INDUSTRIALIZATION IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO SINCE 1950

1. Contribution to Gross Domestic Product

In 1951, the manufacturing sector contributed $35.1 million or 11.3 per cent to the G.D.P. If sugar manufacturing is included, the corresponding figures are $43.4 million or 13.9 per cent.

Up to 1964, the former percentage share was exceeded only once despite the much more vigorous pursuit of the programme after 1958. Thus, over the 13 years, the annual output of the manufacturing sector rose by $100 million of which sugar refining contributed $10 million. Much of the growth ($84 million) came after 1955.

Different subsectors showed varying growth rates. Between 1951 and 1961, Food, Drink and Tobacco grew by 4 per cent per annum to a level of $29 1;1ilĀ­ lion in 1961. Textiles and Garments grew at 10.4 per cent per annum. Budding materials valued at $3.2 million in 1951 rose to $9.4 million in 1961, while other Producer Goods valued at $10 million in 1951 reached $34.4 million ,n 1961.

The thrust of policy in the manufacturing sector has been in the Pioneer Industries. In 1953, there were 23 such establishments contributing $2.7 million or 7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of manufacturing. By 1957, the number had risen to 41 and the contribution to the gross product of manufacturing to $14.3 million or 22.1 per cent. It is reasonable to assume that the share of Pioneer Industries has continued to rise since then.

If the share of manufacturing in domestic production is taken as an indicator of economic transformation, it seems that little or no progress has been made.

Within the manufacturing sector however, a noticeable transformation has taken place. Export-oriented industries expanded more successfully than industries geared to home consumption; and the older industries, e.g. rum, did not grow as fast as the newer ones e.g. building materials.

Though the sector did not attain the level hoped for, its performance in terms of contribution to gross product was not discouraging in the light of the very rapid rate of growth experienced by the economy. The annual average overall rate of growth achieved between 1951 and 1961 was 8.7 per cent in real terms.