Oil and natural gas may have made Trinidad and Tobago one of the richest countries in the Caribbean, but it has left this country of 1.5 million people heavily dependent on that industry.
Carlos Cardenas, Deputy Head of Latin America Forecasting at economic forecasting firm Exclusive Analysis, says: “Its economy is not well diversified, and it is a source of concern that recent problems in supply of natural gas have led to the cancellation of several high profile foreign investment projects.”
He continues: “These have included a $5.3 billion petrochemical plant that Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) and China's Sinopec were building, a $600 million aluminium plant project led by state firm Alutrint and Brazilian conglomerate Grupo Votorantim, as well as a $150 million contract with UK firm BAE Systems to build three offshore patrol vessels.”
These embarrassing cancellations have contributed to fairly poor recent economic figures: inflation is high at around 5%, in 2011 the country's GDP shrank by around 1.5%.
As for the PR industry, it exists but it is by no means large or sophisticated. Insiders report that too few companies recognise the value of PR, but at the same time there are many lucrative Government accounts available. In the same way, the Public Relations Association of Trinidad and Tobago may be dormant, but there are nonetheless several good PR consultants available to brands looking to build a reputation in this market.