Business

Doing Business in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is an archipelagic nation of nearly 400,000 people and 700 islands that stretch from the coast of Florida nearly to Haiti.  The Bahamas is sometimes called the United States’ “third border” because only 50 miles separate the two countries at their closest point.  The Bahamas gained independence from the UK in 1973 and has functioned successfully as a democracy ever since.  The country has a stable investment climate, democratic tradition, respect for the rule of law, and well-developed legal system.  Geographic proximity and cultural, economic, and family ties make The Bahamas one of our most enduring partners in the Western hemisphere.  Many Bahamians travel to the United States to visit family, attend college, conduct business, or shop.

Tourism and financial services comprise 85 percent of the country’s $12 million annual GDP, and The Bahamas has the fourth highest per capita GDP of the 42 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean at $28,239, according to the World Bank.  The Bahamas conducts more than 85 percent of its international trade with the United States, and the United States holds a trade surplus of $2.5 billion.  Over seven million tourists visit annually, 80 percent of whom come from the United States.

U.S. Embassy Nassau assists U.S. companies to develop, expand, and connect to the Bahamian market and engages the Government of The Bahamas to promote U.S. business interests, diversify its economy, and deepen the bilateral economic relationship.  U.S. Embassy Nassau collaborates with the American Chamber of Commerce and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation to improve the ease of doing business, promote a transparent government tendering process, and attract foreign direct investment.

Strengths

  • English speaking and 50 miles from Florida (at its closest point)
  • Monetary stability à Currency pegged to $USD
  • No income or corporate taxes; Easy repatriation of profits
  • Large annual tourist market of over seven million
  • Government focus on increasing Foreign Direct Investment and diversifying the economy
  • Stable Parliamentary Democracy

Challenges

  • Bureaucratic investment approval process
  • High energy/utility and labor costs
  • High Import Tariffs

Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports & Investments

  • Tourism and related construction
  • Renewable and non-oil energy
  • Agricultural development and food production
  • Reconstruction and infrastructure development
  • Natural resources
  • Digital economy and e-commerce
  • Digital assets and fintech
  • Manufacturing
  • Consumer Goods

U.S. Embassy Nassau is a Department of Commerce Partner Post with a mandate to support U.S. businesses interests in The Bahamas.  The Economic/Commercial team NassauCommercialDL@state.gov stands ready to help you do business in The Bahamas.

The U.S. Embassy recognizes the importance of trade to the global economy and knows that trade data is often hard to find or comes from unreliable sources.  Below are two links the public can use to better understand The Bahamas and the United States trade, globally.  The information can also be refined to pinpoint data regarding a specific aspect of our bilateral trade.  Interested in the value of spiney lobster,  woven fabric, or limestone aggregate exports to the U.S.?  Looking for information regarding bell pepper, automobile, or fuel imports from the U.S.?  The links below can help you get there!

The Bahamas Trade Information Portal was established by The Ministry of Financial Services and The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation in 2017.  It is an online one stop shop to provide easy access to essential Bahamas international business & trade data.  No log in is required.

Provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, USA Trade® Online is a dynamic data tool that gives users access to current and cumulative U.S. export and import data.  With multiple data sets and capabilities, USA Trade® Online can assist different types of users from a wide range of industries and fields, economists, and government representatives.  Users must create an account to gain access to USA Trade® Online.