Economic Policy

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is committed to building an economic environment in which free enterprise can flourish; where the Government assumes its proper role as regulator and facilitator of economic development; where the ideals of transparency, fair play and equality of treatment are paramount; and a policy that maintains a stable society in which all people are afforded the opportunity to realize their maximum potential.

The Investment Environment

To underscore the National Investment Policy the Government will provide:

  • A politically stable environment conducive to private investment;
  • A legal environment based on a long tradition of parliamentary democracy, the rule of constitutional and statute laws and where security of life and personal property are guaranteed;
  • A stable macroeconomic environment bolstered by a prudent fiscal policy, a stable exchange rate, flexible exchange control rules and free trade;
  • An environment in which freedom from Capital Gains, Inheritance, Withholding, Profit Remittance, Corporate, Royalties, Sales, Personal Income, Dividends, Payroll and Interest taxes is ensured;
  • Essential public services, an adequately equipped police constabulary, modern health and education facilities;
  • Dependable public utilities; and
  • Essential modern public infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports.

Investment Incentives

Investment incentives under the following Acts include exemption from the payment of customs duties on building materials, equipment and approved raw materials, business licensing fees and real property taxes for periods up to twenty years:

  • The Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act
  • The Industries Encouragement Act
  • The Agricultural Manufacturers Act
  • The Tariff Act
  • The Free Trade Zone act
  • The Hotels Encouragement Act
  • The Spirits and Beer Manufacturers Act

NOTE: Custom duty exemptions do not apply to personal consumables.

  • Investors may acquire publicly owned lands for approved developments on concessionary terms; and
  • Acquire low cost space for lease for industrial enterprises.
  • Government will provide special training and retraining for Bahamian workers to ensure the continuing availability of a highly skilled labor force.

Business located in The Bahamas may benefit from the following preferential trade arrangements:

  • The Lome Convention
  • General System of Preference (GSP)
  • Caribbean Basin Initiative
  • Caribbean Basin Initiative

Tax Information Exchange Agreements TIEA's signed with 23 countries to establish double taxation treaties. The most recent ones signed have been signed with Canada and Japan.

International Financial Centre

The Government is committed to enhancing the image of The Bahamas as an international financial centre. To this end the Government will:

  • Maintain the Bahamas as a leading financial services centre;
  • Monitor all developments in the international financial markets and amend any rules, regulations or legislation that would preserve and enhance the competitiveness of the financial services sector of the Bahamian economy;
  • Ensure the operation of a clean financial centre with specific rules and regulation to prevent the laundering of criminally derived assets;
  • Support The Central Bank of The Bahamas in its commitment to bank supervision and promoting high standards of conduct and sound banking practices;
  • Support the self regulatory measures of the Association of International Bank and Trust Companies (AIBT), particularly, the established code of conduct for bank and trust companies;
  • Continue enforcement of our bank secrecy laws.

Some major international banks operating in the Bahamas:

Royal Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Scotland
First Caribbean International Bank
Credit Suisse
Banque Privee Edmond De Rosthschild
Hottinger Bank & Trust
Santander Bank & Trust
Societe Generale
J.P. Morgan Trust
Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch
Banque Pashe
Pictet Bank & Trust
Julius Baer Bank & Trust
Finter Bank & Trust
Butterfield Bank
BNP Paripas Bank
Fidelity Bank

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Bahamas Investor's Resource Guide

Special supplement of The Bahamas Investor, Etienne Dupuch Jr. Publications Ltd.

Bahamas Investment Authority

Online Magazine July - December 2014

2014 Island Living supplement