The Republic of TRINIDAD
& TOBAGO


 

Also known as: Land of the Humming Bird
Motto: Together we Aspire, Together we Achieve

History 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.

Geography  
Location: Southernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles. Separated from Venezuela by the 11 km (7 miles) strait of the Gulf of Paria.  The two islands are linked by a  30 km (19 miles) strait.
Geographic coordinates: 11 00 N, 61 00 W
Area: total: 5,128 sq km
country comparison to the world: 180
land: 5,128 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries: 0 Km
Coastline: 362 Km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin
Climate: tropical; rainy season (June to December)
Terrain: mostly plains with some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: El Cerro del Aripo 940 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, asphalt
Land use: arable land: 14.62%
permanent crops: 9.16%
other: 76.22% (2005)
Natural hazards: outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
Environment - current issues: water pollution from agricultural chemicals, industrial wastes, and raw sewage; oil pollution of beaches; deforestation; soil erosion
Geography - note: Pitch Lake, on Trinidad's southwestern coast, is the world's largest natural reservoir of asphalt

People  
Population 1,229,953 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.6% (male 123,214/female 117,584)
15-64 years: 72.6% (male 457,868/female 434,486)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 41,467/female 55,334) (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.102% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 14.36 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate: 8.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate: -7.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 13% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Trinidadian(s), Tobagonian(s)
adjective: Trinidadian, Tobagonian
Ethnic groups: Indian (South Asian) 40%, African 37.5%, mixed 20.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.8% (2000 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 26%, Hindu 22.5%, Anglican 7.8%, Baptist 7.2%, Pentecostal 6.8%, Muslim 5.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4%, other Christian 5.8%, other 10.8%, unspecified 1.4%, none 1.9% (2000 census)
Languages: English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.1%
female: 98% (2003 est.)
People - note: in 2007, the government of Trinidad and Tobago estimated the population to be 1.3 million

Government  
Name: conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Port-of-Spain
geographic coordinates: 10 39 N, 61 31 W
Administrative divisions: 9 regional corporations, 2 city corporations, 3 borough corporations, 1 ward
regional corporations: Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo, Diego Martin, Mayaro/Rio Claro, Penal/Debe, Princes Town, Sangre Grande, San Juan/Laventille, Siparia, Tunapuna/Piarco
city corporations: Port-of-Spain, San Fernando
borough corporations: Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin
ward: Tobago
Independence: 31 August 1962 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 31 August (1962)
Constitution: 1 August 1976
Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President George Maxwell RICHARDS (since 17 March 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Patrick MANNING (since 24 December 2001)Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning (born August 17, 1946) is the current Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Trinidad and Tobago and Political Leader of the People's National Movement (PNM). He served as Prime Minister between 17 December 1991 to 9 November 1995 and since 24 December 2001, as Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990 and from 1995 to 2001. He has been the Political Leader of the PNM since 1987.

A geologist by training, Prime Minister Manning has served as Member of Parliament for the San Fernando East constituency since 1971 and is currently the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives.[1]

Manning received his secondary education at Presentation College, San Fernando Bachelor's Degree from the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica in 1969. After graduation he returned to Trinidad where he worked as a geologist for Texaco. He entered Parliament in 1971 representing the San Fernando East constituency

cabinet: Cabinet appointed from among the members of Parliament

elections: president elected by an electoral college, which consists of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 February 2008 (next to be held by February 2013); the president usually appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives

election results: George Maxwell RICHARDS reelected president; percent of electoral college vote - NA
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (31 seats; 16 members appointed by the ruling party, 9 by the President, 6 by the opposition party to serve a maximum term of five years) and the House of Representatives (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held on 5 November 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote - PNM 46%, UNC 29.7%; seats by party - PNM 26, UNC 15

note: Tobago has a unicameral House of Assembly with 12 members serving four-year terms; last election held in January 2005; seats by party - PNM 11, DAC 1
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Judicature (comprised of the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeals; the chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition; other justices are appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission); the highest court of appeal is the Privy Council in London; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
Political parties and leaders: Congress of the People [Winston DOOKERAN]; Democratic Action Congress or DAC [Hochoy CHARLES] (only active in Tobago); Democratic National Alliance or DNA [Gerald YETMING] (coalition of NAR, DDPT, MND); Movement for National Development or MND [Garvin NICHOLAS]; National Alliance for Reconstruction or NAR [Dr. Carson CHARLES]; People's National Movement or PNM [Patrick MANNING]; United National Congress or UNC [Basdeo PANDAY]
International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, FAO, G-24, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Glenda MOREAN-PHILLIP
chancery: 1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 467-6490
FAX: [1] (202) 785-3130
consulate(s) general: Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Roy L. AUSTIN
embassy: 15 Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain
mailing address: P. O. Box 752, Port-of-Spain
telephone: [1] (868) 622-6371 through 6376
FAX: [1] (868) 822-5905
National Holidays: New Year's Day (01 January); Carnival (Monday and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday); Eid-ul-Fitr (as decreed); Good Friday; Easter Monday; Corpus Christi; Indian Arrival Day (30 May); Labour Day (19 June); Emancipation Day (01 August); Independence Day (31 August); Republic Day (24 September) Diwali (as decreed); Christmas Day (25 December); Boxing Day (26 December)
Date of Caricom Membership: 1 August 1973
Flag description: red with a white-edged black diagonal band from the upper hoist side to the lower fly side

Economy  
Overview: 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 for the past seven years has averaged slightly over 8%, significantly above the regional average of about 3.7% for that same period; however, it has slowed down this year to about 5% and is expected to slow further with the global downturn. 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 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 proportionately as important as in many other Caribbean islands. The economy benefits from a growing trade surplus. The MANNING administration has benefited from fiscal surpluses fueled by the dynamic export sector; however, declines in oil and gas prices have reduced government revenues which will challenge his government's commitment to maintaining high levels of public investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $29.01 billion (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $24.81 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $23,600 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.5%
industry: 62.3%
services: 37.2% (2008 est.)
Labor force: 620,800 (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 3.8%, manufacturing, mining, and quarrying 12.8%, construction and utilities 20.4%, services 62.9% (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $7.421 billion
expenditures: $7.141 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12% (2008 est.)
Agriculture - products: cocoa, rice, citrus, coffee, vegetables; poultry
Industries: petroleum, chemicals, tourism, food processing, cement, beverage, cotton textiles
Exports: $15.9 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), methanol, ammonia, urea, steel products, beverages, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers
Exports - partners: US 47.5%, Spain 8.3%, Netherlands 7.4%, Jamaica 6.1% (2008)
Imports: $9.843 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities: mineral fuels, lubricants, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals
Imports - partners: US 27.4%, Brazil 10%, Venezuela 8.1%, Colombia 4.8%, China 4.2%, Gabon 4.1% (2008)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $9.496 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates: Trinidad and Tobago dollars (TTD) per US dollar - 6.2896 (2008 est.)
Business Hours: Commercial: 8:00-16:30 hrs Monday to Friday Government: 8:00-12:00 13:00-16:30 hrs Monday to Friday

Communications  
Telephones - main lines in use: 307,000 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.505 million (2008)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent international service; good local service
domestic: mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 175 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-868; submarine cable systems provide connectivity to US and parts of the Caribbean and South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Barbados and Guyana
Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 18, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stations: 6 (2005)
Internet country code: .tt
Internet hosts: 155,722 (2008)
Internet users: 430,800 (2007)
Airports: 6 (2009) Main airport, Piarco International in Trinidad and Crown Point International in Tobago
 Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)
Pipelines: gas 659 km; oil 336 km (2008)
Roadways: total: 8,320 km
paved: 4,252 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (2000)
Merchant marine: total: 9
country comparison to the world: 118
by type: passenger 2, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 1 (US 1)
registered in other countries: 2 (Bahamas 1, unknown 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Port-of-Spain

Military  Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force (TTDF): Trinidad and Tobago Army, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (2008)
  Main Source of Information: the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook

Items of Interest  
National Anthem: Forged from the love of liberty.
In the fires of Hope and Prayer,
With boundless faith in our Destiny,
We solemnly declare,
Side by side we stand,
Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea,
This our Native Land,
We pledge our lives to Thee,
Here every creed and race find an eqal place,
And may God bless our Nation.
Together we aspire, together we achieve

(Words and Music by Patrick S. Castagne)

Highest National Award: Trinity Cross
Favourite local Cuisine: Callaloo; Pelau; Roti and Curry
Government website: http://www.gov.tt