Bilateral relations

The official relations between France and Trinidad and Tobago were forged very soon after the independence of the country in 1962, the date at which we opened an embassy. It was preceded by a French presence for two centuries that left an important mark historically, culturally and linguistically.

Even today, many places have kept their original French names and the local Creole or “patois” still spoken in different areas, has kept its French lexical base, while many Trinidadian families with true French surnames claim French ancestry originating from neighbouring islands dating back to the 18th century. Trinidad’s carnival, the flagship event in the cultural life of the entire region, dates back to festive practices imported by French immigrants during that time.

Since 1962, our relationship with Trinidad and Tobago has developed and become enriched from the action undertaken in the cultural, educational and linguistic spheres by the Alliance Française of Port of Spain, present in the capital since 1950. French companies have also contributed to the surge in bilateral relations and helped Trinidad and Tobago in its development, notably in the key areas of its economy such as the energy sector, construction, infrastructure and port activity. Our political relations have been marked by the visit in 2009 of the then President of the Republic, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, on the occasion of the Commonwealth Summit held in Port of Spain.

The close proximity of our Caribbean territorial collectivities have also allowed for the development of partnerships locally: since 1989 the city of San Fernando in Trinidad and Tobago has been twinned with the town of Trinité in Martinique, while our collectivities of Saint Barthélémy, French Guyana, represented by our embassy, and Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin on their own name, sit as associate members of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) whose headquarters are located in Port of Spain.