Bahamas - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunites
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Tourism and related services (including construction): 

The tourism and tourism services sector are the lifeblood of The Bahamian economy, contributing over 70 percent of the country’s GDP and employing just over half of the workforce.  Air and sea arrivals to The Bahamas are up 515.6 percent compared to the 2021 pandemic year.  Government efforts to increase the number of U.S. carriers and travel routes between the United States and The Bahamas are likely to see continued growth in tourist arrivals.  Tourism continues to lead the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

Driving the tourism recovery - is the completion of the $300 million Nassau Cruise Port and construction of over $1 billion in tourism related projects, including a $400 million Disney Cruise Line Lighthouse Point development, a $200 million Carnival Cruise port, a $200 million Ritz Carlton development, and Sterling Global Financials’ $250 million Hurricane Hole mega-yacht facility.  The government is also promoting boutique hotels and Air BnB-style accommodations and homestays on smaller islands, and exploring niche tourism offerings, like medical, wellness, religious, culinary, and environmental tourism.  These all require management and related goods and services U.S. firms can provide.  

Renewable and Non-Oil Energy and Energy efficiency: 

The Bahamas is transitioning to non-oil and renewable energy, including a goal of sourcing 30 percent of its energy needs through renewables by 2030, providing financial incentives for household solar, and transitioning directly to solar on less populated islands.  The Bahamas is transitioning from diesel to liquified natural gas (LNG) on its most populated island of New Providence and recognizes LNG as a bridge to renewables adoption.  These renewable energy efforts are supported by a $9 million EU grant and an $80 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan, and the government is committed to transitioning its fleet to electric vehicles and retrofitting government buildings with renewable energy systems.  In April 2022, the government announced plans to become the first country in the world to sell blue carbon credits to finance renewable energy and climate-resilient infrastructure. 

Reconstruction and Infrastructural Redevelopment: 

Since Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the second and third most populous islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco remain in need of redevelopment assistance.  There are opportunities for U.S. companies in construction, non-oil and renewable energy, utilities management, water treatment, and repairs to critical infrastructure.  Hurricane-resistant standards figure prominently in the government’s redesign and rebuilding plans, including topography design, temporary and permanent housing, and urban planning.  There are opportunities in infrastructural development, including airport and seaport upgrades and roadway improvements – all requiring traditional and prefabricated materials, capital equipment and supplies, and constructions services.

Natural Resources:

To provide new direction and purpose with the intent of maximizing returns on the country’s natural resources and ensuring effective and transparent management, the government of The Bahamas introduced the National Investment Funds Bill (IFB) in December 2022, which replaced and repealed the previous Sovereign Wealth Fund Act of 2016.  The IFB focuses on the management of natural resource wealth and also aims to create a framework that supports the advancement of the blue, green, and orange economies of The Bahamas.  The national Natural Resources Committee is actively exploring commercial development options for various resources such as aragonite, limestone, salt, sand, forestry, sun, wind, and oil.  Potential investment from U.S. firms is particularly anticipated in sectors like limestone mining, and forestry.  However, a regulatory body will need to be established to oversee the industry to avoid potential delays in investment.

Digital Economy & E-Commerce: 

The Bahamas has seen increased demand for information technology and data security services due to the pandemic.  The government is committed to further digitizing its services and online processes, including foreign investment applications, as well as developing an “entrepreneur visa” to attract high-tech companies.  There is continued demand for smart technology, ICT services and equipment, medical technology and equipment, and consumer products.  The government plans to establish a “Tech Hub” at the University of The Bahamas Grand Bahama campus, and with the assistance of a U.S.-based company, the government has developed marketing strategies to promote the tech hub and train Bahamians in software development.

Digital Assets and FinTech: 

In 2022, The Bahamas announced plans to transform the country into a global digital assets’ hub.  The enactment of the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Act 2020 strengthened the digital assets regulatory environment covering its central bank baked digital currency “Sand Dollar”, cryptocurrencies, centralized and decentralized exchanges, and related services.  This enhanced regulatory environment drew FTX, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, to relocate its headquarters to The Bahamas from Hong Kong in 2021.  Despite the December 2022 collapse of Bahamas-based FTX, companies utilizing fintech and blockchain technology continue to show interest in The Bahamas.  The Securities Commission of The Bahamas, which has direct regulatory oversight of the sector, released a draft of the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Bill, 2023.  The 2023 bill updates the DARE Act of 2020.  Among other things,     the bill expands the scope of regulated business activities to include digital asset advising and management, derivative services, node services and staking.  It sets requirements for exchange systems and controls and regulates custodial wallets and initial token offerings.
Manufacturing: Grand Bahama, the second-most populous Bahamian island, features a free-trade zone that is home to many U.S. owned manufacturing businesses, including cement and pharmaceuticals.  Efforts are underway to promote light manufacturing for export abroad.

Consumer Products: 

Most consumer products in The Bahamas are imported.  Bahamians are brand conscious and prefer American brands that they encounter on frequent buying trips to the United States, or through advertisements on U.S. cable TV programming. 

Agriculture & Food Products: The Bahamas imports nearly 90 percent of its food at an annual cost of approximately $1 billion, nearly all from the United States.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes large hotels and resorts purchase a substantial percentage of their food and beverage products directly from U.S. suppliers.  The Bahamian government is seeking private investment in the agriculture and fisheries sectors to increase their contribution to GDP by 2031.