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THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Daniel Villavicencio & Lluvia Ponce 1. History and National Context Since 1998, the economy of Trinidad and Tobago has increased its reliance on the hydrocarbons sector (petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals). This sector directly generates over one third of the GDP and two thirds of merchandise exports. However, the importance of the sector goes well beyond its direct contribution to the GDP. For instance, activities such as the production of steel and the generation of electricity are largely dependent on the hydrocarbons sector. Trinidad and Tobago has no comprehensive legislation on competition policy or science and technology policy, but certain business practices are prohibited and competition policy issues are covered under sectoral legislation. About Science and Technology Policy, the information is very restricted, and the priority in the country is focused on Trade Policy. State-owned enterprises continue to represent a large share of the economy, through tem, the government is involved in a wide range of activities, including petroleum and natural gas, chemicals, electricity and telecommunications. 1.1 Country’s vision Trinidad and Tobago’s main policy objectives seek to transform the country as a regional manufacturing base and the commercial, trans-shipment and financial hub of the Western Hemisphere, to achieve full integration into the Latin American Economy while perfecting the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). To attain these goals Trinidad and Tobago is seeking, among other thing, to lower the cost of doing business in the country, to promote investment in human capital and to improve overall economic efficiency. For this purpose, the government has launched a long-term plan to achieve developed-country status: the Vision 2020 initiative. This plan encompasses a wide-ranging structural reform agenda, aimed at addressing competitiveness issues, fostering economic diversification, promoting employment and reducing poverty. In this respect, the main supports of the program are: 1. Maximizing returns from the hydrocarbons sector, through increased participation in the value chain and by raising the Government’s tax intake in a manner consistent with the encouragement of investment; 2. Diversifying the economy, focused on six main sectors: traditional manufacturing, a new technology-based industrial sector, tourism, financial services, agriculture, and the small business sector; and 3. Ensuring that the benefits of economic growth and development are shared by all sections of the population. At the same time, Trinidad and Tobago needs a new set of policies to consolidate its current position to ensure its competitiveness in a more integrated world. For example, the country’s private sector has succeeded in taking advantage if the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Common External Tariff (CET) and non-tariff barriers, rising exports from the CARICOM members. However, the opportunities and risks of opening to a global market are far greater than those at the regional level; to succeed, the country must modernize its economy. It is generally agreed that vocational training play an important role in the development of the country. While Trinidad and Tobago has some public and private training institutions and government spending is increasing in this area, the current work force needs strengthening in key learning and skills, particularly in technology-related subjects oriented to labour-market needs. There is another Plan for transforming Trinidad and Tobago, in a shorter term: Fastforward [http://www.fastforward.tt/]. Trinidad and Tobago’s fastforward agenda is all about transforming the country into a knowledge- based society by 2008. Government working with the public and private sectors has produced a roadmap that charts a clear and determined course to an online society and a knowledge-based economy. Fastforward provides far-reaching strategies for the development of a connected country that will adapt, flourish and prosper in the new global information society. Its Connectivity Agenda will provide all citizens with affordable Internet access, focusing on the development of children and adult skill to increase opportunities in life. In general terms, the objective of this program is to maximize the potential within citizens, and accelerate innovation, to develop a knowledge-based society by 2008. 1.2 Governance of Science: Inexistence of a National System of Innovation and Research There is no evidence in Trinidad and Tobago of the existence of a National System of Innovation and/or Research. The guidance of the state on this matter is weak, and the disarticulation between agents is evident. Over the past two decades, the Government has been a prolific creator of both ministries on business and development institutions. The resulting dynamic has given ministries and institutions little tie to coordinate with each other, connect whit private-sector stakeholders, or implement long-term policies. Institutional weaknesses are routinely addressed by creating new organizations or adding new functions to existing structures. As a result, private and public institutions remains disconnected and sometimes operate in a vacuum, and new public institutions concentrate their success in areas where interaction with the business environment is least critical. Over the years, telecommunications policy, cultural policy, and tertiary education have been articulated as key Government priorities, but responsibility has been passed from ministry to ministry, cutting short the reform process, and the continuity of the actions undertaken. In contrast, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) aggregates functions related to business development, trade incentives, fair competition practices, and international trade negotiations. It remains virtually impossible for MTI to connect with stakeholder groups economy-wide in all key policy areas it is designed to serve. Furthermore, the institutions placed under its mandate remain out of touch with the business environment and operationally do not reflect their strategic intent. While MTI’s effectiveness in trade negotiations compares favourably to similar institutions in the Caribbean, other functions lag to its operational goals. 1.3 Linkage between University and Industry The manufacturing sector being aware of the need to raise industry standards by increasing R&D expenditure and innovation, has received an answer from the University of the West Indies (UWI). Currently, a network is developing at the UWI to study these possibilities and areas of innovation. However, over the past two years, the process has stalled for lack of someone (from either the private or public sector) to champion the cluster or at least maintain the momentum. R&D collaboration between businesses and the academic community is meagre. Other proxies of technological innovation, such as internet access in schools, ownership of personal computers, international patents, and government priorities for technology development, show Trinidad and Tobago in a competitive disadvantage. 1.4 Current S&T Policy There is no Science and Technology Policy in Trinidad and Tobago. The efforts in policy making in the island, are oriented to trade policy and competitiveness. Even when Science, Technology and Innovation are recognized as major contributors to the nation’s economic and social development, its importance is more oriented as a tool to accomplish the goal of developed country status by 2020. For this reason, the Government has committed itself to the integration of STI into the activities of every sector, nevertheless this integration lacks of a national vision. 1.5 Property Rights Policy The traditional and legal frameworks of intellectual property in the Caribbean are quite weak. It is only recently that copyrights laws were passed in Trinidad and Tobago and they are frequently and fragrantly abused (UNESCO). There are few effective measures instituted by the state or other public and private organizations to protect creative and inventive work. In the recent years, the domestic laws regarding intellectual property rights have continued to be updated in order to bring existing legislation into conformity with the TRIPS Agreement and other international engagements. 2. Trade and Foreign Policy In general, the attitude of Trinidad and Tobago tends to openness of its economy, demanding competitiveness from its enterprises and products. In order to overcome the openness in Trinidad and Tobago’s economy, the government will have to play an active role in this transition process by facilitating enhanced productivity and export growth through prudent macroeconomic management, improvements in infrastructure (in services, transport, and mainly in R&D) and, through more concerted efforts with the private sector at export diversification. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has identified export diversification as a critical need to reduce oil revenues dependence and vulnerability to external shocks, and has outlined several elements needed to facilitate diversification, including investment, information gathering and dissemination, support for innovation, development of the small and medium enterprise sector, competitive programs and the creation of a conductive business environment. To this aim, it is necessary to create a labour force with adequate flexibility to promote a relationship between wages and productivity, to reduce restrictions to trade in order to facilitate export diversification, and to develop an adequate micro-level infrastructure to maximize firms’ performance. The skills and knowledge of the county’s work force must be upgraded dramatically to create a foundation for economic competitiveness in the twenty-first century (see table 2), Trinity and Tobago’s investment regime is generally open to foreign investors although only CARICOM citizens and companies are guaranteed national treatment. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has signed a series of bilateral investment treaties offering national treatment to foreign investors. Investment growth has been triggered in recent years mainly by foreign investment and joint ventures in the natural gas industry and by investment in some manufacturing activities such as petrochemicals, iron and steel, insurance and banking. The amounts of Foreign Direct Investment has increased substantially during the last decade more than doubling between 1995 and 2003, to reach some US$9.5 billion (over 90% of the GDP in 2003). The main foreign investors are the United States (47% of the total FDI in 2003), the United Kingdom (representing the 37% of the total FDI in the same year). There are no legal performance requirements for investors, but through negotiated incentives (like tariff concessions in non-competitive inputs and capital goods), the Government encourages projects that generate employment and foreign exchange, provide training and/or technology transfer, increase exports, and have local content. Trinidad and Tobago’s trade policy is based on diversifying the economy by facilitating the expansion of the non-oil manufacturing sectors through the provision of enabling policy legislation and the negotiation of trade agreements with third countries. As a part of its diversification plan, the Government aims to develop a knowledge-based economy. To achieve this goal, it launched the National Information and Communication Technologies strategic Plan (ICT Plan) in 2002. This plan is briefly detailed next. 2.1 National Information and Communications Technology Plan, The National Information and Communications Technology Plan is an Initiative of the Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, established on 31 October 2002. Under the Chairmanship of Ministry of Public Administration & Information, the objective of the team is to build a National Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) Strategic Plan. The Government's vision to bring Trinidad and Tobago to Developed Nation Status by 2020 recognizes that developments in the ICT sector are crucial. The NICT Project is linked and integrated with Vision 2020. 3. R&D Performers The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) [http://www.tradeind.gov.tt] is leading the drive to position Trinidad & Tobago as a manufacturing base, and the commercial, transhipment and financial hub of the Caribbean and the Americas (objective settled in the Vision 2020). The Ministry’s core responsibility is the promotion and development of trade activities, with an emphasis on generating sustainable export-led growth and development, by securing enhanced access to foreign markets for local companies. As the pivotal agency for trade promotion and development, MTI manages and coordinates the trade reform process to enhance this country's global competitiveness. In this regard, MTI is working to formulate more appropriate industrial, trade and services policies, designed to enhance the capability of the local industrial sector to maximize opportunities under the various trade agreements to which Trinidad & Tobago is signatory. The Ministry of Science Technology and Tertiary Education [http://www.stte.gov.tt] was established in December 2001 and one of its primary responsibilities is the development of the national human resource through tertiary education and training in the areas of academics, technical vocational training, scientific research and discovery. The Research Planning and Technical Services Division of this Ministry, is responsible for implementing the Ministry’s strategic objectives through the effective co-ordination of the strategies, plans and projects of the various divisions, institutions and agencies under the Ministry’s purview. The National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) [http://niherst.gov.tt/aboutus/index.htm] is related to the Ministry of Science Technology and Tertiary Education. The organization was established as a statutory body in 1984, and is charge of the development of science, technology and higher education in Trinidad and Tobago. NIHERST supports the Government’s vision by: • Helping to promote and develop Trinidad and Tobago’s intellectual, institutional and social capacity to create and innovate using science and technology, which involves developing capacity in applied research and development; supporting education and training in science and technology; and fostering a national ethos and culture of STI • Serving as a coordinating agency for national, regional and international STI initiatives. One vehicle used for fostering a national S&T culture is the NIHERST/NGC National Science Centre, the first of its kind in the Caribbean. The programs of the centre (which include Community Science Weeks, Sci-TechKnoFest, the Caribbean Youth Science Forum and the Science Whizz Competition) seek to illustrate how science and technology permeate all aspects of daily life, and to reduce the barriers between science and society. NIHERST's commitment to building its expertise in science popularization, and its experience and technical know-how, particularly in exhibit design and construction, has positioned it as a unique institutional resource. The NIHERST has three major units: • The Innovation Unit (specifically geared to developing creativity, as well as innovative and ‘technopreneurial’ thinking and skills), • The S&T Statistics Unit (compiles data to inform S&T policy formulation and planning, nevertheless this information is not available to the general public), and • The International Projects Unit (which serves as the national and/or regional liaison for many international agencies). Through these units, the Institute undertakes research activities to develop science in the country. Besides this, the Institute supports publications, conferences related to Agriculture, Biotechnology, Higher Education, Environment, Microelectronics, Science and Technology. 3.1 Institutes and Agencies related to S&T Trinidad and Tobago have some institutions related to science and technology development. The most important are listed next. Table 1: Institutions and Agencies related to S&T activities Institutes and Agencies Mission and Objectives The National Library and Information The NALIS manages all libraries in the public sector, including System Authority (NALIS) public, special and school libraries. http://www.nalis.gov.tt/ Created in 1998. The Freedom of Information Act of the The Act is designed in support of the following principles of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago governance: http://www.foia.gov.tt/about/default.asp Transparency Was assented to in 1999. It came into effect in 2001. Accountability Equality of Access Empowerment and Increased Participation The Central Statistical Office The CSO is a Division of the Ministry of Planning and http://www.cso.gov.tt/ Development charged with the responsibility of taking census and collecting, compiling, analyzing and publishing statistical information relating to all social and economic activities of the people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The CSO does not develop S&T Statistics. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) To stimulate research and creativity in the country providing http://www.ipo.gov.tt/home.asp intellectual property rights and the legal means for their protection, encouraging the public disclosure and the effective use of accurate information on creative effort, thereby enhancing the competitiveness and contributing to the economic and social development of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards The Bureau’s Mission is: To improve the quality of life in Trinidad http://www.ttbs.org.tt/ and Tobago by ensuring that goods and services produced and/or used in the country satisfy criteria for good performance as Created with the Standards Act 18 of established by the Bureau. 1997 Youth Training Employment Partnership This organization is dedicated to provide high quality training in Program http://www.ytepp.gov.tt/ Vocational Skills, Career Enhancement and Micro Entrepreneurship. Established in 1988, by the Government, in conjunction with the World Bank as a short-term social intervention project. Environmental Management Authority The EMA is committed to protect and conserve the natural http://www.ema.co.tt/ environment to enhance the quality of life by promoting an environmentally responsible behaviour and enforcement of It was created with the enactment of the environmental legislation. It offers several services and research Environmental Management Act in 1995. papers. Table 1 Continued Institutes and Agencies Mission and Objectives Natural Agriculture Marketing and Its mission is “to provide the country’s agro-processors and Development Corporation marketers with the marketing facilities, support services and http://www.namdevco.com/forums/ regulatory framework necessary to take Trinidad and Tobago foods to the world” Was created through in 1991 as a state agency within the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Its mission is to serve the agricultural research and development Development Institute needs of the member states of the Caribbean Community http://www.cardi.org/ (CARICOM). CARDI provides Technical services in integrated pest management technology, organic and crop production Was established in 1975. systems, sheep and goat production systems and statistical analysis; Agribusiness and Marketing technical assistance; Information Management; Regional Research Coordination through the establishment of commodity and thematic networks under the Caribbean Agricultural Science and Technology Information Networking System (PROCICARIBE) Institute of Marine Affairs Its mission is to conduct basic and applied research in marine affairs to ensure the sustainable use of the natural resources of the country; to make the results of such research available to the Government for policy making in the conservation and management of the marine and related resources. National Training Agency This institution has the mission to improve technical and http://www.ntatt.org/ vocational education and training (TVET). Established in 1999. Trinidad and Tobago Institute of The mission is to equip persons with required competencies on Technology and National Energy Skills the construction, maintenance and operation of plants in the Centre http://www.nesctt.org/ industrial sector. This non-profit foundation was created in July 1997. The Caribbean Industrial Research Its mission is to provide technical and industrial services and Institute http://www.cariri.com/ information, to public and private industrial enterprises. Its research is oriented to quality control, materials testing, technical Created in 1970. feasibility studies and standards. Business Development Company (BDC) This company provides a range of quality products and services www.bdc.co.tt to enhance the growth and competitiveness of enterprises, while contributing to the company’s sustainability. It offers trade Created in August, 2002. assistance, consultancy services and project management. National Entrepreneurship Development Its mission to facilitate the establishment of any micro or small Company Limited (NEDCO) enterprise, through credit offering, and business advisory www.nedco.gov.tt services. Created in 2002. 4. Human Resources The educational and skills level of Trinidad and Tobago’s labour force is low. In 1997-1998 the 49% of workers had completed only primary school. Since the 1960’s, the country has invested heavily in secondary education. As much as 32 percent of the work force had incomplete secondary education. Only 11 percent had successfully completed secondary school or a higher level of education. Regarding university level, 2.1% of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago have attain it. The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT) spearhead technical/vocational education in the country at the tertiary level. Two public technical institutes, the John Donaldson Technical Institute (JDTI) situated in Port of Spain, and the San Fernando Technical Institute (SFTI) located in San Fernando, are integrated in this college. The JDTI was built in 1961, while the SFTI began operations around 1947 but was finally located in 1980. The COSTAATT has also the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture & Forestry. The original intention of the two institutes was to prepare students for employment, with preparation for higher institutions of learning as a secondary goal. At their foundation, around the onset of self- government and independence, preliminary objectives included self-sufficiency, economic growth, and alleviation of the unemployment problem through the application of technology, reduction of the dependence on other countries, and generally improving the living conditions of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Statistics from the Central Statistical Office for the 1996-1997 academic years show the total enrolment at both institutes for technical courses as 2,618 (of which 1,743 were male and 875 where female). Total enrolment for craft courses was 1,603 of which 1,191 where male and 412 were female1. Gender distribution by program is skewed. Women dominate in home economics and commercial program, while men dominate in craft and engineering programs. The most recent initiative at both institutes has been the introduction of short courses, which provide training and retraining opportunities to members of the wider community, and the business and industrial sectors. There are eight departments at the John Donaldson Technical Institute (JDTI): Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Technical Teacher Training, Telecommunications Engineering, Applied Sciences, Business Studies, and Graphics and Applied Arts. In comparison with the other institute, the San Fernando Technical Institute (SFTI) has fewer departments and a smaller enrolment. It only has five departments: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Business Studies, and Applied Sciences. The University of the West Indies (UWI) has one of its campuses at St. Augustine, Trinidad; the other two are at Mona, Jamaica and Cave Hill, Barbados. The St. Augustine campus offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the areas of Agriculture, Business Administration, Engineering, Humanities, Languages, Law, Natural and Social Sciences. Its current enrolment is 3,300 students. According to a UNESCO document, the University of the West Indies has a long-standing tradition of conducting joint research with socio-economic actors in specialized areas. For the University of the West Indies, this tendency is stronger in agriculture, medical and technological domains, several specialized research units, often set up with some donor support, where created to conduct research, do training and provide services for particular communities. Such units, created before the 1990’s comprise the Cocoa Research Unit, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, the Centre for Advanced Training and Research in Fertility Management, the Tropical Metabolism 1 According to the National Examinations Council (NEC), which is the body for technical/vocational accreditation in Trinidad and Tobago, there are two levels within the accreditation system in most fields. A craft level which is on skills oriented, and a technician level which is both skills and theory oriented. Research Unit, the Centre for Marine Science and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute, nevertheless these institutes undertake poor activity in Trinidad & Tobago. This University being a multi-campus university (in three different locations), follows a decentralized approach. Nevertheless, it has been able to develop important Institutes of research (previously mentioned), such as the Engineering Institute (for the Caribbean) within the Faculty of Engineering (established in 1994). This Institute provides the formal linkage between the faculty and the industrial and engineering services sector and other organizations. It also provides a range of continuing engineering education services and technological services. The institute also works with the industrial community, international agencies, and other departments of UWI. The institute comprises a limited number of centres such as: • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering centre • Centre for Energy Studies • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation • Centre for Environmental Studies • Centre for Food Technology • Centre for Geospatial Studies • Centre for Hydrocarbon Studies • Computer-aided Engineering and Design Centre • Continuing Engineering Education Centre Other centre within this university should be mentioned. The UWI Institute of Business which opened three years ago offers Post Graduate courses on business-related topics and develops in-house programs for local companies. Their programs offerings now include Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) and International MBA. 4.1 Other Efforts in Human Resources Formation The National Institute of Higher Education, Research and Technology (NIHERST), operates a college of health science, a college of nursing, a school of languages and an information technology college. The institute is also running a UNIDO funded project to develop software-writing skills. The Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex is one of the leading facilities of its kind in the Caribbean. The complex comprises some seventy buildings is both a Teaching and Medical Science facility. The SERVOL2 is an indigenous, non-profit, non-religious, and non-political organization, which offers a unique conception of alternative education and community development in an integrated framework. It was funded in 1970, and has as its primary focus, the empowerment of poor individuals and families in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as assisting other countries desiring to emulate the SERVOL Program. At present, SERVOL has 21 Life Centres throughout Trinidad and Tobago, which offer different kinds of technical/vocational training and medical services. It also runs 10 Junior Life Centres and Adolescent Life Centres catering to post primary students in need for educational assistance. 2 http://Community.wow.net/servol/ In 1994, SERVOL approached the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a grant to set up three Hi-Tech Centres to provide Programs in Computer literacy, electronics, and digital electronics as advanced courses to its skills training program. 4.2 Programs The current administration has developed a long list of programs, oriented to human resources formation. The next table shows briefly, some of them. Table 2: Programs oriented to Human Resources Formation Program Government Ministry or Description and Target Clientele Department Helping You Prepare for Science, Technology and Provide recent secondary school graduates Employment Tertiary Education marketable skills. On-the-Job Training Science, Technology and Provide graduates of secondary schools, Tertiary Education technical institutes, and tertiary institutions pre- employment training, with access to occupational experience and work-based training opportunities. Computer Literacy Training Science, Technology and Provide the population training in computer Program Tertiary Education proficiency. School Nutrition Program Education and Tobago House Provide underprivileged children breakfast and of Assembly lunch. Guidance and Counselling Ministry of Education Provide secondary-school students career development and personal, social and academic guidance. Women in Harmony Community Development and Provide single women opportunity to acquire Gender Affairs skills in agriculture and care for the elderly. Non-traditional Skills Training Community Development and Train low-income women in construction and for Women Gender Affairs. woodworking, auto repair, and computer repair. National Information & The ICT will provide a "connectivity roadmap" to connect people, communities, Communication Technology business, government and educational institutions through an integrated (ICT) Plan technology network. It will also examine the policy, financial and skills development requirements that will be necessary to ensure sustainability and to http://www.gov.tt/nict/ ensure that the benefits of connectivity continue to grow, and accelerate, as new established in 2002 technologies, innovation and thinking emerge. Youth Development and Sport and Youth Affairs Engendering positive values and leadership Apprenticeship Centres potential and social life skills, along with entry- level skills geared for employability, among youth at high risk. Table 2 Continued Program Government Ministry or Description and Target Clientele Department Youth Facilities Development Sport and Youth Affairs Provide youth at high-risk (15-29 years of age) Program occupational training. National Skills Development Science, Technology and Prepare work force base for industrial plant Program Tertiary Education construction. Youth Training and Science, Technology and Prepare recent school leavers with numeracy, Employment Partnership Tertiary Education literacy, vocational and micro-entrepreneurship Program (YTEPP) skills. Building Construction Science, Technology and Train unemployed persons seeking skills in the Technology Tertiary Education construction industry. Dollar for Dollar Education Science, Technology and Provide students in tertiary-level education half Plan Tertiary Education the cost of their tuition fees. Youth Apprenticeship in Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Train youths (17-25 years of age) in specialized Agriculture and Marine Resources areas of agriculture to enable them to settle as farmers on state lands or become involved in agribusiness. Unemployment Relief Program Ministry of Local Government Provide Unemployed persons and single mothers short-term employment. Life Management and Department of Social Disseminate information, education and training Parenting Education Services of the Tobago opportunities to parents and guardians. House of Assembly Source: Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Social Sector Investment Program, 2004. 5. Funding Trinidad and Tobago has received loan assistance and grant financing in various areas related to the social sectors from several international agencies, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The IDB is the main source of foreign funding for Trinidad and Tobago. Currently, the Bank has eight operations in Trinidad and Tobago, for Education, Health, Urban Development and Government Modernization (for US$438 millions), and for Technical Cooperation (US$646 millions). As mentioned previously, one of the main objectives of general policy in the country is to promote exportations and diversification of the economy. Because of these objectives, the state has developed a funding policy to the promotion of trade. The Government’s export financing and credit insurance policy is mainly aimed at facilitating access to credit for exporters and enhancing their international competitiveness through their ability to offer better delivery terms while reducing risk. We could not get the comparative figures of funds between research and the promotion of industry and trade, but taking into account the importance given to these issues, we presume that research and education receive fewer funds. In the education field, the situation is more complicated. The upgrading of plant and equipment in the Technical Institutes (JDTI and SFTI) implies a cost in equipment for engineering training that is exorbitant. For this reason, the mechanical equipment used by JDTI is over 50 years old. As such, the institutes are unable to acquire the cutting-edge technology required to teach some of their program. In addition, the public subventions are insufficient. 6. Conclusion The fact that Trinidad and Tobago does not have a Science and Technology Policy cannot be ignored. During the construction of this profile, access to information about S&T was restricted. For example, the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, did not answer our request for information. It is evident that Trinidad and Tobago is seeking to attract foreign investment and the strengthening of competitiveness in the country, leaving apart aspects of research and innovation. The lack of qualified human resources in the country cannot be ignored. In addition, the dependence from the energy sector is a key aspect that must be re-examined, within the policymaking in Trinidad and Tobago. Beyond diversification it would be useful to think in specialization in non-energetic sectors. Nevertheless, the resources are extremely limited and the funding is scarce. Information and technical-assistance linkages are either lacking or extremely weak, and training programs are incompatible with the needs of emerging sectors. Government organizations offering business support often overlap and spread their resources too thinly. According to the National Business Survey, specialized training institutions reach only about 7% of entrepreneurs, and much of the training offered, is not aware of the needs and problems entrepreneurs face.
"THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO"