Trinidad & Tobago
In-depth country-focused analysis on Trinidad & Tobago's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Our comprehensive assessment of Trinidad & Tobago's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Trinidad & Tobago, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Trinidad & Tobago's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Trinidad & Tobago before your competitors.

Country Risk

Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk

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Core Views:

  • Real GDP growth in Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) will accelerate in 2015, driven by stronger activity in non-energy sectors of the economy and a modest increase in energy sector output. We forecast real GDP growth of 3.0% next year, up from our projection of 2.6% this year.

  • Monetary policy in T&T will gradually tighten over the coming quarters, as the central bank responds to rising inflation by hiking interest rates. The benchmark policy rate will rise by 25 basis points (bps) to 3.25% by end-2014, and by an additional 50bps to 3.75% by end-2015.

  • T&T will continue to run large current account surpluses in the coming years, as an uptick in oil and gas production helps to offset lower energy prices. Rising foreign investment and a strong reserves position will also reinforce the stability of the islands' external...

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Trinidad & Tobago Industry Coverage (5)

Food & Drink

Trinidad & Tobago Food & Drink

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BMI View: We are turning more positive regarding economic growth in the Caribbean, as structural and financial reforms take hold in the region, tourism numbers are picking up, and growth is stronger in key western states such as the US. That said, many regional economies continue to be heavily indebted which limits general investment. We believe that general food consumption growth will be strongest in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic's case, food consumption is coming off of a very low base. Ongoing recession in Puerto Rico, one of the region's most sophisticated markets, is likely to continue in 2015.

Headline Industry Data

Forecast 2015 food consumption growth (local currency):

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Insurance

Trinidad & Tobago Insurance

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BMI View: As in previous annual reports, we think that it is still fair and reasonable to describe the Caribbean as something of a backwater in terms of the insurance sectors of the various countries. A comparison with nearby markets in Latin America indicates that the Caribbean markets are small and not particularly rapidly growing.

In all five countries that we consider - Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Barbados - a lacklustre economic environment has contained the growth of premiums and - in the life segments especially - boosted lapse rates. This has happened at a time that low interest rates and the restructuring of Jamaica's government debt have reduced investment income. Nevertheless, the major players are being proactive. As of late 2013, Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL) has introduced a new and unified brand for the entire region,...

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Oil & Gas

Trinidad & Tobago Oil & Gas

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BMI View:  Trinidad & Tobago has benefitted from a strong pipeline of upstream investment in the oil and gas sector. The impact of a closing market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in the US has been ameliorated by growing shipments to Europe, South American and Asia in particular. We continue to forecast growth in natural gas output to moderate by the end of the decade and expect only incremental gains liquids production.

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Headline Forecasts (Trinidad & Tobago 2012-2018)
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Telecommunications

Trinidad & Tobago Telecommunications

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BMI View: 2015 seems poised to be a big year for the Caribbean, with a number of major developments that could transform the telecom industries in a number of markets. The CWC acquisition of Columbus International will have a far-reaching regional impact in the broadband internet and pay-TV markets, which remain underdeveloped and ripe for growth. New players are expected in the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago, and new regulators in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados and Haiti could lead to huge improvements in the business environment. Agreements between the US and Cuba have shocked the world. Cuba represents the most attractive market in the Caribbean in terms of total size and growth opportunities, however, we don't expect to see this play out. Nonetheless, there will be massive interest from lots of international players....

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Tourism

Trinidad & Tobago Tourism

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BMI View: The Caribbean region is returning to sustained growth, with all countries expecting tourist arrivals to increase in 2015 and 2016. However, growth is expected to remain below pre-2007 levels, with regional arrivals now increasing at an average of about 3% annually. Nonetheless, we expect that improving growth prospects will encourage greater investment in the region, particularly in the hotel sector.

Our tourism report for the Caribbean considers the impact of ongoing global economic uncertainty on the Caribbean tourism industry and how the region's fiscal issues are affecting tourism arrivals. Following the decline of the financial services industry after the economic downturn hit in 2007, tourism has increased in...

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