Barbados - International trade

Barbados generally imports nearly 4 times more than it exports (US$800.3 million in imports as opposed to US$260 million in exports in 2000), creating a huge trade imbalance that is only partly offset by tourism revenues and other service sector income. According to the CDB,

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Barbados
Exports Imports
1975 .107 .217
1980 .228 .527
1985 .354 .611
1990 .211 .704
1995 .236 .764
1998 .251 1.009
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

the balance of payments was in deficit by BDS$76 million in 1999. This situation is sustainable only so long as tourism receipts remain stable, but the island faces real problems of dependency on imported foodstuffs and other basic items.

The main source of imports, according to CDB statistics in 1999, is the United States, which provided 40 percent of the total, followed by regional economies such as Trinidad & Tobago, and the United Kingdom. In terms of exports, Caribbean markets, particularly Jamaica and Venezuela, were the biggest, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the island's export trade. The United Kingdom is an important market for Barbadian sugar and rum.

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