Foreign policy and defense
Trinidad and Tobago is a nation in North America. Its capital city is Port-of-Spain. Trinidad and Tobago have close economic and political cooperation with the Caribbean neighboring states in the regional cooperation body Caricom. The relationship with the US and EU countries is good and the country is also increasingly exchanging with China.
Trinidad and Tobago were one of the founders of Caricom and were also strong advocates when the common market CSME was formed in 2006. Caricom’s court CCJ has its seat in Port of Spain (see Political system). However, Caricom has been faced with major problems during the 2010s; among other things, the organization is said to have a hard time making decisions.
- Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Trinidad and Tobago for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
With Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago cooperate in the fight against crime, and not least the transnational drug-related crime. The countries have long negotiated cooperation in the extraction of oil and gas deposits in the border zones. Agreements have been signed, among other things, on the processing of Venezuelan natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago. However, the country, like Barbados, chose to stand outside the Venezuelan cheap oil import agreement that several Caribbean states signed in 2005. The agreement was considered to threaten the regional market for the state-owned oil company Petrotrin. More and more Venezuelans have in recent years applied to Trinidad and Tobago in search of supplies, due to the deep political and economic crisis in their home country.
A dispute over the maritime borders that Trinidad and Tobago have long had with Barbados was settled in 2006 by the International Maritime Law Court in Hamburg. Barbados was entitled to a large area southeast of the island but not to an area north of Tobago. The Court also called on the countries to negotiate fishing rights. The area is not only interesting for fishing, but is also believed to contain oil and gas deposits.
The border with Grenada was set in an agreement in 2010.
The relationship with the United States is good and there has long been a collaboration to combat drug trafficking in the area. It is mainly cocaine from Colombia that is smuggled to Trinidad and Tobago and from there forwarded to North America and Europe.
China has invested funds for various development projects in recent years and the countries have signed several bilateral agreements. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Trinidad and Tobago in 2013 and the following year, Prime Minister Kamal Persad-Bissessar was present when the country formally opened its embassy in Beijing.
Trinidad and Tobago are also members of the larger regional organizations OAS, Celac and ACS.
FACTS – DEFENSE
Army: 3,000 men (2017)
The air Force: 50 men (2015)
The fleet: 1,050 men (2017)
Military expenditure’s share of GDP: 0.9 percent (2017)
Military spending’s share of the state budget: 2.6 percent (2017)