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                                                                    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

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

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) [] 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 [] 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)
[] 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.
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:
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                     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             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                 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.

Youth Training Employment Partnership      This organization is dedicated to provide high quality training in
Program           Vocational Skills, Career Enhancement and Micro
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                      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              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                        (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                        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                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             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                                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                             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

      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

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.


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

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

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           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

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

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.

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