Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a small, English-speaking Caribbean island country located just seven miles off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. Trinidad and Tobago has a high education level and a literacy rate of 97 percent. Its per capita GNP (US$3,670 in 1991) 1 is the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the economy is experiencing difficulties as the country is burdened with a large foreign debt (US$2.1 billion in early 1992) and a high unemployment rate (about 23% in 1991), although the GDP growth rate has taken a positive turn since 1990 following years of negative growth.
The abundant oil and natural gas resources, in addition to a well-developed heavy industry infrastructure, enabled the island state to become one of the most prosperous countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, especially in the 1970s. The Trinidad and Tobago economy has been based on oil and gas for two decades. Oil revenues allowed the country to embark on a rapid industrial and infrastructural development program that generated a dramatic increase in domestic consumption of oil in the 1970s. 2 However, Trinidad and Tobago has been in a recession since the end of 1982, owing to its slow adjustment to declining world oil prices. The country experienced an urban unemployment rate of over 20 percent during the late 1980s. During 1990-1991, real GDP grew by an average of 2.4 percent a year. However, real GDP declined again by 0.1 percent in 1992 and by 1 percent in 1993. 3
The most important primary energy sources in Trinidad and Tobago are natural gas and oil. In 1991, the country produced 279,500 boe/d of primary energy, down from 292,500 boe/d in 1980 (Figure 8.1). In 1992, the primary energy