This chapter includes the following articles.
At first glance, the newly elected government of Trinidad and Tobago faces a formidable first year, marked by one of the deepest slumps in energy prices seen in recent decades. According to provisional data by the Central Bank of T&T, the twin-island economy contracted by 2.1% in 2015, with GDP down 3% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of the year, reflecting a 5% contraction in the energy sector and a combined 1.8% decline in non-energy sectors. Meanwhile, government revenue fell by 6.2% in FY 2014/15, with a 35% decline in energy collections outstripping increases in non-energy and capital receipts. As a result, authorities have embarked on a programme of fiscal austerity and are ramping up efforts to diversify the TT$175.99bn ($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.
This chapter contains interviews with Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry; Jorge Familiar, Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank; and Gervase Warner, President and Group CEO, Massy Holdings; as well as a viewpoint from Jeffrey Sachs, Director, the Earth Institute at Columbia University.