ROUNDTABLE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Oiling the cogs

Jul 1, 2014

Trinidad and Tobago is pushing ahead with plans to diversify its energy-dependent economy. Its prospects were debated at a recent high-level LatinFinance roundtable. ?By Katie Llanos-Small

Among Caribbean economies, Trinidad and Tobago stands out. The country has benefitted from an economy based on oil and gas, which has proved stable over the years of global stagnation — in contrast to its agriculture and tourism-dependent neighbors.

The country has escaped debt restructurings stemming from heavy international financial burdens, another problem that has plagued economies in the region.

And, since overtaking the Bahamas in 2011, the country is the Caribbean economy that receives the second highest volume of foreign direct investment. Dominican Republic tops it marginally, according to UN data. (Financial hubs British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, which lead the Caribbean rankings, are excluded here).

Yet the country still faces risks. One is clear: its oil and gas reserves are limited, and extracting profit from them will get increasingly difficult.

But there are others. Some stem from its size: "As a small island state, it means you...

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