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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Trinidad and Tobago enjoys a high level of free trade, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 99% (World Bank, 2016). The country, a member of the WTO since 1995, has very few non-tariff barriers, but its customs duties are relatively high. The country's national policy essentially aims at making Trinidad and Tobago a manufacturing and financial hub in the Caribbean and the Americas.

The island exports higher value added products than it imports and has a structural trade surplus. In 2015, Trinidad and Tobago exported USD 11 billion and imported USD 5.9 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of USD 5.14 billion (Observatory of Economic Complexity). According to WTO estimates, merchandise imports surpassed exports in 2016 (the former estimated at USD 8.8 billion and the latter at USD 8 billion) resulting in a trade deficit of USD 800 million.

The main imports are petroleum and iron ore while the main exports are petroleum gas, refined petroleum and ammonia.
The main export partners of Trinidad and Tobago are the United States (37%), Brazil (8.2%) and Argentina (8%). The top import origins of Trinidad and Tobago are the United States (38%), China (8.2%) and Brazil (4.5%).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 9,0658,8718,3866,4958,800
Exports of Goods (million USD) 12,98312,77011,8067,2858,000
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 188-6145
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -1444-1530-1
Trade Balance (million USD) 6,4407,5976,4062,530n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 1061281089899
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5253494851
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5475605048

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2010
United States 48.1%
Jamaica 6.5%
Barbados 3.4%
Suriname 2.7%
Colombia 2.6%
Guyana 2.4%
France 2.2%
Spain 2.0%
United Kingdom 2.0%
Brazil 1.9%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2010
United States 28.0%
Gabon 12.9%
Colombia 9.5%
Brazil 7.2%
China 5.8%
Russia 3.4%
Canada 2.8%
Germany 2.6%
Japan 2.5%
Congo 2.3%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

Main Products

11.0 bn USD of products exported in 2010
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 31.2%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 17.2%
Ammonia, anhydrous or in aqueous solution 12.5%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 12.5%
Acyclic alcohols and their halogenated, sulphonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives 5.6%
Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron pyrites 4.8%
Ferrous products obtained by direct reduction of iron ore and other spongy ferrous products, in lumps, pellets or similar forms; iron having a minimum purity by weight of 99,94%, in lumps, pellets or similar forms 2.8%
Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating cranes, and other vessels the navigability of which is subsidiary to their main function; floating docks, floating or submersible drilling or production platforms (excl. fishing vessels and warships) 2.1%
Mineral or chemical nitrogenous fertilizers (excl. those in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight of <= 10 kg) 2.0%
Bars and rods of iron or non-alloy steel, hot-rolled, in irregularly wound coils 1.6%
6.5 bn USD of products imported in 2010
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 31.4%
Iron ores and concentrates, incl. roasted iron pyrites 3.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 1.8%
Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 1.7%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.6%
Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof 1.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 1.4%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 1.1%
Turbo-jets, turbo-propellers and other gas turbines 1.0%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 
 
 

Main Services

1.3 bn USD of services exported in 2015
Travel
44.83%
Transportation
39.30%
Insurance services
7.47%
Other business services
7.21%
Government services
0.84%
Computer and information services
0.26%
Royalties and license fees
0.04%
Construction services
0.02%
Financial services
0.02%
2.0 bn USD of services imported in 2015
Other business services
51.71%
Insurance services
14.19%
Computer and information services
13.65%
Travel
10.40%
Transportation
4.92%
Government services
2.43%
Royalties and license fees
2.25%
Financial services
0.25%
Construction services
0.19%
Cultural and recreational services
0.02%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of CARICOM - Caribbean Community

Member of FTAA - Free Trade Area of the Americas

Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Intellectual Property Office.
 
 
 

 

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Last Updates: August 2017