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Bahamian Economy

Image: Bahamas Ministry of TourismThe Bahamian economy is based mostly on tourism, off shore banking and construction. The agricultural and industrial sectors are comparatively small.

The Bahamas is the leading Caribbean region tourist destination, and the tourism sector has long been the engine of the Bahamian economy. Tourism generates about 50% of the total GDP and directly or indirectly employs about 50,000 people, roughly half the total workforce.

The banking and finance sector is the second pillar of the Bahamian economy, accounting for between 15% to 20% of GDP. The majority of banks and trust companies are engaged in the management of assets for wealthy individuals. They are generally non-resident or offshore companies that generate no Bahamian dollar earnings and cover all their expenses for administrative cost, utilities, maintenance and other local overhead by bringing in foreign exchange.

Commercial fishing is reserved exclusively for Bahamians. However, several foreign investors are involved in aquaculture projects.

Foreign investors enjoy complete freedom of repatriation on their investments and profits. Among major foreign investments in The Bahamas are the Grand Bahama container port by Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH); The Westin and Sheraton resorts at lucaya by Hutchson Lucaya Ltd; the Atlantis, Paradise Island, mega resort by Kerzner International Ltd; the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino and Convention Centre, Sheraton Cable Beach Resort and Nassau Beach Hotel by the Baha Mar Development Co; Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa, by Sandals resorts; SuperClubs Breezes Bahamas, by SuperClubs SuperInclusive Resorts; and the British Colonial Hilton Nassau, by Adurion Investment Management.

The Bahamas is a party to the Cotonou Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Community and its Member States, and the Member States of the Caribbean Forum. The Bahamas is also in the process of acceding to the membership of the World Trade Organisation, and currently holds 'Observer' status.  The first meeting of the WTO Working Party on The Bahamas' accession was held on 14 September 2010 in Geneva. Please click on this link for more information on that process.

Information for Investors

Tax Information Exchange Agreements

More information is available on the following sites:

Bahamas Government
www.bahamas.gov.bs

Ministry of Finance

Ministry of Tourism
www.bahamas.com

Bahamas Tourist Office, UK
www.bahamas.co.uk

Bahamas Investment Authority

Bahamas Financial Services Board
www.bfsb-bahamas.com

Bahamas Chamber of Commerce
www.thebahamaschamber.com

Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce
www.gbchamber.com

Bahamas International Securities Exchange
www.bisxbahamas.com

Central Bank of The Bahamas
www.centralbankbahamas.com

Bahamas Development Bank
www.bahamasdevelopmentbank.com

Grand Bahama Port Authority
www.gbpa.com

Bahamas Investor
www.thebahamasinvestor.com

Bahamas Real Estate Association
www.bahamasrealestateassociation.com