Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), is a twin island country off the northern edge of South America, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles.
Trinidad and Tobago usually considered part of the Caribbean, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5,128 square kilometres (1,980 sq mi) and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, with numerous smaller landforms. The two main islands are divided into nine regions, and one ward. Sangre Grande is the largest of the country’s nine regions, comprising about 18% of the total area and 10% of the total population of the country. The nation lies outside of the hurricane belt.
The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 to the capitulation of the Spanish Governor, Don José Maria Chacón, on the arrival of a British fleet of 18 warships on 18 February 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers. Trinidad and Tobago (remaining separate until 1889) were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. The country Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the richest countries per capita in the Americas after United States and Canada. Furthermore it is recognized as a high income economy by the World Bank. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the country’s economy is primarily industrial, with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country’s wealth is mainly attributable to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas.
Economy: Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) boasts a stable economy, with sound monetary and fiscal policies and a thriving financial sector. T&T traditionally an industrialized nation, with a diverse sector base.
The major sectors include: Petroleum; Manufacturing; Services (education, transport, finance, insurance, utilities, telecommunications). Additional sectors include tourism, agriculture, construction.
With access to regional and international markets of over 90 million people, the country is determined to pursue continued economic diversification. T & T is proud of its rich heritage and blend of diverse cultural influences: Amerindian, African, Indian, Portuguese, European, Spanish, Chinese, French. A multiracial and multi –religious society, that lives in harmony and respects and celebrates the differences of its people. As a result of such diversity, a multitude of festivals can be found: Carnival, showcasing calypso and steel band. Furthermore, the people of Trinidad and Tobago are a warm and vibrant people and engage in a variety of recreational activities; sailing, partying/”clubbing”, racing, dining at fine restaurants, golfing.
Education: British system of education, aligned with the Caribbean Examinations Council. Citizens enjoy free primary, secondary and tertiary education up to undergraduate level. The country possesses quality universities and private tertiary centers and has an average of 6,000 university graduates per year. 98% Literacy rate.
Labor Standards: A mixture of skilled and semi skilled workforce. Increasing numbers of knowledge based professionals and highly skilled engineering and ICT professionals, with regional and international experience.
Incentives: Some of the incentives offered include:
- Manufacturing: Exemption from customs duties on the construction of an approved project, as well as value added tax and income tax on dividends; an approved small company is entitled to a tax credit equal to twenty-five percent of the chargeable profits, for a period of five years; free trade zones incentives
- Creative Industries: The Production Expenditure Rebate Program provides cash rebates of 12.5%, 15% or 30% in areas such as the rental of local equipment, supplies and services; the Revolving Investment Arrangement (RIA) programme provides financial assistance of up to 70% of any project for entertainment practitioners with major projects related to the entertainment industry.
- All sectors: Grant funding is available to non-energy manufacturing and service businesses for research and development initiatives; upon making an investment in a registered venture capital company, investors can receive a tax credit in the amount of 30% of the investment made; an approved company carrying out business in a regional development area is entitled to a tax credit equal to 25 per cent of the chargeable profits for a period of seven years.
The energy sector is the mainstay of the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. The contribution to GDP by the energy sector is approximately 35%. Trinidad and Tobago is currently the largest global exporter of methanol and ammonia from a single site, as well as the sixth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world.
Competitive Advantages: Below are the strengths of Tobago’s product:
- Its topography combines the best of South America (lush rainforests and wide variety of plant and animal life) with the best of the Caribbean (sun, sand and superior dive sites);
- The rich culture of Tobago, steeped in West African tradition combined with the ethnic diversity of its sister isle Trinidad, creates in Tobago a haven of exotic, flavorful cuisine;
- Solid road networks and infrastructure, ICT communications;
- One of the most superior diving locations in the region;
- International airlift serviced by four (4) airlines and
- Political stability
- Tax exemption on profits not exceeding seven 7 years,
- Tax exemption on profits from the initial sale of villas, condominiums and sites thereof within an Integrated Resort Developments;
- An accelerated depreciation of depreciable equipment owned by the owner or operator and used in an approved product;
- A capital allowance in respect of approved capital expenditure incurred by the owner or operator in the creation of a new tourism project or expansion of an existing tourism project;
- A carry-over of losses from a tax exemption period arising out of the operation or renting of an approved tourism project;
- Tax exemption on the dividend received by a non-resident shareholder if the recipient is not liable to tax on the dividend in his country of residence and
- Owner or operator of a vehicle imported for use in an approved tourism project shall be exempt from the payment of motor vehicles tax.
Products & Services
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