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Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Flag of Trinidad and Tobago Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago
Motto
Together we aspire, together we achieve
Anthem
Forged from the Love of Liberty
Map of Trinidad and Tobago
CapitalPort of Spain
Government Republic and parliamentary
President
- From 2003George Maxwell Richards
Prime Minister
- From 2010Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Legislature Parliament
- Upper houseSenate
- Lower houseHouse of Representatives
History
August 1, 1976Established
Commonwealth accessionAugust 31, 1962
Area5,131 km²
Population
- 20111,310,000
 Density255.3/km²
GDP2011 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 26.3 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 20,137
CurrencyTrinidad and Tobago dollar
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
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The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary republic in the Caribbean.


Background

First colonized by the Spanish, the islands came under British control in the early 19th century. The islands' sugar industry was hurt by the emancipation of the slaves in 1834. Manpower was replaced with the importation of contract laborers from India between 1845 and 1917, which boosted sugar production as well as the cocoa industry. The discovery of oil on Trinidad in 1910 added another important export. Independence was attained in 1962. The country is one of the most prosperous in the Caribbean thanks largely to petroleum and natural gas production and processing. Tourism, mostly in Tobago, is targeted for expansion and is growing. The government is coping with a rise in violent crime.[1]

Economy

Trinidad and Tobago has earned a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and has one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Economic growth between 2000 and 2007 averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, GDP has slowed down since then and contracted about 3.5% in 2009, before rising more than 2% in 2010. Growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and steel. Additional petrochemical, aluminum, and plastics projects are in various stages of planning. Trinidad and Tobago is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas, and its economy is heavily dependent upon these resources but it also supplies manufactured goods, notably food products and beverages, as well as cement to the Caribbean region. Oil and gas account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of exports, but only 5% of employment. The country is also a regional financial center, and tourism is a growing sector, although it is not as important domestically as it is to many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. The previous MANNING administration benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues which will challenge the new government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment.[2]

President

  • George Maxwell Richards () (Mar 17, 2003 - )


Prime Minister

  • Kamla Persad-Bissessar () (May 26, 2010 - )

Nation

Trinidadian Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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