Barbados: Trade and Integration as a Strategy for Growth

Dec 2004
Barbados is a small, open island economy with one of the highest trade/GDP ratios in the Western Hemisphere. Because trade plays such a dominant role in the Barbadian economy, it also substantially determines the country¿s development prospects. Exports are particularly important in this respect: export income is needed to create and sustain jobs, to finance imports, to pay off foreign debt, and to maintain a healthy balance in the country¿s external accounts, all of which is necessary to achieve sustainable levels of economic growth. Successful international insertion, through trade facilitation and related measures, should therefore be a central aim of the Bank¿s support strategy for Barbados, particularly at a time when the country is facing the rapid erosion of trade preferences long enjoyed by its exporters in major world markets.