Antigua and Barbuda Economics and Business

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is a small, open, market-based economy that is largely driven by tourism and other services. The country’s GDP for 2019 was estimated at $1.2 billion USD, with the service sector accounting for nearly 70% of the total economic output. Tourism is the primary source of income for the country, with over 1 million visitors each year contributing to nearly half of Antigua and Barbuda’s GDP. The government has also been making efforts to diversify its economy by encouraging foreign investors to invest in other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and banking.

According to cheeroutdoor, agriculture is a major component of the economy, with crops such as cotton, corn, sweet potatoes and bananas being grown on the islands. Livestock farming also plays an important role with cattle being raised for meat production or milk production while poultry farming provides eggs for both local consumption or export abroad. Fishing is another important industry with marine resources such as shrimp being caught for domestic consumption or export abroad while freshwater resources provide fish for local markets.

The banking sector also plays an important role in Antigua and Barbuda’s economy with numerous banks operating within its borders offering services such as wealth management, investment funds and private banking services. Financial services also generate significant revenue for the country through taxation on profits earned by foreign companies operating within its borders or foreign investors taking advantage of low taxes when investing in local businesses or property markets.

Construction is another key industry which generates employment opportunities as well as contributing significantly to GDP due to continued investment into infrastructure projects such as roads or modernizing existing buildings throughout the country. Manufacturing also plays a role with products such as electronics or medical equipment being produced within its borders or imported from abroad for sale locally or export abroad.

In recent years, Antigua and Barbuda has made great strides towards achieving economic stability through increased foreign investment into sectors such as tourism or financial services which have created employment opportunities or increased disposable incomes through taxation revenues generated by these industries. The government has also implemented policies aimed at reducing poverty levels throughout the country by increasing access to healthcare services, education, housing, water supply, sanitation systems etc. These efforts have helped reduce poverty levels significantly over recent years.

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda was long dominated by sugar production, and until 1960, sugar was the most important export commodity. The decline in sugar prices on the world market has reduced the importance of the industry. Fruit, vegetables and cotton are now grown; livestock.

According to COUNTRYAAH, the tourism industry is the most important trade route in terms of both value and employment. It also manufactures rooms, leather, machines and appliances, electrical components and furniture. Some fishing industry.

Antigua and Barbuda GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017

Foreign Trade

Abbreviated as ATG by, the country of Antigua and Barbuda has a large deficit in the trade balance with abroad. Petroleum products (re-exports), fish and fish products, household appliances, electrical components etc. are exported. The main trading partners are the other CARICOM countries as well as the USA and the UK.

Transport and Communications

Deep water jetty at Saint John’s and great cruise ship port. Large marina in English Harbor on the south coast. International Airport (VC Bird) in Antigua.

Note: the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda is St John’s with a population of 21,643 (Census 2011). Other major cities include All Saints (in Antigua), Codrington (in Barbuda).

Antigua and Barbuda Economics and Business


From 1 November 1981 these two islands of the Lesser Antilles (Leeward group), together with the tiny and uninhabited Redonda, form an independent state within the British Commonwealth, a member of the United Nations, the Organization of American States and associated with the European economic community. The state has an area of ​​442 km 2 and counts 83,000 residents. (1987 estimate), mostly concentrated on the main island, Antigua. The density is very high, as in almost all Caribbean states: it exceeds the value of 180 residents per km 2, and even rises to over 280 if Antigua alone is considered. About 94% of the population is made up of blacks and the rest of mulattoes and whites. The capital, Saint John’s, on the island of Antigua and Barbuda, has about 30,000 residents. The official language is English, but the population commonly speaks a Creole language. The religion followed by the large majority is Anglican, while no more than 1/6 are Catholics. The monetary unit is the East Caribbean dollar.

The economy of Antigua and Barbuda is based on agriculture, fishing and tourism. The main agricultural products are cotton (70,000 t of fiber in 1985), vegetables and sugar cane: they supply the raw materials to the few local industries, largely concentrated in the capital: food (cottonseed oil factories, rum distilleries) and textiles. The zootechnical heritage is modest; active fishing, especially that of lobsters. An oil refinery has been in operation for several years at Friars Hill. Like most of the Caribbean islands, Antigua and Barbuda attract a notable and growing number of tourists (160,000 in 1986). The organizational problems posed by the recent independence, the scarcity of internal resources, the high number of residents – whose rate of annual increase in the mid-1980s was around 1.1% – making it difficult for the young state to take off, which is afflicted, among other things, by a high rate of unemployment. The income per capita, although on the rise, remains at low values ​​(around $ 2,800 in 1988). The strong deficit of the trade balance is only partially offset by the revenues due to tourism; the countries with which trade is most active are the United States (which supply more than half, in value, of imported goods) and Great Britain. The development of the road network is modest; Antigua and Barbuda has a good port (Saint John’s) and the Vere Bird international airport.


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