is now located in the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training.