The Bahamas - International trade

The Bahamian economy is dependent on trade with the United States. Most of the tourists that visit the nation are from the United States, and there are 110 American-owned businesses in the islands. In addition, 55 percent of Bahamian imports come from the United States, and American distributors also handle many of the nation's other imports. Other than the United States, which supplies 27.3 percent of Bahamians imports, the Bahamas' other main import partners are Italy with 26.5 percent, Japan with 10 percent, and Denmark with 4.2 percent. The country's main export partners are the United States at 22.3 percent, Switzerland at 15.6 percent, the United Kingdom at 15 percent, and Denmark at 7.4 percent. In 1998, the Bahamas had exports of US$300 million and imports of US$1.87 billion.

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Bahamas
Exports Imports
1975 2.508 2.697
1980 5.009 7.546
1985 2.707 3.078
1990 .241 1.112
1995 .176 1.243
1998 .300 1.872
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

Exchange rates: Bahamas
Bahamian dollar (B$) per US$1
2001 1.000
2000 1.000
1999 1.000
1998 1.000
1997 1.000
1996 1.000
Note: Fixed rate pegged to the US dollar.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

The government supports efforts to set up a free trade area that would end tariffs and other taxes on goods imported from or exported to members of the agreement in the Caribbean region. However, since most of the Bahamas' revenue comes from tariffs and duties on imported goods, the government would have to dramatically change its tax system.

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