Economy of Bahamas

Economy of Bahamas

According to businesscarriers, GDP in current prices in 2002 amounted to 5.1 billion, per capita – 16.1 thousand US dollars. GDP in the 1990s increased by 40%, in 2001 there was a fall of 2.0%, and in 2002 an increase of 0.7%. The annual inflation rate was 1.2% in 1996/2000, increased to 2.0% in 2002. The economy employs almost 165 thousand people, more than 4/5 – in the service sector, incl. OK. half – in tourism, in industry – 5.2%, in agriculture and fishing – 4%. Unemployment for 1993-2001 decreased from 13.1 to 6.9% of the economically active population. Bahamas since the 1950s specialize in the service sector. In addition to foreign tourism, which began to develop in the post-war period and creates up to half of GDP, financial services (15%) were added in the 1970s. In recent years, efforts have been made to develop e-commerce, which is intended to become the third component of the specialization of the Bahamas in the world economy. The share of industry in GDP is 7%, agriculture and fisheries – 3%.

The electric power industry is represented by 3 thermal power plants and 28 diesel installations, the electrification of all inhabited islands was completed in 1998. Aragonite is mined (more than 1 thousand tons per year) and salt by evaporating sea water. To stimulate the development of the manufacturing industry, a private free trade zone was created around Freeport in 1955; companies operating in the zone are exempted from paying customs duties on imports of equipment and materials until 2054, and until 2015 from income taxes. From Ser. 1980s heavy industry is winding down: oil refineries, cement plants, and chemical plants are closed. The Freeport area now specializes in ship repair, container repair, steel fabrication, dye, paper, beer and soft drink manufacturing, and cargo handling.

Approx. 1% of the country’s territory, the area of arable land – 7 thousand hectares. The index of agricultural production in 2002 was 159.5% of the level of 1989/91; The country’s food needs are met by 20%. Under citrus 8 thousand hectares are occupied, the collection is 30 thousand tons, incl. 12.5 thousand tons of grapefruits and 8.5 thousand tons of lemons (2002). Cultivation of subtropical fruits (28.3 thousand tons), partly for export. Up to 15% of agricultural products are flowers and ornamental trees exported to the United States. Animal husbandry is poorly developed, the number of goats is 13.9 thousand, sheep – 6.4 thousand, pigs – 4.9 thousand, cattle – 700, chickens – 3.5 million (2002). In 2002, a five-year plan for the development of agriculture was adopted, for the implementation of which the state allocated 1 billion Bahamian dollars. Fishing is export-oriented. In the 1990s fish and shrimp farming has been developed. The catch is 4.7 thousand tons, of which 60% are lobsters (2001).

The length of motor roads is 2.7 thousand km, of which 1.7 thousand km are paved. Major seaports: Freeport, where there is a container terminal capable of handling 950,000 containers per year, Nassau and Matthew Town. Regular ferry service between the inhabited islands. The Bahamas ranks third in the world in terms of the number of foreign ships registered under its flag. The number of ships with a displacement of St. 1 thousand tons reached 1078, their total carrying capacity is 45.9 million tons. There are 67 airports, of which 32 are paved, incl. 6 international. Airports in Nassau and Freeport have 4.5 km long runways. In 2001, 1.9 million passengers were transported. There are 41 fixed and 31 mobile telephones per 100 inhabitants (2002).

Tourism revenue is provided by St. 70% of total exports of goods and services. The Bahamas has 267 hotels with 15.1 thousand rooms (2002). The number of tourists in 2002 reached the highest figure in the history of the country of 4.4 million people, which brought a net income of 1.5 billion US dollars. OK. 85% of tourists come from the USA, 7% from Europe, 5% from Canada.

The Bahamas pursue a fairly conservative economic and social policy. Privatization in the 1990s was limited to the sale of several hotels and 50% of the Bank of the Bahamas. State control over prices for many types of goods is maintained. At the same time, foreign capital is actively attracted to the economy. To overcome the stagnation of 2001–02, the government stepped up the implementation of structural reforms: in 2001, the Bahamas applied for WTO accession, in connection with which programs were developed for the gradual liberalization of foreign trade and tax reform, in 2003 a tender was held for the sale of 49% of the shares of a telephone company, the privatization of which delayed since 1998.

The Central Bank was established in 1974. The main task of its policy is to ensure the constant parity of the national currency. Since 1970, the Bahamian dollar has been fixed to the US dollar at a ratio of 1:1. K ser. 1970s The Bahamas has become the third financial center in the world. Scandals related to the transportation of drugs pushed him to 15th place. In the 1990s the country’s position in the global financial business is gradually recovering, income from financial transactions for 1994-2001 increased from 207 to 432 million dollars. In 2002, 301 credit institutions had licenses. Foreign banking assets for 1995-2002 increased from 35.1 billion to 136.3 billion US dollars. Since 1990, the Bahamas have been turning into a major offshore center, the number of registered companies in 1994-2000 increased from 28.5 to 117.5 thousand. Of particular importance is the activity of 706 mutual funds with assets of $97.3 billion. USA (2002). In 2000, a stock exchange was opened, where shares of 16 companies are traded.

Tax revenues are equivalent to 16-18% of GDP, St. 60% falls on taxes and duties on foreign economic activity. The budget deficit in recent years has been kept within 3% of GDP. Government debt on the line. 2002 reached 2.2 billion Bahamian dollars, the share of the external component in it is less than 15%.

In 2002, exports amounted to 740.5 million Bahamian dollars, imports – 1,759.6 million. Main export commodities (2000): re-export of industrial products from the free zone, primarily repaired ships (41.4%), lobsters (18.3% ), chemicals (6.8%), aragonite (4.0%), rum (3.9%). Imports are dominated by machinery and equipment (30.8%), consumer goods (29.5%), food (16.5%). Main trading partners (2002): in terms of exports – USA (39.6%), EU (39.0%), Latin American countries (5.8%); imports – USA (24.5%), EU (19.2%), South Korea (13.7%), Japan (12.0%). Remittances from Bahamians working abroad provide 15% of total export earnings of goods and services.

GDP per capita, calculated at purchasing power parity of currencies, in 2001 was 16.4 thousand dollars. 10% of the wealthiest households account for 27% of total income, 20% of the poorest – 4.4%. The income level of the richest 20% of Bahamians is 13.2 times that of the poorest 20%. The minimum wage in the public sector is 4.25 Bahamian dollars per hour. The minimum pension is 230 Bahamian dollars per month. Income tax is not charged. The Bahamas is ranked 49th in the world on the Human Development Index.

Economy of Bahamas