TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, an island nation in the West Indies near the Venezuelan coast of South America, and the area of o.Trinidad 4828 sq. Km. km, o.Tobago, located 34 km to the north-east – 300 sq. km. km. The capital – Port of Spain (about 50 thousand inhabitants) is located on Trinidad.
Population . In 2004, the country’s population was estimated at 1096 thousand people, with 96% of them concentrated on the island of Trinidad. The age structure of the population: the group under 15 years old – 24%, from 15 to 65 years – 69%, over 65 years – 7%. The birth rate was estimated at 13.84 per 1000 people, the mortality rate was 8.84 per 1000, emigration – 9.92 per 1000. The population loss in 2000 was 0.49% (in 1999 – 1.35%), the infant mortality rate was 25, 76 per 1000 newborns.
The state structure. Under the constitution adopted on August 1, 1976, the state of Trinidad and Tobago is a republic within the Commonwealth, headed by the United Kingdom. The head of state is the president, who is elected by the electoral college from among the members of parliament for a period of 5 years. Legislative power belongs to a bicameral parliament consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The composition of the Senate (31 members) is approved by the president (16 members – on the recommendation of the prime minister, 6 – on the recommendation of the opposition leader and 9 – at the discretion of the president, taking into account the need for prominent state, public and religious figures in the parliament.) The House of Representatives consists of 36 deputies , elected by universal direct vote for a term of five years (at least 2 deputies represent Tobago) All citizens who have reached the age of 18 are entitled to the right to vote.
The executive power is exercised by the government headed by the prime minister – usually the leader of the party, which is the majority in the parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers is appointed from among the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The government is responsible to the parliament. In administrative terms, the country is divided into 9 counties and 4 self-governing cities. Tobago has a special status with its own House of Assembly consisting of 18 members (15 of them are elected by universal suffrage, 3 are appointed by the majority party) with a 4-year term of office.
The economy. In the 18-19 centuries. Trinidad’s economy was completely dependent on exports of sugar and other tropical food crops, but by the mid-20th century, the extraction and processing of oil came to the forefront, although a relatively small number of workers are employed in this sector. On the island of Tobago, agriculture remains the main industry. Tourism is also developing.
The State Program for the Promotion of Industrial Development included the creation in 1959 of the Corporation for the Development of Industry, as well as the allocation of sites for the construction of industrial enterprises in the immediate vicinity of the cities of Port of Spain, San Fernando and Arima. These sites were offered to producers on favorable terms along with financial benefits, for example tax exemptions for several years. To coordinate the development of the country’s economy, several five-year plans were adopted, the first of which began in 1964.
Currently, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean region. Thanks to successful economic reforms conducted in 1995, the state has become an attractive region for foreign investment. There was a revival of foreign trade. Investments in industry and expansion of construction contributed to significant economic growth.
In 2000, GDP was estimated at 11.2 billion dollars, and its real growth was 5%. As of 1998, the structure of GDP was as follows: the share of agriculture – 2%, industry – 44%, services – 54%. Labor resources are estimated at about 558.7 thousand people, of which approx. 13% do not have a permanent job. To solve the unemployment problem, the government stimulated the creation of new industrial enterprises.