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FDI and Technology Transfer in Trinidad and Tobago’s Construction Industry

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Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a potentially important channel for
fostering knowledge and technology spillovers. Although there has been a
preponderance of quantitative analyses of FDI, economic growth may not
necessarily lead to economic development of human capital and skills. In
the Caribbean, government-to-government arrangements with foreign
counterparts have supported infrastructural projects with the promise of
knowledge and technology transfers in return. This article approaches the
impact of FDI qualitatively, by examining the experiences of domestic
construction companies in Trinidad and Tobago when collaborating with
Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on infrastructure projects. By
conducting semi-structured interviews of twelve domestic construction
companies, the findings revealed that there is a low incidence of knowledge
and technology spillovers occurring, as well as a high competition effect.

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