When it comes to attracting talented staff and robust international investment in an increasingly competitive environment, quality of life can play a major role. According to the OECD Indicators of Talent Attractiveness, quality of life is an important factor in talent decision-making. A study produced by the consultancy Mercer found that, “while pleasant work is attractive, factors beyond the office remain vital to retain healthy, relaxed and well-adjusted staff.”
With its miles of pristine beaches, vibrant cultural landscape and friendly locals who speak English as their native tongue, Trinidad and Tobago has become an attractive destination for investment and outsourcing. Its quality of life dimensions make for an attractive retention incentive. Little wonder since it was named the happiest Caribbean country to live in, according to the United Nations (UN) and ranked 42nd happiest country in the world in the 2020 World Happiness Report released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN.
Beyond Oil and Gas
Moving away from its roots in oil and gas, the twin-island nation is looking to leverage its quality of life, modern infrastructure and talented workforce to develop its burgeoning financial services and BPO sectors.
The twin islands offer a wealth of opportunities and modern amenities, while also maintaining their pristine natural beauty through a sustainable approach to development. Apart from the quintessential sun, sand and sea, Trinidad and Tobago also offers a host of tourist experiences ranging from the cultural to the culinary and drawing on its rich ethnic heritages.
Trinidad and Tobago’s geographic location at the southernmost point of the Caribbean chain of islands also makes it an attractive offer for investment. DirecOne’s Peter Gillette notes that while there have been storms, the islands are not in the hurricane belt. “Hurricanes can become catastrophic in terms of the delivery of services like this,” he says.
Liam Donnelly, General Manager at Digicel Business agrees: “So from an island and geographic perspective, it’s a fantastic opportunity for companies to place their businesses and to be hubs both for the Caribbean, North America and South America, and Europe.”
Business and Investment Climate Maturing
Donnelly adds that there is a maturity of business on the islands as well. “It’s very easy to do business. And I think the infrastructure is immensely strong here as well.” He explains that Digicel’s own call center supports up to 37 other islands across the Caribbean. “The reason why we chose Trinidad and Tobago was because of the workforce, the infrastructure and the geographic nature of the islands,” he says.
Trinidad and Tobago is a competitively-priced location, making it a good choice for its North American and South American neighbors. Its geographic location has also allowed the island nation to negotiate access to many markets through trade agreements.
Access to Diverse Markets
“Trinidad and Tobago is a strong trading partner in the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom). We have very strong access to 14 million consumers directly within Caricom. And then on an indirect expansive basis, we have over 15 million in the diaspora, UK, and North America,” says Richard Lewis, Chairman of the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation.
Lewis added that the country has a developed investment climate that is conducive to business. It has also worked to develop its workforce – which currently numbers 634,100 –while its infrastructure is able to compete internationally.
While many focus on Trinidad and Tobago’s English fluency and accent, Gillette also points out that the islands’ close proximity to South America and its growing immigrant population means that Spanish-speaking and bilingual talent is also on offer.
Trinidad and Tobago’s key differentiator is that it feels like a first world market in a Caribbean setting. For this reason, the country has drawn those looking to establish BPO, financial services and other investment opportunities.