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Anguilla (top)

In recent years, GDP has grown at a double-digit pace though the pace is expected to slow as the global economy weakens. Financial services, tourism and construction have been driving forces behind growth but foreign investments in land are also growing .

Aruba (top)

Aruba has one of the highest per capita incomes in the Caribbean region. Per capita income has more than doubled in the past two decades, so that Aruba is now one of the richest islands in the Caribbean .

Offshore banking, oil refining and storage are the other mainstays of the economy. Supervision and regulation of the financial sector has been strengthened in line with the recommendations of the recent Offshore Financial Sector assessment. Recent tax reforms have made the economy more investment friendly.

Authorities have agreed to turn the telecommunications company into a private law company and introduce competition in the mobile phone market. This creates opportunity for foreign investment and market expansion.

Tourism is a major earner of income and provides the most employment opportunities. It contributes more than half of GDP and around 80% of non-oil export revenues. This sector continues to need foreign investment for infrastructure purposes .

Aruba is home to the one of the largest desalination plants in the world . The island has no fresh water supplies and every liter has to be imported or is the product of desalination. The plant continuously seeks further foreign investment.

Bahamas (top)

The Bahamas has one of the highest per capita incomes in the western hemisphere. The tourist industry is the heart of the economy, accounting for a third of GDP .

There is no income or corporate tax. The degree of competition is limited and reforms, particularly in the labor market, are needed. The business climate is relatively attractive but seeks further foreign investment to develop the country.

Barbados (top)

Barbados has about 2.9 million barrels of proven reserves and produces small amounts of natural gas. The country plans to expand production to 3,000 barrels per day in the next few years and has begun to employ horizontal-drilling techniques. The island, along with the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica, is party to the San Jose pact under which Mexico and Venezuela supply crude oil and refined products on favorable terms .

Liberalization of the capital market is also expected in order to bolster capital inflows and is part of the Caribbean's effort to create a single market. The international business sector contributes around half of all government revenues from corporate taxes. The authorities hope to boost competitiveness by reducing income tax rates.

Bermuda (top)

Bermuda has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, having successfully exploited its location by providing financial services and luxury tourist facilities. International business drives Bermuda's economic success, with insurance, reinsurance, mutual fund management and administration dominating .

Bermuda is one of the world’s richest countries. The country realizes around 25% of its GDP from international business. There are more than twelve thousand foreign companies .Companies pay no tax on their profits or their investment income, allowing them to build up reserves for future losses more quickly and making it more attractive to foreign investment

Bermuda realizes around 25% of its GDP from international business. There are more than twelve thousand foreign companies. One-third of the workforce is non-Bermudian and that percentage has been rising over time. Manufacturing tends to center on perfumes, flowers and pharmaceuticals .

Tourism accounts for about 14% of GDP with more than 80% of visitors coming from North America. Tourism is expected to show growth of around 8.8% of GDP in 2009 .

British Virgin Islands (top)

The country is one of the world's principal offshore financial centers. Financial services are the fastest-growing industry in the country. Together with banking and insurance, financial services account for a significant portion of GDP.

The government has introduced a zero income tax regime.. Other incentives include no capital gains tax; no estate duty; no dividend; no withholding tax; no capital transfer tax and no death duties.

The British Virgin Islands is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is highly dependent on tourism, which generates about one-third of GDP .

Cayman Islands (top)

The Cayman Islands are the largest offshore banking center in the world with 600 banks and deposits worth US$500 billion.

Tourism is the main source of income in the Cayman Islands. The sector accounts for about 70% of all economic activity and employs one-third of the workforce. There are more than 100,000 visitors in a typical year. A majority of tourist arrivals (close to 90%) are passenger visitors from cruise ships. The Cayman Islands' currency is often stronger than the US dollar, a factor which periodically impacts on the tourism sector.

There are no taxes in the Cayman Islands: government revenue comes from customs duties, stamp duty and annual fees levied on corporations. More than 80% of the economy is service-based, principally financial services and tourism. The number of registered companies is approaching 60,000. The figure represents one-and-a-half companies per person. The island also has more than 600 banks and trust companies. About 90% of all food and consumer goods must be imported.

Dominica (top)

The move to a value added tax has been accompanied by the elimination of the consumption tax, the sales tax, the hotel occupancy tax and other minor levies. On the revenue side, the tax base has been broadened. The social security system is being reformed and a hike in contribution rates has been imposed.

Authorities are working to reduce the cost of doing business are focused on easing infrastructure constraints and streamlining business procedures. The government has also made several moves to bolster the efficiency of the financial system by restructuring state banks and strengthening the supervision of credit unions. These moves should help to boost productivity and encourage competition.

Most industrial enterprises are geared to the processing of agricultural raw materials: rum manufacture is a major activity. There are also fruit canning plants, tobacco processing sheds and plants making soap and other light products.

Agriculture generally accounts for almost 30% of GDP and employs more than two-fifths of the labor force. The main agricultural product is bananas although limes, oranges, grapefruit, copra and bay oil are also produced for export. Dominica exports 25-35 tons of bananas per year .

Guadeloupe (top)

The country has an industrial free port at Jarry and a fair-sized ship repair business. This creates ease of transportation for companies looking to do business.

Agriculture contributes 15% of GDP and employs 15% of the work force. The industrial sector employs 20% of the workforce and contributes 9% of GDP. Services, which are dominated by the tourist sector, account for 68% of GDP .

Guyana (top)

Officials are anxious to diversify the economy. Guyana has much potential to develop the tourist sector but seeks foreign investment for improvements. Brazil has recently committed US$3 million to complete a bridge between the two countries. This could help to boost trade if it is accompanied by other improvements in transport .

Guyana consists of mainly Amazon rainforest area, which is being deteriorated daily and needs international support to cease its destruction.

Guyana's economy depends heavily on sugar and rice production, gold and bauxite mining, and logging. Foreign investors are hoping to move in to grow sugar cane for ethanol.

Policy makers are working to restructure the state-owned sugar and bauxite companies, and strengthen the regulatory framework of the domestic banking system. To improve the quality and efficiency of public spending and safeguard debt sustainability, the authorities plan to establish a five-year rolling Public Sector Investment Program.

Haiti (top)

The key objective of the current government is to stabilize the economy and gain support of the international community. In support of this effort, the US government eased regulation on the import of Haitian textiles in 2008 which makes the country more attractive to foreign investment and markets.

Haiti has deposits of copper, silver, bauxite, gold, marble, lignite and asphalt, but only bauxite has ever been mined. There is very little foreign investment in the country at present.

There is very little foreign investment in the country at present. There was a significant investment of US$40 million Hilton hotel being built near the airport. The country wants to expand the tourism sector, therefore seeks further investments such as these .

The economy relies overwhelmingly on the agricultural sector, which employs 70% of the workforce. Agriculture accounts for only about 30% of GDP. Coffee is grown for export along with sugar and mangos .

Netherlands Antilles (top)

The banking sector has demonstrated continued resilience. Profitability, provisioning and balance sheets in the banking sector have improved. A new agreement with the Netherlands on dividend taxation is expected to improve the international financial industry.

Tourism, petroleum trans-shipment and offshore finance are the mainstays of the economy, which depends heavily on overseas markets. The main industries are petroleum refining in Curaçao, petroleum trans-shipment facilities in Curaçao and Bonaire and light manufacturing in Curaçao.

The islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure. Pension payments will rise from 2009 due to the ageing population. The retirement age will also be raised to 65 .

Private investment has improved which has been helped by the extension of two airports and several hotel projects that will boost construction activity, although the country continuously seeks foreign investment.

St. Kitts (top)

Nevis's economy is based on tourism and offshore financial services, while St Kitts's economy is larger and more diversified. Services account for 70% of GDP and depend mainly on tourism. Tourism is not fully developed but has considerable potential. It is typically one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy .

Agriculture contributes just 4% of GDP and is spread around the coastal areas. Bananas, copra and cotton are the main export products but sugar cane is the dominant product. The authorities hope to boost production of agricultural crops, livestock and fisheries as part of its overall diversification program .

Banking reformation has taken place on St Kitts, therefore making it an attractive place for foreign investment and removing it from the OECD's list of non-cooperative states.

St. Lucia (top)

Tourism accounts for nearly three-quarters of the country’s exports. Plans exist to increase the stock of hotel rooms by about 30%, or 1,100 new units. The country attracts more than 200,000 visitors in most years . The industry has much potential with forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs and geothermal sources. This sector is continuously seeking foreign investment to realize its tourism potential.

St. Lucia has been able to attract some foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. The fact that the manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area is of great interest to foreign investors looking to penetrate the market.

Trinidad and Tobago (top)

Within the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has become a major financial center and a source of capital. The authorities have embarked on an ambitious effort to modernize the legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks governing the financial sector, with a view to reducing vulnerabilities and promoting Port-of-Spain as a financial center. Additionally, in 2007, the corporate income tax was cut to 25% .

Growth averaged 9% in 2002-2007. Trinidad and Tobago now has one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America. The government hopes to use its energy resources to reach the status of a developed country by 2020. Currently, natural resources provide almost 40% of government income .

Trinidad and Tobago is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean. Crude oil reserves, at an estimated 728 million barrels, will be exhausted in less than two decades unless new reserves are found, therefore the country is seeking foreign investment to help realize this exploration .

Trinidad and Tobago has received foreign direct investment of more than US$6 billion and these inflows are expected to accelerate over the next few years. A series of steps to promote exports including the liberalization of trade and the foreign exchange market have been introduced with modest success. Sugar, citrus fruits and copra being grown for export, while rice, coconuts, yams and bananas are produced for the domestic market.

Suriname (top)

Suriname is a member of CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) common external tariff and approved the CARICOM Single Market and Economy Treaty.
To strengthen the financial system, a new banking supervision law was passed and an anti-money laundering law was implemented.

The government intends to spend heavily on new roads, railways and low-cost housing. These investments are much needed and should contribute to an improved business environment. Officials are also working to promote diversification of the economy. Officials plan to introduce a VAT regime, a move which should reduce the volatility of government revenues. The government reached agreement with private investors to build six industrial plants valued at US$7.4 billion. The projects include urea ammonium nitrate plants, aluminum smelters, a petrochemical complex, and an iron and steel plant .

The government’s policy stance has become more expansionary. The central government's overall deficit has widened, owing to a substantial increase in capital expenditure and a drop in domestic fuel taxes. Monetary policy also became more accommodative.

Agriculture makes up 13% of GDP, industry accounts for 22% and services contribute the remainder. Agriculture is viable only along the coastal regions where the terrain is more accessible. Products range from sugar and banana plantations to rice, which is the staple crop, and vegetables. Further inland, timber and forestry are found. In the high sierras, balata is extracted from trees . Suriname has an abundance of other natural resources including timber, hydropower potential, fish, shrimp, iron ore, as well as small amounts of nickel, copper, platinum and gold.

The country's main industries include bauxite, lumbering, food processing and commercial fishing. The economy is dominated by the bauxite industry, which accounts for around 15% of GDP and more than 70% of export earnings in recent years. Alcoa and BHP Billiton have invested US$150 million in two new bauxite mines which began operation in 2006 .

Suriname has immense and largely unrealized hydroelectric potential in its upland jungle areas, as well as some oil resources offshore . The country is seeking foreign investment to reach its exploration potential.

Euromonitor International