Although low oil and gas prices in 2015 had a negative economic effect on Trinidad and Tobago, the current government is pursuing a series of reforms aimed at both strengthening the energy sector and diversifying the wider economy.
Economy: Brighter Future
The authorities have embarked on a programme of fiscal austerity and are ramping up efforts to diversify the $27.1bn economy. According to IMF projections, GDP growth is expected to resume in 2017, but not before an estimated contraction of 1.1% in 2016.
Energy: Adding Local Value
Although liquefied natural gas output fell in the second half of 2015, refinery production rebounded following the completion of upgrades at the state-owned Petrotrin plant, while ammonia and urea output was up from a relatively low base in 2014.
Industry: Niche Market
Despite having the largest manufacturing base of any CARICOM country, Trinidad and Tobago’s manufacturing sector has fallen below 10% of GDP. To reinvigorate growth, the country is looking to leverage competitive segments, including its strong food and beverage industry, which grew by 6.8% in 2015.
Banking: Growth Driver
Contributing around 11% of GDP, the financial sector has outpaced broader economic expansion for the past five years. In 2015 the twin-island nation’s GDP contracted by 2.1%, while the financial sector grew by 1.9%.