Making Markets Work

Dec 1, 2002

Trinidad and Tobago?s embryonic capital markets could get a much-needed boost, now that the country?s 11-month political stalemate is over.

On October 7th, Patrick Manning, the leader of the People's National Movement party, became prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago after winning a parliamentary majority in elections that month. His victory ended a political deadlock that had paralyzed the country for nearly a year. Neither Manning's party nor the opposition United National Congress held a majority in the 36-member parliament. Now that Manning has a four-seat parliamentary majority and a five-year mandate, he can begin to address a number of important issues put on hold during the 11-month stalemate. Among the decisions awaiting the government are several initiatives to develop the country's capital markets.

Trinidad has prodigious offshore oil and gas reserves, and several new fields will start producing in the years ahead, generating vast amounts of foreign exchange that the country must absorb and recycle. The oil and gas sector has benefited from the $4.5 billion of foreign...

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