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Barbados has two major political parties: the Democratic Labor Party (currently, the Government) and the Barbados Labor Party (the Opposition) ...

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US Embassy Barbados and Eastern Caribbean

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Commercial Overview

of CS Partner Post-

US Embassy Bridgetown


  • Eastern Caribbean Islands Covered

  • Country Profile

  • Economic Overview

  • Political Overview

  • Best Prospects for U.S Exports and Opportunities in Barbados

  • Opportunities in the Eastern Caribbean

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Which Islands are Covered in The Eastern Caribbean?

  • Antigua & Barbuda

  • Barbados

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Saint Lucia

  • Saint Kitts & Nevis

  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

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  • Commercial Services are covered by the Political Economic Section since FCS closed its office in Barbados in 2007.

  • US Embassy Bridgetown is now equipped to handle all requests that may come through FCS since the MOU has been signed.

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Country Profile

  • Population:276,000 (approx.)

  • Language:English

  • Land Area:166 sq. miles

  • Tourist Arrivals:1,267,729

  • Total imports: $1.7 billion

  • Imports from U.S.: $637 million

  • U.S. Market Share:36.7%

  • Total Exports:$217.5 Million

  • Exports to U.S.:$40.7 Million

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Economic Overview

  • GDP: $3.77 Billion

  • GDP Growth Rate: 0.7% (2008) .

  • The projections for 2009 are -2 to -2.5 % GDP growth rate

  • Inflation: 7.3 %

  • Unemployment : 8.1%

  • Per capita income: US$19,300

  • Exchange Rate: US$1.00 to BDS$2.00

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Political Overview

  • Barbados enjoys a stable political environment.

  • Barbados has two major political parties: the Democratic Labor Party (currently, the Government) and the Barbados Labor Party (the Opposition).

  • General Elections were held in January 2008. The Democratic Labour Party won a 20 to 10 majority.; ending the three consecutive terms. The term of office is five years. There is a tradition of stable policies pursued from one administration to the next.

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Best Prospect Sectors for U.S. Exporters

  • Telecommunications Equipment

    (Customer Premises Equipment and Cellular Equipment)

  • Computers and Peripherals

    (Local Area Network Equipment, Mini Computers and Printers)

  • Hotel & Restaurant Equipment

    (Resort Furnishings/Equipment and Food Preparation Equipment)

  • Sporting Goods and Recreational Equipment

    (Golf Equipment and Resort/Leisure Facilities Equipment)

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Telecommunications Equipment

  • Total Market: $23.5 Million

  • US Market Share: 56.4%

  • Opportunities: Barbados has liberalized its telecommunications market, and there is full competition in the cellular, domestic, customer premises equipment and international sectors. The market is currently in a stage of transformation. New opportunities for US telecom and retail companies have arisen in the area of call centers for long distance calling and the outsourcing of customer service via telephone.

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Computers and Peripherals

  • Total Market: $51.8 Million

  • US Market Share: 80.4%

  • Opportunities: The Inter-American Development Bank is providing USD $85 million for the EDUTECH project, thus providing opportunities for U.S. companies to supply computers, information technology equipment and software. In addition, Barbados enjoys a high rate of internet connectivity, computers per household and computer literacy in the hemisphere. There will also be new opportunities in the IT sector as plans are afoot to establish transcription centers in the industrial parks. There is already one Medical Transcription centre on the island.

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Hotel and Restaurant Equipment

  • Total Market: $2.3 Million

  • US Market Share: 79.3%

  • Opportunities: Tourism remains the leading sector in the Barbados economy. The growth in the tourism sector has created a demand for hotel and restaurant equipment. There has been a growth in the construction of villas and high end guesthouses particularly on the West Coast. Smaller scale hotel construction continues on the South Coast with three (3) new hotels scheduled to open by the end of 2010. In addition, many current hotels on the island have embarked on renovation and remarketing plans.

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Sports Goods and Recreational Equipment

  • Total Market: $0.4 Million

  • US Market Share: 11%

  • Opportunities: The United States is the market leader for the supply of sporting goods and recreational equipment. The Barbados Government is seeking to establish Barbados as a sports tourism destination and an off season sports training venue with the upgrade of its Sporting facilities.

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Eastern Caribbean- Organization of Caribbean States

  • Market size: 6 countries with population range of between 40, 000 in St. Kitts and Nevis to 170, 000 in St. Lucia.

  • Stable Political environment

  • High level of education

  • Official language is English

  • GDP range is from $365 million to $ 1.126 billion; per capita ranges from $9, 900 to $19,000.

  • GDP Growth ranges from 2.1% in AB to 5% t o SVG (2008 est.)

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  • Inflation rates range from 1.9% in St. Lucia to 6.1 % to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2008 est.)

  • The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is an economic and monetary union. The common currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which is pegged to the US dollar at XCD 2.70: USD 1.

  • The Eastern Caribbean are similar to Barbados’ key sectors: tourism, telecommunications, infrastructural development, call centers and transcription centers.

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Foreign Commercial Service,

Dominican Republic

Maria Elena Portorreal

Tel: (809) 227-2121

Jake Aller

Commercial Officer

Jonelle M. Watson

Political Economic/ Commercial Assistant

Tel: (246) 227-4052

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