Local Time in Santo Domingo: Print

Overview of Barbados

 Capital City:  

Bridgetown

 President:

Owen Arthur

 Official Language: 

English

 Currency:

Barbados Dollar

 Exchange Rate:

US$ 1 = 2.02 Barbados Dollars

 Land Area:

166 square miles

 Population:

281,968

 Climate:

Tropical

International Airport: Grantley Adams International Airport.

Major Port: Bridgetown, St. Michael.

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.

Trade Highlights

  • Total Imports =  $1.59 billion
  • Imports from U.S. = $202 million
  • U.S. Imports Market Share = 38%
  • Major Imports = consumer goods, machinery, foodstuffs, construction materials, chemicals, fuel and electrical components

Economic Outlook

  • GDP = $5.32 billion (2007)
  • GDP Per Capita = $3.73 billion (2007)
  • GDP Growth Rate = 4.2% (2007)

Historically, the Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities. However, production in recent years has diversified into light industry and tourism, with about three-quarters of GDP and 80% of exports being attributed to services. Growth has rebounded since 2003, bolstered by increases in construction projects and tourism revenues - reflecting its success in the higher-end segment.

The country enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region and an investment grade rating which benefits from its political stability and stable institutions. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern US financial centers and a relatively highly educated workforce. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises.

Best Prospects

  • Telecommunications Equipment
  • Building Products
  • Computers and Peripherals
  • Household Consumer Goods
  • Hotel and Restaurant Equipment