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March 14, 2012

Prepared By

Western Hemisphere Department







(As of January 31, 2012)

Membership Status: Joined: September 16, 1963; Article VIII.

General Resources Account:

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SDR Department:

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Outstanding Purchases and Loans: None.

Latest Financial Arrangements:

In millions of SDRs

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Projected Obligations to Fund:

(SDR Million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

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Exchange Arrangements: Trinidad and Tobago has accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4. It maintains an exchange system that is free of multiple currency practices and of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions. The system, a de jure managed float, is classified as a stabilized arrangement under the Fund’s revised methodology.

Last Article IV Consultation and Recent Contacts: The 2010 Article IV mission was conducted on October 27–November 8, 2010 and a staff visit took place on November 30-December 8, 2011.

Technical Assistance

CARTAC: CARTAC has fielded a wide range of missions including on macroeconomic programming and analysis; tax auditing; debt recording; results-based budgeting; public finance management; chart of accounts reform; stress-testing for banks; establishing risk-based capital standards for insurance companies; and on statistics including quarterly GDP, CPI and PPI.

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(As of January 2012)

The World Bank’s last Country Assistance Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago was discussed at the Board in 1999 and covered the period 1999–2001. The current World Bank program includes a fee-based services program with five components and a program of non-lending technical assistance. The trust fund supporting the Nariva ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration ended in December 2011.

Fee-based program

Fee-Based Services Program: The fee-based services agreement with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago covers five areas: (i) Performance-Informed Budgeting (PIB); (ii) Pension Systems Harmonization; (iii) Public Debt and Cash Management; (iv) Doing Business Reform; and (v) Investment Promotion and Special Economic Zones. Discussions between the Bank and the Government were initiated during the Annual Meetings of 2009. Since then, the Government has also asked the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to look at improving the environment for public-private partnerships. This work to be carried out by the World Bank Group could serve as a model for other countries as the areas covered are necessary for improving government performance and sustainable and equitable growth.

Technical Assistance

Nariva Ecosystem Restoration and Carbon Sequestration: The program supported an ongoing project in Trinidad and Tobago which is funded under the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund (BioCF). The development objective was to contribute to efforts to restore and conserve the Nariva wetlands on the eastern shore of Trinidad, through the recognition of the services it provides as a carbon sink and a biodiverse ecosystem. This objective was achieved through actions designed to restore and conserve about 1160 hectares of its associated forest stands. The Bank’s support to this project in Trinidad and Tobago under this Trust Fund was for US$50,000.

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes - Accounting and Auditing (ROSC): In September 2010, the Bank encouraged Trinidad and Tobago to carry out a ROSC. The study would be highly beneficial for the development of accounting and auditing standards in the private sector, State-Owned Enterprises and also the financial sector. A coordinator was appointed in the Ministry of Finance to liaise with the World Bank’s ROSC team.

Supporting Economic Management in the Caribbean (SEMCAR): A CIDA financed program coordinated by the Bank, focuses on identifying the key changes in institutional reforms, improvements in business processes and actual work practices that need to take place in tax, customs, and PFM areas. The first phase (April 2011–December 2013) covers 3 years at a budget of US$18.3 million. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the first countries in the region to benefit from this program.

Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC): InfoDev in partnership with CIDA in 2010 launched a regional program to create and grow MSMEs across the region amidst persistent market challenges. Trinidad and Tobago has been selected as one of the countries to benefit from this initiative, which will continue through 2018. A total of US$19 million is being set aside for this project, which will aid in start up, upgrading skills and providing seed funding to promising MSMEs.

Partnership for Private Sector Development (PPSD): This program is estimated to run from 2008 through 2013, with the objective being to increase access to financial services to undeserved MSMEs, promote regulatory simplification as an aid to private sector development and catalyzes PS participation and investment in transport, power, water, and communication infrastructure. This is being financed by CIDA with the IFC as the trustee.

Statementof World Bank Group Loans

Disbursements and Debt Service *

(In millions of U.S. dollars, fiscal year ending June 30)

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as of Jan. 2012


(As of February 2012)


The IDB approved the new Country Strategy with Trinidad and Tobago in November 2011. This strategy is the reflection of the enhanced relationship with the county and envisages a financial envelope for 2011-2015 for around US$1.6 billion.1 The 2010 approvals represented a substantial increase from the previous years, implying significant positive cash flow in 2010 and 2011.

Table 1:

Net Flows 2002-2011

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

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Portfolio composition

The current loan portfolio consists of 8 loans for a total of US$205 million, of which 93 percent is undisbursed. The main areas of Bank involvement are Trade, Public Sector Modernization, Education, Housing and Citizen Security. The operations approved in 2011 supported reforms in the Financial Sector, the development of Energy and Climate Change policies, the enhancement in the provision of Social Services and wastewater provision. The Bank also has a portfolio of technical assistance grants, totalling US$6.2 million, of which 91 percent is undisbursed.

Table 2:

Lending Operations in Execution

As of January 23, 2012 (US$ million)

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Although data is broadly adequate for surveillance, it urgently needs to be improved to provide a firmer basis for policy making. Trinidad and Tobago has indicated its intention to work towards subscription to the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) by 2013. One of the key issues impeding subscription to the SDDS is the unavailability of current/constant price Gross Domestic Product estimates on a quarterly basis (QGDP). In addition, improvements need to be made in external sector statistics to meet SDDS requirements (see section below). Institutional arrangements also need to be strengthened to facilitate improved compilation and reporting as well as collaboration among the Central Bank, the Central Statistical Office (CSO), and the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Real sector statistics

The CSO has revised the GDP base year from 1985 to 2000, improved the methodology for calculating value added at each sector level, and switched from valuation at factor cost to market prices. The upgrading of the national accounts has involved, in particular, the inclusion of the large gas sector production (which came on stream in 2000) in the GDP calculations; and a review of the value added estimation techniques for the telecommunications sector (using the number of call units instead of the number of callers) and the financial sector (by constructing individual extrapolators for each sub-industry and then aggregating them). The central bank produces quarterly GDP volume indicators. Following the recommendation of a STA multi-topic technical assistance mission in December 2009, the CSO has started compiling but not publishing quarterly GDP data. The methodology to estimate inflation leads to a significant upward bias, primarily in the food component. Further work is also needed to revise the retail and producer price indices to meet international standards including by updating the basket and the averaging and aggregation methods. There is also a need to review the calculation of the GDP deflator which also may be subject to measurement issues.

Government finance statistics

Data on central government operations and debt are compiled separately by the MoF and the central bank, and there is a significant statistical discrepancy. The MoF compiles fiscal data using a national classification system for government transactions and debt of the central government. These data are sufficiently detailed for use in compiling cash data according to GFSM 1986 methodology. Reporting of these cash-based data in the GFSM 2001 framework is also being undertaken by the MoF.

Data on public enterprises and statutory bodies are compiled by the investment division, the domestic debt division, and the budget division of the MoF. The data compiled by these divisions are subject to differences, particularly with respect to transfers. Expense data are sometimes misclassified, as the distinction between consumption of fixed capital and use of goods and services is not made.

Monetary and financial statistics

The monthly monetary accounts for other depository corporations (ODCs) currently covers only financial institutions that are licensed by the central bank under the 1993 Financial Institutions Act. ODCs not licensed only report voluntarily on a quarterly basis. No data are reported by credit unions. The lack of these data has prevented the compilation of a more comprehensive Depository Corporation Survey. The authorities should also consider developing systems for reporting balance sheet accounts for the mutual funds, with a view to compiling a more comprehensive financial survey in the future. Trinidad and Tobago has not yet migrated to the standardized report forms (SRFs) for the submission of monetary statistics. A mission in the near future will assist the authorities in producing the SRF for the central bank.

External sector statistics

Quarterly aggregate balance of payments estimates and annual balance of payments data are disseminated by the central bank in its national publications.

Annual balance of payments data are also sent to STA, although with considerable delay. The SDDS assessment mission in December 2009 found that the financial account does not follow a financial instrument classification in line with the Balance of Payments Manual fifth edition. A TA mission in balance of payments statistics in February 2011 provided assistance on the issue, on the compilation of the International Investment Position, and on the other required improvements for the prospective subscription on the SDDS and implementation of the Balance of Payments Manual sixth edition. A follow up mission on these matters is planned in the near term. The Central Bank should expand its current debt reporting system to include comprehensive coverage of external loans and debt of the entire public sector, as well as publicly guaranteed debt. The country could be in a position to meet SDDS requirements in this area in 2013.

Trinidad and Tobago: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance

As of March 13, 2012

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Any reserve assets that are pledged or otherwise encumbered should be specified separately. Also, data should comprise short-term liabilities linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means as well as the notional values of financial derivatives to pay and to receive foreign currency, including those linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis-à-vis nonresidents.

Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).