At the Forefront

Mar 1, 2005

Oil wealth is often considered a curse, but Trinidad & Tobago – behind the foresight of its leaders – has built the Caribbean's most dynamic economy on a large and well-managed oil and gas industry.

Unlike Venezuela, which has suffered economic and political crises throughout its recent history, Trinidad has posted 12 consecutive years of solid growth. Last year alone, the economy grew 6.2%, its best performance since 2000. Average incomes of more than $7,000 a year are among the highest in the region, losing only to Barbados. Oil and gas prices are likely to remain high this year and next, so economists are forecasting 5% to 6% growth through 2006.

Trinidad's leaders had the foresight to focus investment in the country's natural gas industry as oil reserves began dwindling. The country has become the main foreign supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the US east coast. Last year, Train III, a new LNG plant, came...

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