The Bahamas Trade, Bahamas Exports, Bahamas Imports Information

May 15, 2010The Bahamasby EW Content Team

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The Bahamas is a gorgeous, tropical part of the world where many people choose to vacation.  This particular country has a strong and stable economy although a large part of earnings depends on the tourist and offshore banking industries.  In recent years, new resorts, hotels, and beautiful homes have been developed.  As a result, the GDP has seen nice growth.  However, when terrorists attacked New York City and the Twin Towers in 2001, the slowing of the US economy started a trickledown effect, which slo

The Bahamas is a gorgeous, tropical part of the world where many people choose to vacation.  This particular country has a strong and stable economy although a large part of earnings depends on the tourist and offshore banking industries.  In recent years, new resorts, hotels, and beautiful homes have been developed.  As a result, the GDP has seen nice growth.  However, when terrorists attacked New York City and the Twin Towers in 2001, the slowing of the US economy started a trickledown effect, which slowed the Bahamas trade.

Today, the Bahamas has recouped and once again, it has a good economy.  While there are numerous things involved with The Bahamas Trade,  Bahamas Exports, Bahamas  Imports, financial services is considered the second most vital sector for this country’s economy, which accounts for approximately 15% of the GDP.  While financial services is still very important and plays a key role in the Bahamas trade and economy, at the end of 2000 new regulations were put into law for the financial sector within the United States.  When this happened, financial businesses for the US, as well as other foreign countries pulled out of the Bahamas.

Other areas of the economy for the Bahamas considered essential include agriculture and manufacturing.  Even so, both sectors have experienced a slight slowdown although the government of the Bahamas has introduced several incentives.  In looking at all areas of the Bahamas economy, together they allow the country to see growth but tourism remains the key element to this country’s success.

Interestingly, growth of tourism in the Bahamas is extremely dependent on growth of tourism in the United States.  Just tourism offers approximately 60% of the GDP and offers employment to 50% of the workforce.  Considering that more than five million people visit the Bahamas every year, with the majority being people from the US, it is easy to see why tourism is so vital.

However, this country has taken the initiative to better tourism as well with the new Kerzner International Atlantis Resort and Casino, which has proven to be a huge success.  The tourism sector saw another boost when Sandals Resort and Breezes Super Club were opened.  Unlike many other countries, the Bahamas trade and economy are promoted through efforts of the government.  Additionally, the government has learned the value of enticing foreign investors into helping restore several markets.  The primary parts of the world that the Bahamas has built strong relationships with include the Far East, Europe, Latin America, and Canada.

After tourism, financial services are another imperative part of the economy, which accounts for 17% of the GDP.  In fact, 418 banks and trust companies in this country were licensed by the Bahamian government in 1998 and in 1990, the International Business Companies Act or IBC was enacted, which is designed to boost the status of the Bahamas of being a leader within the financial hub.  With this new Act, incorporation for offshore companies was lowered and simplified.  As a result, just nine years after IBC being written into law, 84,000 companies fitting the IBC description were established.

We also wanted to address agriculture and the fishing industry, which account for about 5% of the country’s GDP.  For fishing, the primary food is lobster but without any large scale agriculture operation in the Bahamas and with most of the crops grown being consumed locally, the amount earned from these Bahamas exports is minimum.  On the other hand, the Bahamas imports for foodstuffs annually is around $250 million, which is close to 80% of all food consumed in this country.  The goal of the Bahamian government is to expand production of agriculture, which in turn would lower the amount of Bahamas imports while generating a greater amount of foreign exchange.

Another aspect of Bahamas imports is the services sector.  Currently, more than 110 businesses are in operation within the Bahamas that have an affiliation to the United States.  Of these, the majority are connected in one form or another to banking or tourism.  Keep in mind that most of food consumed and manufactured goods in the Bahamas come from the United States.  Therefore, services and goods from America are typically favored by the people of the Bahamas in that the culture of both countries is very similar, as well as advertising and marketing efforts.

Recent numbers show that the main industries in the Bahamas include tourism, banking, cement, salt, rum, oil transshipment, pharmaceuticals, and aragonite.  For the Bahamas exports, the numbers stand at $675 million, which includes commodities of salt, animal products, chemicals, mineral products, fruits, and vegetables for partnered countries of the United States, Singapore, Spain, Poland, Germany, Guatemala, and Switzerland.

Then for the Bahamas imports, the current estimate is $2.4 billion.  The primary imports for this country include transport equipment and machinery, chemicals, mineral fuels, manufactures, foodstuffs, and live animals.  The main countries involved with imports for the Bahamas trade include the United States, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Venezuela, and Spain respectively.
 

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