Trinidad and Tobago: Economy
Trinidad and Tobago has a very sophisticated economy for a country of its size, embracing mineral extraction, agriculture, industry, tourism and servic. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the Caribbean’s wealthiest nations. Hydrocarbons account for more than 40 percent of GDP and 80 percent of exports. Prime Minister Keith Rowley of the center-left.
In the s, Trinidad and Tobago was an upper-middle-income, oil-exporting country that was highly dependent on the world price of oil for its economic growth. The nation displayed the econimy gross domestic product of the Commonwealth Caribbean, one of the highest per capita GDPs among the nations of the Western Hemisphere, and one of the highest standards of living in the developing world.
The major sectors of the economy were petroleum and petrochemicals, construction, services, and agriculture. Petroleum had fueled the economy since the early twentieth century and in still represented roughly 24 percent of GDP and 80 percent of exports. Oil reserves at the current rate of extraction were expected to last approximately ten years, but the islands enjoyed large reserves of natural gas. New petrochemical plants, utilizing the country's natural gas resources, came on-stream in the early s and included ammonia, urea, and methanol.
These hzve industrial projects were located at the what does it mean to chastise someone built Point Lisas industrial park, which, along with the park's new iron and steel plant, provided Trinidad and Tobago with an industrial base that was unmatched throughout the Caribbean.
Construction, the major employer in the economy and often considered the bellwether of general economic activity, expanded rapidly during the oil boom of the s but contracted greatly in the s. Services, such tovago financial services and utilities, also had expanded rapidly since the s and played a major role in the economy; by contrast, tourism was rather trinixad when triidad with other Caribbean islands.
The agricultural sector was suffering from a long-run decline, but growth in domestic agriculture in the s helped to revive that shrinking sector, albeit only partially. In the postwar era, the economy experienced two great boom decades, both of which were followed by decades of slow or negative growth.
Real GDP growth averaged 8 percent in the s as the economy diversified into manufacturing and construction through lyrics to oh what a night by the four seasons use of import substitution industrialization see Glossary strategies.
Growth in import substitution manufacturing and the economy as a whole waned in the late s, exacerbating the hobago unrest at the end of the decade. The quadrupling of oil prices in revived the economy and created a 9. Trinidadians and Tobagonians, nicknamed the "Arabs of the Caribbean," were known throughout the region in the s for the carnival of consumption that they participated in with their instant oil wealth.
The downturn doess oil prices inhowever, plummeted the economy into a deep trjnidad in from which the country had not emerged by Negative growth tyype inwhen the economy contracted by nearly 11 trinidav.
Even with cyclical growth, the citizens benefited from a quality of life that surpassed that of not only most other Caribbean islands but of other Western Hemisphere oil exporters such as Mexico and Venezuela as well. The country also enjoyed a literacy rate higher than Italy's, a per capita energy consumption rate that exceeded Britain's, a per capita newspaper circulation above that in several Western European countries, an income distribution comparable to that of the United States, and an access to electricity and potable water that was better than most developing countries.
Nevertheless, the country also suffered problems associated with more developed societies, including pollution, econpmy consumption, entrenched labor disputes, and growing drug abuse. As in other Caribbean countries, chronic unemployment, which had climbed to 17 percent bywas the major social problem. In addition, Trinldad Indians and women lacked the same economic opportunities as white or black males; these disparities were narrowing, however. Unlike other Caribbean nations, Trinidad and Tobago benefited immensely how to do absolutely everything the energy crisis of the s.
The oil boom of the s flooded the national treasury, cut the unemployment rate in half, created large balance of payments surpluses, and stimulated the economy at large. Nonetheless, it also devastated the agriculture sector, which declined 25 percent because of the resulting shortages of laborers, who migrated to west coast cities for higher wages. Although the boom was reversed in the early s, Trinidad and Tobago's accumulated wealth permitted it to weather the impact of the international recession better than most developing countries trinidxd avoid the debt crisis that confronted its neighbors.
Although some charges of government waste and corruption were voiced during the s and s, sufficient discipline in public finance prevailed to allow the country to elude the fiscal crisis that confronted other oil-exporting, developing nations such as Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria.
In the late s, Trinidad and Tobayo displayed a mixed economy that allowed for hve level of government involvement second only to that in Cuba among the countries whwt the Western Hemisphere. The large role in the economy of subsidies, transfers, and joint ventures between the government and the private sector created an intertwining of the public and private sectors that often blurred distinctions between them.
During the s, the government purchased a share in over fifty major companies in banking, insurance, agriculture, utilities, and manufacturing. As a consequence, the government also became the largest single employer in the country. Although Trinidad and Tobago was a country where capitalism generally flourished, free enterprise, especially the foreign sector, was highly regulated by the government.
Trinidad and Tobago was a very open economy, dependent on the export of oil what role did davy crockett play in the alamo purchase large amounts of imported food, consumer goods, and capital goods. Oil represented approximately 80 percent of exports, whereas food togago for as much as 20 percent of imports haev the late s. Trinidad and Tobago was the most important exporter of oil to the United States from the Caribbean Basin.
The country supplied nearly 50 percent of that region's oil exports to the United States, as well as 18 percent of the region's total exports to tobaggo same market.
Unlike virtually every other Caribbean country, Trinidad and Tobago generally enjoyed yearly trade and balance of payments surpluses.
Once a donor nation that aided its poorer Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago in the late s was increasingly in need nad external financing to weather its economic adjustment period. For more recent information about the economy, see Facts about Trinidad. Caribbean Islands Table of Contents In the s, Trinidad and Tobago was an upper-middle-income, oil-exporting country that was highly dependent on the world whta of oil for its economic growth. Custom Search Source: U.
Library of Congress.
Natural Resources of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago: Economy. Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest economic growth rates as well as per capita incomes in Latin America. Note: Top 3 trade partners are calculated by imports + exports. Petroleum and Petroleum Products; Liquefied Natural Gas (Lng); Methanol; Ammonia. View this answer Trinidad and Tobago has a mixed economy, with some industries under private control, while others are under government control. The two islands have See full answer below. Trinidad and Tobago has a mixed economic system in which there is a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by native Amerindian peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire , following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Trinidad and Tobago is well known for its African and Indian cultures, reflected in its large and famous Carnival , Diwali , and Hosay celebrations, as well being the birthplace of steelpan , the limbo , and music styles such as calypso , soca , rapso , parang , chutney , and chutney soca.
Historian E. However, other authors dispute this etymology with some claiming that cairi does not mean hummingbird tukusi or tucuchi being suggested as the correct word and some claiming that kairi , or iere , simply means island. Several waves of migration occurred over the following centuries, which can be identified by differences in their archaeological remains. Trinidad was known to the native peoples as "Ieri" "Land of the Humming Bird". Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Trinidad, on his third voyage to the Americas in Meanwhile, there were numerous attempts by European powers to settle Tobago during the s, with the Dutch, English and Couronians people from the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia , now part of Latvia all attempting to colonise the island with little success.
The 17th century on Trinidad passed largely without major incident, but sustained attempts by the Spaniards to control and rule over the Amerindians were often fiercely resisted. Among those killed in the governor's party was Juan Mazien de Sotomayor, missionary priest to the Nepuyo villages of Cuara, Tacarigua and Arauca. During this period Trinidad was an island province belonging to the Viceroyalty of New Spain , together with Central America, present-day Mexico and the southwestern United States.
In , the captain general Luis de Unzaga 'le Conciliateur', married to a French Creole, allowed free trade in Trinidad, attracting French settlers and its economy improved notably.
During that period of upheaval, French planters with their slaves, free coloureds and mulattos from the neighbouring islands of Martinique , Saint Lucia , Grenada, Guadeloupe and Dominica migrated to Trinidad, where they established an agriculture-based economy sugar and cocoa. As a result, Trinidad's population jumped to over 15, by the end of , and by the population of Port of Spain had increased from under 3, to 10, in just five years, with a varied population of mixed race individuals, Spaniards, Africans, French republican soldiers, retired pirates and French nobility.
The British had begun to take a keen interest in Trinidad, and in a British force led by General Sir Ralph Abercromby launched an invasion of Trinidad. British rule led to an influx of settlers from the United Kingdom and the British colonies of the Eastern Caribbean. English, Scots, Irish, German and Italian families arrived, as well as some free blacks known as " Merikins " who had fought for Britain in the War of and were granted land in southern Trinidad.
In Daaga, a West African slave trader who had been captured by Portuguese slavers and later rescued by the British navy, was conscripted into the local regiment. Daaga and a group of his compatriots mutinied at the barracks in St Joseph and set out eastward in an attempt to return to their homeland.
The mutineers were ambushed by a militia unit just outside the town of Arima. The revolt was crushed at the cost of some 40 dead, and Daaga and his party were later executed at St Joseph. After the African slaves were emancipated many refused to continue working on the plantations, often moving out to urban areas such as Laventille and Belmont to the east of Port of Spain. The British filled this gap by instituting a system of indentureship.
Various nationalities were contracted under this system, including Indians, Chinese, and Portuguese. Indentureship contracts were sometimes exploitative, to such an extent that historians such as Hugh Tinker were to call it "a new system of slavery".
Despite these descriptions, it was not truly a new form of slavery, as workers were paid, contracts were finite, and the idea of an individual being another's property had been eliminated when slavery was abolished. However, coercive means were often used to retain labourers, and the indentureship contracts were soon extended to 10 years from after the planters complained that they were losing their labour too early.
Few Indians settled on Tobago however, and the descendants of African slaves continued to form the majority of the island's population. An ongoing economic slump in the middle-to-late 19th century caused widespread poverty.
In , a protest against the introduction of new water rates in Port of Spain erupted into rioting; 18 people were shot dead, and the Red House the government headquarters was damaged by fire. In November , the dockworkers went on strike over bad management practices, low wages compared to a higher cost of living. On 1 December , the striking dockworkers rushed the harbour and chased off the strikebreakers.
Other unions and workers, many with the same grievances, joined the dock worker's strike making it a General Strike. The unity brought upon by the strike was the first time of cooperation between the various ethnic groups of the time. However, in the s, the collapse of the sugarcane industry, concomitant with the failure of the cocoa industry, resulted in widespread depression among the rural and agricultural workers in Trinidad, and encouraged the rise of a labour movement.
Conditions on the islands worsened in the s with the onset of the Great Depression , with an outbreak of labour riots occurring in which resulted in several deaths. Petroleum had been discovered in , but became economically significant only in the s and afterwards as a result of the collapse of sugarcane and cocoa, and increasing industrialisation.
The collapse of Trinidad's major agricultural commodities, followed by the Depression, and the rise of the oil economy, led to major changes in the country's social structure. The Americans vastly improved the infrastructure on Trinidad and provided many locals with well-paying jobs; however the social effects of having so many young soldiers stationed on the island, as well as their often unconcealed racial prejudice, caused resentment.
In the post-war period the British began a process of decolonisation across the British Empire. In universal suffrage was introduced to Trinidad and Tobago. The government of Trinidad and Tobago subsequently chose to seek independence from the United Kingdom on its own. Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August Eric Williams of the PNM, a noted historian and intellectual widely regarded as The Father of The Nation , became the first Prime Minister , serving in that capacity uninterrupted until The s saw the rise of a Black Power movement , inspired in part by the civil rights movement in the United States.
Protests and strikes became common, with events coming to head in April when police shot dead a protester named Basil Davis. Some army leaders who were sympathetic to the Black Power movement, notably Raffique Shah and Rex Lassalle , attempted to mutiny; however, this was quashed by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
In Tobago was struck by Hurricane Flora , which killed 30 people and resulted in enormous destruction across the island.
Between the years and , the country profited greatly from the rising price of oil and the discovery of vast new oil deposits in its territorial waters, resulting in an economic boom that increased living standards greatly.
Williams died in , being replaced by George Chambers who led the country until By this time a fall in the price of oil had resulted in a recession, causing rising inflation and unemployment. Robinson becoming the new Prime Minister. Since the country entered a second oil boom, and petroleum, petrochemicals and natural gas continue to be the backbone of the economy.
Tourism and the public service are the mainstay of the economy of Tobago, though authorities have attempted to diversify the island's economy. It is located in the far south-east of the Caribbean region, with the island of Trinidad being just 11 kilometres 6.
Trinidad is 4, km 2 1, sq mi in area comprising Tobago has an area of about km 2 sq mi , or 5. Trinidad and Tobago lie on the continental shelf of South America, and are thus geologically considered to lie entirely in South America. The terrain of the islands is a mixture of mountains and plains. The three mountain ranges determine the drainage pattern of Trinidad. The island contains several large swamp areas, such as the Caroni Swamp and the Nariva Swamp.
Trinidad is made up of a variety of soil types, the majority being fine sands and heavy clays. The alluvial valleys of the Northern Range and the soils of the East—West Corridor are the most fertile. The majority of the population reside on the island of Trinidad, and this is thus the location of largest towns and cities.
The main town on Tobago is Scarborough. South of this, the Central Range fold and thrust belt consists of Cretaceous and Eocene sedimentary rocks , with Miocene formations along the southern and eastern flanks. The Naparima Plain and the Nariva Swamp form the southern shoulder of this uplift.
The Southern Lowlands consist of Miocene and Pliocene sands, clays, and gravels. These overlie oil and natural gas deposits, especially north of the Los Bajos Fault. The Southern Range forms the third anticlinal uplift. The rocks consist of sandstones , shales , siltstones and clays formed in the Miocene and uplifted in the Pleistocene. Oil sands and mud volcanoes are especially common in this area.
Trinidad and Tobago has a maritime tropical climate. Winds are predominantly from the northeast and are dominated by the northeast trade winds. Unlike many Caribbean islands Trinidad and Tobago lies outside the main hurricane alleys; nevertheless, the island of Tobago was struck by Hurricane Flora on 30 September In the Northern Range of Trinidad, the climate is often cooler than that of the sweltering heat of the plains below, due to constant cloud and mist cover, and heavy rains in the mountains.
Because Trinidad and Tobago lies on the continental shelf of South America, and in ancient times were physically connected to the South American mainland, its biological diversity is unlike that of most other Caribbean islands, and has much more in common with that of Venezuela.
On 1 August , Trinidad and Tobago ratified the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity , and it has produced a biodiversity action plan and four reports describing the country's contribution to biodiversity conservation. These reports formally acknowledged the importance of biodiversity to the well-being of the country's people through provision of ecosystem services. Information about vertebrates is good, with bird species 2 endemics , about mammals, about 90 reptiles a few endemics , about 30 amphibians including several endemics , 50 freshwater fish and at least marine fish.
There are at least 47 species of snakes, including only four dangerous venomous species only in Trinidad and not in Tobago , lizards such as the green iguana , the Tupinambis cryptus and a few species of fresh water turtles and land tortoises. Of the amphibians, the golden tree frog is found only in the highest peaks of Trinidad's Northern Range and nearby in those of Venezuela 's Paria Peninsula. Trinidad and Tobago is noted particularly for its large number of bird species, and is a popular destination for bird watchers.
Notable species include the scarlet ibis , cocrico , egret , shiny cowbird , bananaquit , oilbird and various species of honeycreeper , trogon , toucan , parrot , tanager , woodpecker , antbird , kites , hawks , boobies , pelicans and vultures ; there are also 17 species of hummingbird, including the tufted coquette which is the world's third smallest.
Information about invertebrates is dispersed and very incomplete. About butterflies,  at least beetles from Tobago alone  and 40 corals  have been recorded.
Although the list is far from complete, 1, species of fungi, including lichens, have been recorded. Information about micro-organisms is dispersed and very incomplete. Nearly species of marine algae have been recorded. Thanks to a recently published checklist, plant diversity in Trinidad and Tobago is well documented with about 3, species 59 endemic recorded. The country had a Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6. Threats to the country's biodiversity include over-hunting and poaching see Hunting Trinidad and Tobago , habitat loss and fragmentation particularly due to forest fires and land clearance for quarrying, agriculture, squatting, housing and industrial development and road construction , water pollution, and introduction of invasive species and pathogens.
Trinidad and Tobago is a republic with a two-party system and a bicameral parliamentary system based on the Westminster System. The Prime Minister is elected following a general election which takes place every five years. The President is required to appoint the leader of the party who in his or her opinion has the most support of the members of the House of Representatives to this post; this has generally been the leader of the party which won the most seats in the previous election except in the case of the General Elections.
Since Tobago has also had its own elections, separate from the general elections. In these elections, members are elected and serve in the unicameral Tobago House of Assembly. Parliament consists of the Senate 31 seats and the House of Representatives 41 seats, plus the Speaker.
The 41 members of the House of Representatives are elected by the people for a maximum term of five years in a " first past the post " system.
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