Trinidad and Tobago: Trade Performance and Policy Issues in an Era of Growing Liberalization

Mar 2004
Trade can be a powerful engine of growth. In today¿s global economy, where investment moves quickly across borders and continents, and trade barriers are rapidly coming down, a competitive exporter has much to gain. In an ever-more liberalized world economy, however, competition is also that much harsher, and only the best will capture the benefits of new markets and business opportunities. Particularly in small, open economies like that of Trinidad and Tobago, weak export performance can impair a country¿s development prospects. Export income is needed to pay for imports, to pay off foreign debt, and to maintain a healthy balance in a country¿s external accounts, all of which is needed to achieve sustainable levels of economic growth. Successful international insertion, through trade facilitation and related measures, should therefore be a central aim of the IDB¿s support strategy for its borrowing member countries, and particularly for the small island economies of the Caribbean.