INDUSTRIALIZATION IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO SINCE 1950

5. Use of Local Materials

A large part of the manufacturing sector is a transplantation from the North Atlantic, rather than a natural outgrowth of the Trinidad economy. Nevertheless, it was hoped that this grafting would establish linkage s within the domestic economy, principally by the use of local raw materials. It is therefore instructive to ascertain the extent to which such linkages have been formed.

The share of local supplies in total supplies used, was approximately 51 per cent in 1962. Much of this is due to Food manufactures which, as may be expected, have a high local content. However, a significant portion of these domestic purchases are distribution and other services, including distribution in respect of imported materials. The figures thus overstate the local -.hare. If the distribution sector and all other services were to be excluded, the lo cal raw materials would represent approximately 40 per cent of total materials.

With over 60 per cent of raw materials being imported, it is not at all difficult to understand why the manufacturing sector has failed to induce any considerable growth in the economy. It has few organic ties with it.

It is questionable how the free or almost free importation of intermediate inputs could in fact induce domestic production of these materials. It would appear that the better policy might be to limit duty-free concessions to those materials which cannot be produced at home, and to restrict the rest, or set some time limit after which local sources of supply must rep lace foreign ones It is only by some such measures that the companies would have the incentive to exploit and develop local raw materials.