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Market Overview of Trinidad and Tobago

The two islands of Trinidad and Tobago are in the Lesser Antilles, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Trinidad and Tobago is a high-income developed country with a GDP per capita of over US$15,700 and an annual GDP of US$22 billion. It has the largest economy in the English-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and is the third most populous country with 1.4 million inhabitants.

Despite its challenges, Trinidad and Tobago is buffered by significant foreign reserves and a sovereign wealth fund. It is also the world’s largest exporter of ammonia and methanol and is the sixth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Market Opportunities

Trinidad and Tobago is a small island state with a trade surplus thanks to hydrocarbon and petrochemical wealth. Its population is accustomed to a high and steadily increasing standard of living, but the country is without capacity to meet most of its needs internally, so it must import. Trinidad and Tobago imports over 70 percent of its food, primarily from the U.S.

There is a small but vibrant light manufacturing sector and maritime services sector. A high crime rate creates a need for safety and security products. Information and Communication Technology are in demand. Entertainment and tourism related equipment and services may have potential. The government is actively seeking tourism investment projects which will have spin-off effects for equipment and other products.

Market Entry Strategy

Visiting the market and making personal connections with local partners, agents, distributors or clients is the optimal strategy to enter the TT market. Many businesses are family-run and are well-established over several years with significant goodwill in the local community.

A local partner may be required to apply for government procurement projects. Any company interested in entering the Trinidad and Tobago market should conduct extensive due diligence before committing.

Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investments

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Medical Equipment
  • Oil and Gas
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Telecommunications

Read the complete Country Commercial Guide for Trinidad and Tobago, an excellent starting point to find everything you need to know about doing business overseas.


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