Economy of Antigua and Barbuda

Economy of Antigua and Barbuda

According to businesscarriers, GDP at current prices in 2002 amounted to 710 million, per capita – St. 10 thousand US dollars. GDP growth in 1990-2000 was 2.8% per year, in 2002 – 2.7%. Inflation dropped from 4% in 1985-94 to 1% in 2002. St. 30 thousand people, of which 12 thousand are in the public sector. Unemployment 8% (2002). Since the 1970s The economy of Antigua and Barbuda, which has specialized in the cultivation of sugar cane for more than 280 years, focuses on the predominant development of the service sector, first tourism, and since the 1980s. and financial. The share of agriculture in GDP, traditionally 40%, decreased in 2000 to 4%, the share of industry – 7.5%, construction – 12.9, services – 75.6%. The service sector employs almost 4/5 of the economically active population, incl. OK. 1/4 – in tourism, in agriculture and fishing – 4%.

After the closure of the sugar factories that formed the basis of the industry, in order to stimulate the creation of new industries, the government exempts enterprises that send their products for export from paying taxes for up to 15 years. In 2000, a trade and production zone was opened, for operations in which the collection of import duties on machinery, materials and raw materials and a 30% tax on corporations was abolished. The production of dyes, furniture, clothing and galvanized plates for export has been established in the zone. Of the traditional industries, the most important is the production of rum, with an annual volume of 1.5 million liters. On Antigua – oil refining, on the island of Barbuda – sand mining.

Agricultural land occupies 13.8 thousand hectares. The state is the largest landowner. In the 1990s agricultural production practically did not grow: its index in 2002 was 101.9% against the level of 1989/91. 9/10 of food needs are met through imports. Vegetables are grown for domestic consumption (the total harvest in 2002 was 1,800 tons) and root crops (550 tons). Cotton (28 thousand tons), fruits (8.6 thousand tons), melons (700 tons) are of export importance. The number of cattle is 13.8 thousand heads, pigs 5.3 thousand, sheep – 18.0 thousand, goats – 34.5 thousand, chickens – 95 thousand (2002). In Antigua, fishing is oriented to the local market; on the island of Barbuda, lobster fishing for export. Total catch approx. 1.5 thousand tons per year.

Segments of a narrow-gauge railway with a total length of 77 km, used to transport sugar cane, have been preserved. The length of motor roads is 1165 km, of which 384 km are asphalted, and the rest are used only in the dry season. In 1995 it was decided that dirt roads were of secondary importance and would not be paved. The largest port is St. John’s. Under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, 811 foreign ships with a total carrying capacity of 5.9 million tons are registered. Two airfields in Antigua, including the international one. V. Byrd, and an unpaved airstrip on the island of Barbuda. The transportation of passengers for 1990-2001 increased from 755 thousand to 1.4 million. The monopoly in the field of telephone communications is the British Cable & Wireless, the provision of devices (2001) 804.2 units. per 1 thousand population, of which 300 are cellular.

Foreign tourism receipts peaked at $320 million in 1994. In 1995, Hurricane Louis destroyed or damaged many hotels and campsites, resulting in a reduction in revenue ($240.7 million in 2002). The number of tourists amounted to 510.3 thousand people, of which 312.2 thousand were cruise tourists. 34.6% of tourists came from the UK, 32.2% from the USA, 19.1% from the Caribbean countries, and 5.5% from Canada (2002).

The country is pursuing a policy of state capitalism. The share of state ownership is high, privatization has not been carried out, economic growth is largely provided by budgetary allocations, price controls for many goods are maintained, and a high level of customs protection is maintained.

The Central Bank of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The monetary unit has been fixed against the US dollar since 1976 at a ratio of 2.7:1. There are 2 national and 4 foreign commercial banks. Offshore business has been developing since 1982, 8 thousand companies have been registered. Between 1995 and 2000, the share of registration fees in government revenue increased from 1.6% to 7.2%. The number of offshore banks, the creation of which began in 1993, increased by the end. 1996 to 58. Under pressure from the United Kingdom and the United States, an investigation into the activities of offshore banks was carried out, after which their number was reduced to 22, incl. 6 banks used by Russian criminal groups were closed. In recent years, offshore gambling business using the Internet has been developing, 77 companies operate in this area (2001).

The ratio of taxes to GDP is 17-20%, St. half is accounted for by duties and taxes from foreign trade activities. The state budget deficit increased in 1998-2001 from 5.0 to 9.7% of GDP, in 2002 it decreased to 5.3% of GDP. Public debt 84.8% of GDP (2002).

Exports for 1996-2001 decreased from 38.9 million to 38.6 million US dollars, imports increased from 309.9 to 321.2 million US dollars. Food products and products of the food industry (50.4%), chemicals (25.1%), consumer goods, including consumer electronics (15.5%) are exported. Consumer goods (31.5%), machinery and equipment (18.2%), foodstuffs (17.4%), cars (8.8%), oil (8.0%) are imported. The main partners are the USA, Great Britain, CARICOM countries, Canada. External debt $427.3 million or 64.6% of GDP (2000). The per capita debt ratio ($5,952) is the highest in the world.

Per capita income, calculated by the purchasing power of currencies, is $10,000 (2001).

Below the poverty line are 12% of the population. Income tax is not charged. St. 90% of families live in their own homes. According to the Human Development Index, Antigua and Barbuda ranks 56th in the world.

Economy of Antigua and Barbuda