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Investing

FDI in Figures

The economic crisis had a great impact on the FDI flows entering the Bahamas, which have strongly declined in the last years. Despite the strenuous will of the government to ensure the country's economic sovereignty, the dependence of the archipelago on foreign investment remains significant. Foreign investments are subject to governmental approval, with the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) being responsible for approving all FDI in every sector of the Bahamian economy.

The tourism sector attracts the majority of FDI inflows, which primarily comes from the United States, Canada and China. The latter in particular has become a major player and planning to finance new infrastructure projects in the country. The construction of the largest tourist complex of the archipelago, Baha Mar, consisting of 2,300 hotel rooms, deluxe boutiques, a business centre and several casinos was long delayed: construction did not begin until early 2011 and was funded through a USD 2.45 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, along with an USD 850 million investment from Baha Mar and a USD 150 million investment from the contractor, China Construction America. The opening was originally scheduled in May 2015 but never took place. With the project close to its completion, Baha Mar declared bankruptcy. The project’s revival happened in November 2016, when the Hong Kong-based conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises signed an agreement to buy the resort. In April 2017 the complex was partially opened, with a part of the original plan still to be developed. In addition, the Nassau Airport has been expanded and modernised in order to accommodate large aircraft.

The country can offer investors a stable and democratic political environment, attractive tax laws, well-developed infrastructure, a qualified workforce and a geographical proximity to the United States. On the other hand, the main weaknesses of the island are the lack of economic diversification and the small scale of its domestic market. The quality of the business environment could benefit from further improvement: the country ranked 121th out of 190 economies in the 2017 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, losing fifteen positions when compared to the previous year. The tourism sector attracts most of the FDI, which primarily comes from the United States, Canada and China.

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Bahamas
Index of Transaction Transparency* 2.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 8.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 4.7

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201420152016
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 1,599408522
FDI Stock (million USD) 18,775.719,184.119,706.0
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 1.00.01.0
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 61.517.623.2
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 217.9216.7220.5

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

 

Tax Rates

VAT
7.5%
Company Tax
None
Withholding Taxes
No taxes are levied on corporate income or gains. As the Bahamian government does not levy any direct taxes, there are no taxation conventions between the Bahamas and other countries.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers
5.4%
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 
 

Individual Taxes

Income tax The Bahamas does not levy personal income tax.
 
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Bahamas
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 31.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 233.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 33.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Investment Opportunities

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Inter-American Development Bank, Tenders in South America
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Setting Up a Company
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Bahamas.
Useful Resources
Bahamas Investment Authority
 

Business Setup Procedures

Setting Up a Company Bahamas
Procedures (number) 8.00
Time (days) 21.50

Source: Doing Business.

 
 
 

 

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Last Updates: July 2017