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. In this regard, the National Investment Policy is designed to support an investment friendly climate; guarantees the complementarity of Bahamian and overseas investments; fosters appropriate linkages with all sectors of the economy, in particular, the tourism and financial services sectors; encourages the exploitation of our natural resources in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner; provides for the maximum level of employment; guarantees an acceptable level of economic security and generally fosters the economic growth and development of The Bahamas.

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The Investment Environment

To undergird the National Investment Policy the Government will provide:

  • A politically stable environment conducive to private investment;
  • An atmosphere where investments are safe and the expropriation of investment capital is not a considered option;
  • 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 and other social services;
  • Dependable public utilities; and
  • Essential public infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports.

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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.

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Investment Incentives

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

  • The Hotels Encouragement Act
  • The Industries Encouragement Act
  • The Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act
  • The Bahamas Free Trade Zone Act
  • The Agricultural Manufactories Act
  • The Spirits and Beer Manufacture 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 labour force.

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Preferential Trade Incentives

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

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

Administration of The Investment Policy

Executive Management of the Investment Policy is resident in the National Economic Council (NEC), headed by the Prime Minister and operational activities will be the responsibility of the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) or the Investor’s “One-Stop-Shop.”

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Establishing a Business In The Bahamas

An international investor seeking to do business in The Bahamas should submit to BIA a project proposal, along with supporting documents. The proposal should provide the information indicated in the following Project Proposal Guideline.

Project Proposal Guideline

  • Name
  • Address (include telephone / fax)
  • Description of Proposal (an executive summary of project)
  • Type of Business (state whether entity is share company, partnership, individual or joint-venture)
  • Principals (persons investing in the venture or major beneficial shareholders)
  • Proposed Location Land or Factory Space Requirements
  • Proposed Start Up Date
  • Management/Personnel Requirements (years of experience, success of similar previous or current activity; work permits, if any, required for key personnel and or non-key personnel)
  • Employment Projections (number of Bahamian and non-Bahamian employees)
  • Capital Investment (indicate the total capital investment to be made in the project, and provide a breakdown of the items involved and an estimate for start up costs)
  • Financial Arrangement (i.e.: a letter of credit from a financial institution or a net worth statement for each principal)
  • Environmental Impact (toxic waste, disposal procedures; toxic input)
  • Concessions Sought (Customs Duty Exemptions)

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General

To ensure the maximum benefit to The Bahamas from the National Investment Policy, certain immigration provisions will apply:

1. Work Permits

Necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permits for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to discuss these requests with the Bahamas Investment Authority in advance.

2. International Owners of Second Homes

Overseas Investors may acquire residential properties in The Bahamas of up to five acres without prior Government approval. Such acquisitions are required to be registered in accordance with the International Persons Landholding Act. Second Home Owners are eligible for a Home Owners Residence Card, renewable annually. This card will:

  • facilitate entry into The Bahamas, and entitle the owner, his spouse and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the validity of the card. Application may be made to the Director of Immigration.

3. Annual or Permanent Residence

Accelerated consideration of applications for annual or permanent residence will be given to:

  • major international investors; and
  • fit and proper owners of residence valued at $500,000 or more.

4. Areas Especially Targeted for Overseas Investors

  • Touristic Resorts
  • Upscale Condominium, Time share and Second Home Development
  • International Business Centre
  • Marinas
  • Information and Data Processing Services
  • Assembly Industries
  • High-Tech Services
  • Ship Repair and other services
  • Light Manufacturing for export
  • Agro-Industries
  • Food Processing
  • Mariculture
  • Banking and other Financial Services
  • Captive Insurance
  • Aircraft Services
  • Pharmaceutical manufacture
  • Off-shore Medical Centres

NB. This list is not exhaustive and investors interested in areas not included are encouraged to bring their interest to the attention of BIA. Please note that investments of less than $250,000 will not be considered.

5. Local Partners in Joint Ventures

International investors are encouraged to establish joint ventures with Bahamian partners. The choice of such Bahamian partners is in the absolute discretion of the investor.

6. Areas reserved for Bahamians

  • Wholesale and Retail Operations;
  • Commission agencies engaged in the import / export trade;
  • Real estate and domestic property management agencies;
  • Domestic newspapers and magazine publications;
  • Domestic advertising and public relations firms;
  • Nightclubs and restaurants, except specialty, gourmet and ethnic restaurants, restaurants operating in a hotel, resort complex or tourist attraction;
  • Security services;
  • Domestic distribution of building supplies;
  • Construction companies, except for special structures for which international expertise is required;
  • Personal cosmetic / beauty establishments;
  • Shallow water scale-fish, crustacea, mollusks and sponge-fishing operations;
  • Auto and appliance service operations; and
  • Public transportation. International Investors may engage in the wholesale distribution of any product they produce locally.

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Important Addresses

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Bahamas Investment Authority
(Financial Services Secretariat)
Office of the Prime Minister
Sir Cecil Wallace -Whitfield Centre,
Cable Beach
P.O. Box CB-10980 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 327-5970-4 - Fax: (242) 327-5907
http://www.interknowledge. com/bahamas/investment

Central Bank of The Bahamas
Frederick Street, P.O. Box N-4868
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 322-2193 / (242) 322-2196
Fax: (242) 322-4321


Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas
Euro Canadian Center

Marlborough & Navy Lion Road
P.O. Box N-9520 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 356-4602 - Fax: (242) 356-4846

Bahamas Chamber of Commerce
Shirley Street, P.O. Box N-665
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 322-2145 / (242) 322-3320
Fax: (242) 322-2649

The Office of The Registrar of Insurance
P.O. Box N-3017 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 328-1068 - Fax: (242) 328-1070

Registrar General Department
Rodney Bain Building
P.O. Box N-532 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 322-3316-8 - Fax: (242) 322-5553

Security Exchange Board
P.O. Box N-8347 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 356-6291 - Fax: (242) 356-7530

Bahamas Real Estate Association
Shirley Street
P.O. Box N-8860
- Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 325-4942 - Fax: (242) 322-4649

Government Publications Office
P.O. Box N-7147 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 322-2410 - Fax: (242) 328-8294

Bahamas Association for International Insurance
P.O. Box N-3029 - Nassau, The Bahamas

Grand Bahama Port Authority
P.O. Box F-42666
Freeport, Grand Bahama - The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 352-6711 - Fax: (242) 352-8310

Association of International Banks & Trust Companies
Norfolk House, Frederick Street
P.O. Box N-7880 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 394-6755 - Fax: (242) 394-3503

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Bahamas Overseas Missions

Canada
Bahamas High Commissioner
Bahamas High Commission
Metropolitan Life Centre
50 O’Connor Street, Suite 1313
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L2
Tel: (613) 232-1724 - Fax: (613) 232-0097

Haiti
Charge d’Affaires a.i.
Embassy of The Bahamas
12 Rue Goulard
Place Boyer, Petion-Ville
P.O. Box 15611
Haiti
Tel: (509) 578-782 - Fax: (509) 570-454

Hong Kong
Consul General Bahamas

Consulate General
c/o Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Hong Kong
Hutchingson International Terminals Ltd.
Kwai Chung Container Port, Container Port Road
South Kwai Chung, New Territories - Hong Kong
Tel: 011-852-8125-7888
Fax: 011-852-8121-4765

London
Bahamas High Commissioner

Bahamas High Commission
No. 10 Chesterfield Street
London W1X 8AH, England
Tel: (011) 44-171-408-4488
Fax: (011) 44-171-499-9937
Telex: 892617

Miami
Consul General
Bahamas Consulate General
25 S.E. 2nd Avenue
Ingraham Building, Suite 818
Miami, FL 33131
Tel: (305) 373-6295 - Fax: (305) 373-6312
Telex: 203-807-849

New York
Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to The United Nations
Bahamas House
231 East 46th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 421-6420 - Fax: (212) 688-5926

Consul General
Bahamas Consulate General
Bahamas House
231 East 46th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 421-6925 - Fax: (212) 759-2135

Washington
Ambassador Embassy of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas
2220 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 319-2660/7 Fax: (202) 319-2668
Telex: 257-10825-0435

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Honorary Consulates

Ambassador (Mr. Sidney Poitier)
Embassy of The Bahamas
c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
P.O. Box N-3746 - Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 322-7624-5 - Fax: (242) 328-8212
*Non-resident accreditation to Japan

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Zurich, Switzerland
Weinbergstrasse 41
8802 Kilchberg
Switzerland
Tel: (01) 715-5227 - Fax: (01) 715-5229

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Dominican Republic
Yuma No.1
NACO-Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
Tel: 809-566-1451 / 809-688-3787
Fax: 809-682-0237

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Chile
Casilla 65, Correo 30
Santiago, Chile
Tel: (562) 231-7986 - Fax: (562) 232-3494

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Israel
44 Veidat Katouit Street
Tel Aviv 62300, Israel
Tel: 03-45-8902 - Fax: 03-44-9687

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, Monaco
Eni International Bank Limited
74 Boulevard D’Italie
MC98000 Monaco
Tel: +377-9315-5454 - Fax: +377-9315-5496

Bahamas Honorary Consulate, France
5, Rue de Beaune
Paris, France 75007
Tel: 4286-0400

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Bahamas Tourist Offices

Canada
Toronto 121 Bloor Street East, Suite 1101
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3M5
Tel: (416) 968-2999 - Fax: (416) 968-0724

England
Surrey
3 The Billings, Walnut Tree Close
Guildford, Surrey GUI 4UL
Tel: (011) 44-148-344-8900
Fax: (011) 44-148-344-8990

France
60 Rue Saint Lazare
75009 Paris
Tel: 011331-452-66262
Fax: 011331-487-40605
Toll Free Information Line: 0800-908-525

Italy
Milan
Via Cusani, No. 7
20121 Milan, Italy
Tel: (2) 7202-3003/2526 - Fax: 7202-3123
Toll Free Information Line: 167-877-225

Germany
Leipziger Strasse 67d
D-60487 Frankfurt/Main
Tel: 01149-699-708-340
Fax: 01149-699-708-3434

Latin America
One Turnberry Place
19495 Biscayne Boulevard, 8th Floor
Aventura, Florida 33810
Tel: (305) 932-0051 and (305) 447-9797
Fax: (305) 682-8758

United States of America
Atlanta
2310 Parklake Drive 300
Atlanta, Georgia, 30345
Tel: (770) 270-2836 - Fax: (770) 270-2837
Chicago
8600 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 820
Chicago, Illinois 60631
Tel: (312) 693-1500 - Fax: (312) 693-1114
Dallas
World Trade Centre
Suite 116, 2050 Stemmons Freeway
P.O. Box 420068
Dallas, Texas 75343-0068
Tel: (214) 742-1886 - Fax: (214) 741-4118
Miami
1 Turnberry Place
19495 Biscayne Boulevard, 8th Floor
Aventura, Florida 33180
Tel: (305) 932-0051 - Fax: (305) 682-8758
Latin America Tel: (305) 447-9797
New York
150 East 52nd Street
28th Floor, North
New York, N.Y. 10022
Tel: (212) 758-2777 - Fax: (212) 653-6531

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