Barbados - Economic sectors

The structure of the economy in Barbados today is unrecognizable from that of 50 years ago. Agriculture in 1946 accounted for 37.8 percent of GDP and 55 percent

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Barbados 108,000 8,013 AM 2; FM 3; shortwave 0 237,000 1 76,000 19 6,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Jamaica 353,000 (1996) 54,640 (1996) AM 10; FM 13; shortwave 0 1.215M 7 460,000 21 60,000
St. Lucia 37,000 1,600 AM 2; FM 7; shortwave 0 111,000 3 32,000 15 5,000
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

of foreign exchange earnings, while in 1998 it represented only 4 percent of GDP and only 2.9 percent of foreign exchange earnings. Sugar is still the island's main agricultural commodity, earning approximately US$34 million annually.

Industry has grown significantly over the same period, reaching 16 percent of GDP in 1998, although parts of this sector have declined since the recession of the late 1980s. The island's industry is divided between manufacturing for local consumption and export-oriented assembly work aimed at the North American market. In

1998, total manufactured exports, excluding the traditional products of refined sugar and rum, earned US$139 million.

The major contributor to the Barbadian economy is the service sector, which represented 80 percent of GDP in 1998. The sector includes government services, the tourism industry, and the 2 recently developed areas of financial services and informatics. Of these, tourism is the principal foreign exchange earner, and the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD) estimates that tourist expenditures in the island reached US$703 million in 1998.

The growth of services is counterbalanced by stagnation in manufacturing and the limited contribution made by agriculture. High costs probably account for problems in manufacturing. Both wages in the sector and necessary inputs are higher in Barbados than in other Caribbean countries, but the island's reputation for stability and high-quality service explain the growth in the newer sectors of the economy.

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