Trinidad and Tobago are twin islands in the Caribbean. Over dinner a little bit ago (Snowcrab at Red Lobster), Trinidad came up in conversation and we were embarrassed that no one knew exactly where the island is. Two guesses that came up were somewhere near India and somewhere near Fiji. It’s about 7 miles off of the cost of Venezuela, just south of the "hurricane belt", which plagues much of the Caribbean.

According to its tourism site,

Trinidad and Tobago has the most diversified and industrialised economy in the English-speaking Caribbean.

There are large reserves of petroleum and natural gas, and well developed heavy industries – iron and steel, methanol and nitrogenous fertilizers and petroleum products.

Air, sea and land transportation links are excellent, and telecommunications links with the Americas and Europe are completely modern.

During the 1970’s, high world oil prices created a rapid expansion of the local economy, with real GDP growing by 72.5% between 1970 and 1977. These were the boom years in Trinidad and Tobago and much of the country’s infrastructure was developed during this period. However, depressed oil prices coupled with high levels of public expenditure led to a prolonged period of economic contraction which began in 1988 and finally ended in 1993.

Now, after a period of radical economic adjustment under IMF and World Bank supervision, the government economic policy is well in line with prevailing market principles: trade liberalisation, open market-driven economy, rationalisation of the public sector, promotion of private enterprise and foreign investment, and development of exports and tourism.

The modern telecommunications mentioned in the blurb is part of the foundation for a proposal that a friend, Geoff, has made for why Sapient should consider off-shore software development there — the telecommunications infrastructure is available, the labor is skilled and relatively inexpensive, and there are not as arduous time-zone differences as compared with India. One of our favorite authors, V. S. Naipaul, winner of the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Trinidad. He’s the author of such works as Guerrillas (1975) and A Bend in the River (1979).

We don’t have any plans for visiting Trinidad, but we felt obligated to mention something about it, given our ignorance during that dinner conversation.