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The Trinidad & Tobago Business Guide (TTBG, 2009-10)

18 TTBG

18 TTBG 09/10

TOBAGO Stonehaven Bay from Fort Bennett in Black Rock (Below) Orville London, Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly New horizons Tourism has been Tobago’s support for many decades. But as the island begins to diversify its economy, it is actively looking for new investment By Camille McEachnie Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that form the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is 116 square miles in area and lies about 20 miles northeast of Trinidad. The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is responsible for managing the island, and receives an allocation from the national budget. Corporate and personal taxes are paid to the central government. For the fiscal year 2008- 2009, Tobago received a budgetary allocation of TT$2.65 billion, compared with TT$1.7 billion in 2007/2008. This figure was cut by $213 million in later budgetary adjustments. The economy Tobago’s economy is service-driven and dominated by leisure tourism and associated activity (see the tourism report elsewhere in this Guide). The island has won several World Travel Awards for its tourism product, including Top Eco-destination (2003-6) and Best Caribbean Destination (2004). In his budget statement for 2009, the THA’s Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development, Dr Anselm London, was upbeat about Tobago’s progress. The island’s economy had grown by around 5.5 per cent in 2007, he said. It was “experiencing quite an economic boom” with “incomes rising substantially”. Spending on cars had risen by 67 per cent between 2003 and 2005, and there was “growth and expansion in domestic savings and investments”. However, headline inflation had risen from less than 5 per cent in February 2007 to 9.5 per cent a year later. Food price inflation had risen much faster, to 09/10 TTBG 19

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