The Bahamas is the richest of all independent
states in the Caribbean and Latin America, per capita.
Tourism is the dominant industry. Finance is also
Economic developments differ greatly between the
different islands of the country. In the Northern
Bahamas, tourism and fishing have led to prosperity,
while southern islands with a small population have
limited economic opportunities.
Major imports by Bahamas, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
More than half of the population work in tourism,
which also accounts for a third of the country's gross
domestic product (GDP). Extensive investment in the
tourism industry, largely foreign, caused both cruise
and flight charter tourism to grow from the mid-1990s to
the turn of the millennium. The global financial crisis
led to a decline in tourism revenue and the economy
shrank in 2008 and 2009. The recovery thereafter was
weak and growth fell again below the zero line from
2014. The hopes were that growth would again be positive
in 2017, when the large Baha Mar tourism complex was
inaugurated (see Current policy).
Finance, with foreign banks in the center, is the
second most important sector and accounts for up to 15
percent of the economy. Following demands from abroad,
the rules for the financial sector have been tightened,
but the Bahamas is still largely regarded as a tax
haven. The Bahamas has signed more than 30 agreements to
disclose information on account holdings, to tax
authorities in other countries. Money laundering still
occurs despite the tougher reins, partly because the
Bahamas offshore sector (where foreign companies utilize
favorable tax rules) is so large. However, the number of
banks has decreased and due to stricter Bahamian laws,
the so-called mailbox banks have disappeared.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including BAH which represents the country of Bahamas.
The Bahamas has one of the world's largest merchant
fleets, by weight. About 1,500 vessels are registered in
the Bahamas, which provides important income.
No income tax
In the Bahamas there is no corporate tax and no
income tax (either from wages or capital). Value added
tax (VAT) was first introduced in 2015. Most of the
revenue to the Treasury comes from import duties and
excise taxes. Sales of state-owned companies have
brought in money, among other things, several tourist
facilities have been privatized and there are plans to
privatize the state electricity company and the airline
Government debt has long been affordable by Caribbean
dimensions, but it has risen in recent years, from just
under 25 percent of GDP at the turn of the millennium to
close to 65 percent 15 years later. Due to tourism
revenues, the external debt is small.
The Bahamas has no foreign exchange policy of its
own; the Bahamian dollar is tied to the American.
Inflation is therefore governed by the US economy and
price increases have been moderate since the mid-1990s.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 31,858 (2017)
US $ 12,162 million (2017)
1.4 percent (2017)
Agriculture's share of GDP
1.0 percent (2017)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
2.6 percent (2017)
The service sector's share of GDP
74.9 percent (2017)
1.8 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
63.3 percent (2018)
Assistance per person
US $ 15 (1995)