The Bahamas has one of the Caribbean’s strongest economies. Prosperity is based mainly on tourism and finance. The beauty of the islands and the pleasant climate attracts about 1.6 million tourists annually. The lack of direct taxes and liberal monetary policy has led many banks and companies to establish themselves in the country, which has become the region’s leading tax haven and an international financial center. The service sector accounts for about 90 percent of GDP.
The conditions for agriculture are relatively poor, and the agricultural industries are of only marginal importance. About 80 percent of the country’s food needs are covered by imports. The fish and lobster-rich waters around the islands and the increased cultivation of shrimp have made fishing increasingly important and now constitute a large part of exports. Banking and finance account for 13 percent of employment, which is twice as much as fishing and agriculture combined. The state initiatives to encourage industrial development, based primarily on fishery and agricultural products, have so far had little success. There is some industry, other manufacturing of souvenirs, pharmaceuticals, cement, spirits, salt and wood products as well as oil refining. These products, together with seafood, form the basis of exports, which amounts to only about 1/3 of imports.
Tourism and gastronomy
The Bahamas is the Caribbean’s premier tourist country. The islands are visited annually by about 1.6 million tourists, most of whom come from the United States, but some also from Canada and the United Kingdom. The tourism industry normally accounts for about 60 percent of GDP. Only 40 percent are overnight tourists, which, however, economically means more than the majority of cruise passengers. A pleasant climate and good opportunities for swimming, diving, water sports, fishing and golf. attracts the tourists. Many of the islands also offer memories of their historical past (including extensive piracy). The main tourist destination is the island of New Providence with the capital Nassau. Paradise Island has been expanded with major tourist facilities. The island of Grand Bahama, which is substantially closer to the US coast (less than 100 km) has been quickly exploited with the help of American capital.
- COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Bahamas, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.
From a gastronomic point of view, the Bahamas is a melting pot, in which ingredients have been added as the cultures change. The Arua Indians, who were first on the island, have contributed manioc and chili peppers, which they brought with them from South America. African slaves introduced okra and jams, and once the Europeans were scattered throughout the Caribbean, the various national European kitchens came to contribute to the highly varied cuisine that is characteristic. The rich harvests from the sea also make their mark; Crawfish, sea urchins and sea bass are everyday foods.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Bahamas is Nassau with a population of 274 400 (refers to the entire island of New Providence, estimate 2016). Other major cities include Freeport with a population of 27,000 (estimate 2016).