Bahamas Business, Taxation and Offshore Information
The Bahamas Are An Independent Nation State
The Bahamas became independent from the UK in 1973, although the Queen remains Head of State. Beginning 50 miles off Florida, in the Caribbean, the Bahamas has 700 islands and a population of just over 350,000. The official language is English. The capital is Nassau, there are a number of international airports with good connections, and there are excellent port facilities. The climate is sub-tropical. The Westminster-style government is business-friendly. In May 2012, voters ousted Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's Free National Movement Party, with 29 of the 38 House of Assembly seats going to the Progressive Liberal Party led by Perry Christie. Mr. Christie was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 8, 2012.
Economy Based on Financial Services and Tourism
The Bahamas was a trust and tourist jurisdiction very early in the 20th century, but was relatively late in developing as a financial centre. The economy is heavily dependent on tourism (4m visitors a year), but financial services are growing in importance. GDP was USD11.24bn in 2012 (est) at purchasing power parity, and GDP per head was about USD31,900 in 2012 (est) at PPP. This is above average for the region, but well behind the most successful (and smaller) jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.The global financial crisis left its mark on the country's economy with GDP contracting and the budget deficit increasing. However increased tourism, particularly from the US and new investments, have reversed the decline. Investment in the tourism sector and increased visitor numbers are vital for further growth. More »