Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island state off the coast of Venezuela, covering 5,128 km². Trinidad, the larger island (4,820 km²), is home to 95% of the total population of 1.35 million, and heavily industrialised. Tobago depends more on tourism and agriculture. Estimated GDP per capita in 2011 was around US $14,000, making Trinidad and Tobago a high‑income country in 2011. Oil and gas account for more than 35% of GDP, over 50% of government revenues and some 80% of total foreign direct investment.
Trinidad and Tobago is a multiparty parliamentary democracy. Since the last general election in 2010, the Government is headed by the first woman Prime Minister Kamla Persad‑Bissessar. The Head of State is President George Maxwell Richards. The island of Tobago enjoys a certain degree of autonomy, which recognises its separate history, culture, and identity.
Gas and petrochemicals dominate T&T exports to the EU by value (over 60%), but the EU also sources 14% of its imports of direct‑reduction steel products from T&T. EU exports are overwhelmingly capital goods linked to the energy and chemical sectors (EU enterprises dominate FDI in these sectors), although transport and the yachting and boatbuilding sectors are also important markets for EU companies. As part of CARIFORUM (the CARICOM countries plus the Dominican Republic) Trinidad and Tobago has negotiated an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that regulates trade between CARIFORUM and the EU.
The EU has been represented by a Delegation in Trinidad and Tobago for more than three decades.
The EU has contributed to the development of Trinidad and Tobago for the last 35 years, particularly in areas such as:
The present five‑year funding cycle (2008‑13: 10th EDF) will focus on assistance with economic diversification in Trinidad and Tobago and good governance in the area of environmental sustainability.
Trinidad and Tobago also benefits substantially from EU funds to help reform their sugar industry. €75 million has been allocated for 2007‑13.
Trinidad and Tobago also has access to other EU resources, notably through global EU programmes, EIB funds, CDE/Proinvest, and its participation in regional Caribbean programmes.