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Antigua and Barbuda: Trade and Finance
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Economy > Trade and Finance

TRADE AND FINANCE


Although Antigua and Barbuda was dependent on trade for its survival, it maintained large annual trade deficits throughout the 1980s. Manufactured goods, not including processed foods and beverages, comprised 59 percent of all exports in 1981. Food, beverages, and tobacco represented 20 percent, and other items accounted for the remaining 21 percent. Seventy percent of exports were destined for other Caricom countries, especially Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica; the United States received 26 percent of Antiguan and Barbudan exports. Imports mainly came from the United States and included food, beverages, and tobacco (33 percent in 1981) and manufactured goods (25 percent). Other items accounted for 43 percent. Other major trading partners were Britain and Canada. In 1986 exports were estimated to equal US$51.8 million, whereas imports were US$74.1 million, for a trade deficit of US$22.3 million. This gap, although still large, was reduced from the 1982 level, when the trade deficit was US$90 million.

Like the economy in general, the finance industry in the 1980s was controlled largely by foreigners. Predominant were a small number of British and Canadian banks and insurance companies. Loans, a source of commercial and consumer credit, constituted the main link between the financial elements and the rest of the economy. The private financial institutions favored the tourist and construction industries to the detriment of other areas of the economy. Seeing this as unsatisfactory, the government established its own banks and insurance companies, including the Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank. Public institutions were a relatively insignificant part of the financial sector, however.

Antigua and Barbuda, as a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS -- see Glossary), was a member of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. As such, it used the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which was created in July 1976 and pegged to the United States dollar at the rate of EC$2.70 equals US$1.00.

Data as of November 1987




Last Updated: November 1987


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Antigua and Barbuda was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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