Country Listing

Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

Caribbean Islands

Foreign Assistance

As an upper-middle-income country, Trinidad and Tobago received only minimal foreign assistance from bilateral and multilateral agencies and obtained most of its external funds from commercial banks. The country received only small amounts of bilateral aid from the United States via regional economic assistance programs. Likewise, its high income precluded it from receiving funds from the World Bank's "soft loan" window, the International Development Association. In fact, no major multilateral institution undertook a major, sustained, mission to Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s or the first half of the 1980s. As a consequence of Trinidad and Tobago's growing financial difficulties in the late 1980s, however, some multilateral agencies were considering funding for the nation.

The country actually became an important donor nation during the energy crisis of the 1970s, when other Caribbean countries experienced difficult adjustments in their balance of payments. In 1987 Caricom nations, primarily Jamaica and Guyana, still owed Trinidad and Tobago in excess of US$200 million from earlier lending. Beyond direct, concessional loans to other Caribbean nations, Trinidad and Tobago also played an important role in providing cheap oil sales, generous contributions to Caricom institutions, and a boost to regional trade in the 1970s because of its rising import demand.

Data as of November 1987