The Bahamas has the highest GDP per capita in the Caribbean region, reaching $34,863.4 in 2019. The country offers a stable political and economic environment, offering investors freedom from taxes. The economy, however, is heavily reliant on the tourism and financial services sectors. The Bahamas National Development Plan: Vision 2040 looks to economic diversification as a priority for growth and identifies new sectors including the blue economy, defined as “the simultaneous promotion of economic growth, environmental sustainability and strengthening of oceans ecosystems by maximising the value of marine resources”.In 2013, Jamaica launched a reform programme following spiralling government debt and fear of economic collapse. Support packages from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank helped the country cut its debt and transform its economy. The World Bank stated that the country’s public debt fell below 100% of GDP in 2018/19 and is expected to decline below 60% by 2025/26, in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Law.Trinidad and Tobago relies on oil and natural gas production to fuel its economy, which accounts for three-quarters of exports and half of government revenue. A drop in oil and gas prices following the 2008 financial crisis heavily impacted the economy, with GDP per capita failing to reach 2008 levels of $21,204 since. The impact of Covid-19 also hit the energy sector hard, although the country is keen to step up production.According to GlobalData’s Trinidad and Tobago Exploration & Production, 2021 report natural gas production is expected to grow by an average of 2% by 2024 and reach more than 3.4 billion cubic feet per day. To increase stability the country is keen to diversify its economy, however. Its National Development Strategy for 2016–2030 highlights agro-processing as one of the seven economic areas of focus. As a result, in 2020 the country’s first agro-processing plant opened in Moruga.Haiti is still recovering from the impact of the 2010 earthquake, one of the deadliest natural disasters on record, which destroyed much of the country’s already frail infrastructure. According to data collected by the Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti, the country has received more than $13bn in aid since 2010. However, mismanagement of this aid, alongside political instability and depreciation of the local currency, have hindered development.The country consistently runs large trade deficits. In 2020, Haiti’s trade deficit amounted to approximately $2.25bn. It has the highest inflation rate in the region, reaching 18.7% in 2019 and 22.8% in 2020. A shortage of basic goods, including food and fuel, has been pushing inflation up in the country.A further earthquake in 2021 and the recent assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, who planned to amend the constitution and consolidate power after bypassing democratic elections in 2019, is likely to bring more turmoil to an already struggling country.Dominica, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, has the lowest GDP in the Caribbean region, reaching only $570m in 2019. This accounted for only 0.01% of Latin America’s GDP. Despite being resource rich, with plentiful rainfall, volcanic soil and farmland, the country relies heavily on tourism. In 2019, travel and tourism contributed 38% of Dominica’s GDP. The impact of Covid-19 on the tourism sector contributed further to an already struggling economy.Dominican Republic leads

introduction

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investment base

Cuba’s GDP has been increasing year on year, rising from $64.3bn in 2010 to $103.1bn in 2019. Its GDP per capita ($9,099.7), however, remains below the Latin America average ($13,727). Despite signs of growth, the import-driven country has been facing shortages of basic goods, made worse by the Covid-19 .

The US’s embargo against Cuba restricts the flow of goods to the country, hindering economic growth. It is estimated to have cost the Cuban economy $130bn over the past six decades. In 2016, then President Barack Obama relaxed sanctions with Cuba, allowed direct flights between the two countries, and eased restrictions on Americans doing business in the country. His successor Donald Trump put an end to this and placed Cuba back on the US list of state sponsors of international terrorism. Current President Joe Biden has promised to relax some of the restrictions again; however, this plan has yet to materialise.

In a bid to strengthen its economy, in January 2021, Cuba merged its dual-currency system. The Cuba national peso (CUP), which many locals use, and its convertible peso, which is used for tourism and business sectors to obtain foreign currencies, were merged into a single CUP currency. However, this is leading to a rise in inflation. Many Cubans are being forced to acquire convertible currencies on the black market due to the overvaluation of the new CUP currency and the need for foreign currency to buy imports. Goods are imported at a high price, but resold at an even higher price, leaving many Cubans facing poverty.

As part of reform plans, wages, salaries and pensions in the country are set to increase. In 2021, Cuba also authorised private activity in most sectors in a bid to open up the country. Many of these changes are a long time coming for the Cuban economy, with some reforms announced as far back as 2011 but repeatedly delayed.

The Dominican Republic’s economy has been growing since 2004, with its GDP peaking in 2019 at $88.9bn. The country is economically stable, with the UN Conference on Trade and Development declaring it the fastest- growing economy in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2010.

At the start of 2021 the World Bank forecast a 4.8% growth in the Dominican Republic’s GDP in 2021 and 4.5% in 2022, above the growth projected for the Caribbean region of 3.7% for 2021. A rebound in the tourism sector in 2021 is likely to boost the country’s economic growth further. The Ministry of Tourism reported more than 327,000 visitors to the country in April 2021, a 7.5% increase compared with the month before.

While tourism is a key sector in the Dominican Republic, in order to maintain growth the country has embarked upon a path of diversification. The OECD’s Production Transformation Policy Review highlights the country’s strong agricultural sector. It is the largest producer of organic cocoa in the world (30% of global production) and also leads on organic bananas (55%). Strengthening this sector and further diversification, including its growing textile and apparel manufacturing sector, would aid with economic development. The US is currently its largest trading partner, but the country is aiming to expand trade with other countries.

The Bahamas has the highest GDP per capita in the Caribbean region, reaching $34,863.4 in 2019. The country offers a stable political and economic environment, offering investors freedom from taxes. The economy, however, is heavily reliant on the tourism and financial services sectors. The Bahamas National

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