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The Country

Barbados is in the Eastern Caribbean, 21 miles long by 14 miles wide.   Barbados enjoys a long-standing democratic tradition, a strong commitment to the rule of law and an open economy with a marked dependence upon imports, 40 percent of which come from the United States.

Market Overview

  • Small Country: Barbados, the easternmost Caribbean island, is an English speaking country 21 miles long by 14 miles wide, with approximately 287,000 inhabitants and a labor force of 126,000.
  • Stable Democratic Government: Barbados enjoys a longstanding democratic tradition and a strong commitment to the rule of law and political and economic freedom.
  • Economy on the Rebound: The Barbadian economy is expected to grow by 2% in 2015. At the end of February 2015, annual inflation was measured at 1.7%. The unemployment rate remained around 11.5%. More…

Market Challenges

  • Monetary and Fiscal Challenges: The main objective of Barbados' monetary policy is to preserve the fixed exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, which has remained at two Barbadian dollars to one U.S. dollar for the last 35 years. The fiscal deficit for 2014 was estimated at 8.8% of GDP, with expectations that this will decrease to 7.5% in 2015. The Caribbean is one of the most indebted regions in the world, and Barbados is no exception, with a debt to GDP ratio of over 100%. In December 2014, Standard and Poor downgraded Barbados’ long-term sovereign debt from ‘BB-‘ to ‘B’ with a negative outlook.
  • Relatively High Tariffs: Tariffs remain high, but over the past few years Barbados has lowered its tariffs and simplified its tariff system to fulfill its WTO obligations. More…

Market Opportunities

  • Renewable Energy Technology and Equipment: Barbados increased the Renewable Energy Rider capacity from 9 Megawatts to 20 Megawatts. The Government of Barbados is committed to renewable energy accounting for 29 percent of the island’s primary electricity by 2029.
  • Hotel and Restaurant Equipment: Barbados has announced plans for the addition of new hotels to their tourism portfolio. More…

Best Prospects

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