An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
The EU's political relations with Trinidad and Tobago are underpinned by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. This was signed in 2000 by the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. It covers a period of 20 years and is revised every 5 years.
The EU is supporting the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in pursuing various economic goals.
Trinidad and Tobago's economy is heavily dependent on its export of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other natural resources. Its economic growth has recently slowed because of low LNG and oil prices. The Government is therefore trying to diversify the economy into such sectors as agriculture, tourism and information and communications technology (ICT).
The Government is also trying to reduce social inequality and remove the main obstacles to increased trade and investment, such as bureaucratic delays and the high crime rate.
A key function of the European Commission is supporting external trade, and in this it is represented by DG Trade.
The EU is Trinidad and Tobago's second largest trading partner, after the United States. Trade relations between the EU and Trinidad and Tobago are based on the 2008 CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA covers all areas of activity, from manufactured goods to services to intellectual property and investment, and aims to ensure that EU businesses can operate fairly. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has bilateral investment treaties with some individual EU countries, including Spain, France and Germany.
While Trinidad and Tobago already exports to Europe, measures are being taken to increase trade in general. The EU provides support to CARIFORUM to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago — and other countries in the region — can take greater advantage of the trading opportunities available under the EPA. For example, training and workshops have been provided in areas such as food safety requirements and technical barriers to trade.
Trinidad and Tobago also engages with the TradeCom Programme through the regional organisation CARICOM. This programme was initiated to provide and coordinate trade-related technical assistance to ACP countries. It aims to facilitate sustainable economic development and poverty reduction through closer regional integration and increased participation in the global economy.
The EU's development cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago has evolved from a traditional aid-based relationship to a partnership of equals which also aims to improve trade.
Since 2007, the EU has given Trinidad and Tobago grant funding worth more than €100 million. The focus of this aid is on boosting economic diversification and promoting competitive business, food security, crime reduction, and environmental protection and sustainability. It is also being used to strengthen local and regional civil society organisations and improve governance.
EU development cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago currently includes the following programmes.
EU development cooperation in the region includes the following programmes, in which Trinidad and Tobago participates:
In addition, new projects, in the areas of economic integration and cooperation, crime and security and the environment and sustainable energy are under development.
Additional details of the bilateral and regional programmes can be found in the table EU Development Cooperation in Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago has also benefitted from a number of ACP intra-regional programmes, including:
Through its funded programmes and projects, the EU supports Trinidad and Tobago in various important thematic areas, most notably: