Commonwealth of the Bahamas

 

A.    DESCRIPTION

 

Name of the country:Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Capital:Nassau
Government type :Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy and a Commonwealth Realm
Chief of State :Queen Elizabeth II
Deputy Chief of State :Governor General, Dame Marguerita Pindling
Head of Government   :Prime Minister, Perry Christie (since 8 May2012)
Deputy Head of Government :Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Works and Urban Development, Philip Davis
Foreign Minister :Frederick Mitchell
National Holiday : July 10th (1973, independence from Britain)
Geographical location:Caribbean Region, islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located 80 km to the southeast of Florida, USA; at the northeast of Cuba.
Total area:13.940 Km2             
Provinces/Department:31 districts; Acklins Islands, Berry Islands, Bimini, Black Point, Cat Island, Central Abaco, Central Andros, Central Eleuthera, City of Freeport, Crooked Island and Long Cay, East Grand Bahama, Exuma, Grand Cay, Harbour Island, Hope Town, Inagua, Long Island, Mangrove Cay, Mayaguana, Moore's Island, North Abaco, North Andros, North Eleuthera, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, South Abaco, South Andros, South Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, West Grand Bahama
Climate:Subtropical – tropical.
Total Population :

382.571 (est 2014, World Bank)

Age 0-14 years:25.5%
Age 15-64 years:68.0%
Age > 65 years:6.5%
Population Growth:1% (est 2014, World Bank)
National Language:English
Ethnical Groups:black 90.6%, white 4.7%, black and white 2.1%, other 1.9%, unspecified 0.7% (est 2010, CIA Fact Book)
Religions :Baptist, Anglican, Protestant and Roman Catholic
Economy  
Currency:Bahamian Dollar (USD 1 = BMD 1)
GDP (PPP Current International):USD 8.99 billion (est. 2014, World Bank)
GDP (growth):1% (est. 2014, World Bank)
GDP Perkapita (PPP Current International):USD 23.520 (est. 2014, World Bank)
GDP Composition by sector:Agriculture : 2% ; Industry : 21% ; Services: 77% (est. 2014, World Bank)
Industrial products :tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite, pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe
Agricultural products :Citrus; vegetables; poultry
Total Export:US $960 million (est 2014, CIA Fact Book)
Total Import:US$3,05 billion (est 2014, CIA Fact Book)
Export commodities :mineral products and salt, animal products, rum, chemicals, fruit and vegetables
Import commodities :machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and live animals
Export Partners:Cote dIvoire 25.6%, US 21.5%, Dominican Republic 18%, Turkey 4.8%, Ecuador 4.2% (est 2013, CIA Fact Book)
Import Partners:US 36.6%, South Korea 10%, Singapore 9.7%, India 8%, Colombia 5.8%, Japan 5.7% (est 2013, CIA Fact Book)
Natural Resources:salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Entries:Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point (CIA Fact Book)

 

B.   POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

1.    During Bahamas' last election on May 8th, 2012, opposition leader from Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Perry Christie, became Prime Minster for the period 2012 - 2017. Christie replaced Hubert Ingraham from the Free National Movement Party (FNM). 2012 election results showed that Prime Minister Christie received widespread support from the Bahamian community. This is reflected in the composition of the members of Parliament where PLP won 29 of the 38 seats in the legislature. PM Christie appointed Frederick A. Mitchell, who is also a member of the Parliament, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

2.    PM Christie's main policy and objectives include improving economic conditions in the country, reducing unemployment, creating jobs- especially for the younger generation- and running social programs to reduce crime. PM Christie has attempted to promote a pro-business government, especially to attract more investment from abroad. Bahamas' government led by Prime Minister Perry Christie also pays serious attention to the fight against cross-border crime (transnational organized crime), especially to the drug trafficking. As an archipelago, Bahamas is an area of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking in the Caribbean region.

3.    At a regional level, Bahamas has an interest in strengthening the integration of the Caribbean region. Currently, Bahamas became a member of several international organizations including the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), the Latin America and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

4.    In a multilateral context, Bahamas is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Group of 77 + China. Bahamas has also benefited from South-South Cooperation (SSC), especially in the field of tourism, energy, education and transportation

C.  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

1.    Bahamas has one of the most prosperous economies in the Caribbean region. Bahamas economy is highly dependent on the service sector, especially tourism, international banking, investment management and financial services. The tourism sector, including tourism construction and manufacturing, accounted for 60% of revenues for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and directly and indirectly employs half of the workforce in the Bahamas which is 200 thousand people approximately.

2.    During the last 3 years, Bahamas's economic growth rate has tended to decrease e.g. 1.8% (2012), 2% (in 2013) and 1.2% (2014). The government announced that for 2015, it had plans to get a 2.1% of economic growth. 

3.    In the last 3 years, the number of tourists visiting Bahamas increased from about 5, 94 million people in 2012 to 6.15 million people in 2013 and 6.32 million people in 2014. The Government of the Bahamas has great expectations regarding its largest resort Baha Mar, with an investment of $ 3.5 billion.  The resort will be equipped with a casino, sports complex, and shops. Baha Mar Resort is thought to increase tourists' arrivals by a 30% and to increase revenues from tourism in USD 1 billion per year.

4.    The financial sector is the second most important sector for the Bahamas. The Government of Bahamas does not apply tax to individuals and to corporations and just apply a limited tax. Government revenues come from tariffs by an average of 18.9%, national insurance, as well as property and stamp taxes.

5.    The Government of Bahamas also wishes to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO); although, this idea is still under internal debate. 


 D. RELATIONSHIP INDONESIA-BAHAMAS

  1. POLITICAL

1.    The Republic of Indonesia and The Bahamas established diplomatic relations on May 5th, 1977. Based on the verbal note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs No. SK.06 / A / OT / VI / 2004/01 dated June 1st, 2004 and the Circular of the Secretary General No. SE.01 / C / OT / VIII / 2004/02 dated July 20th, 2004, diplomatic relations between the two countries will be carried out through the Embassy of Indonesia in Havana, Cuba and the Bahamas Embassy in Beijing which is concurrently accredited to Indonesia. Based on Presidential Decree No. 181 / M of 2000, the Government of Indonesia appointed Dr. Davidson L. Hepburn as Honorary Consul of Indonesia in the Bahamas starting on July 5th, 2000.

2.    The Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been characterized by mutual agreements and support at different international fora and meetings including the Group of 77 meetings, the International Conference on Financing for Development, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both countries have supported each other through the nomination of Bahamas to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) -2010-2013- and the nomination of Indonesia to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and to  the Board of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) category C for the period 2011 -2013.

II. ECONOMIC

1.    The total value of trade in 2014 was US $ 925 thousand which decreased when compared to the value of trade in 2013 of US $ 7.43 million. Nevertheless, Indonesia still gets a trade surplus of US $ 896 thousand.

2.    For the ongoing period of January-April 2015, the bilateral total trade amounted US$ 327 thousand or 67.4% increased compare to the same period in 2014 of US$ 195 thousand. The Indonesia' export value reached US$ 325 thousand while the import value was around US$ 2.400 or trade surplus for Indonesia amounted US$ 322 thousand.

3.    One of the main factors causing huge fluctuations in the trade balance between Indonesia and the Bahamas during the last 5 years is the purchase / import of vessels by Indonesia. Without the import/ purchase of vessels component, bilateral trade balance of the two countries will be around USD 900 thousand - 1.3 million with the surplus position for Indonesia amounted to $ 800 thousand - $ 1.1 million.

4.    The top products exported to the Bahamas in the period 2012-2014, include soap products, pharmaceutical products, equipment products, furniture products, among others.  Meanwhile the products imported by Indonesia from the Bahamas include ship products, alcoholic beverages, waste products, iron and aluminum, among others.

5.    On June 25th, 2015, the Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) was signed by the Indonesian Ambassador to Cuba, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Jamaica, Teiseran Foun Cornelis and the Minister of State for Finance, Michael B. Halkitis in Nassau, Bahamas.

 6.    In order to increase bilateral trade cooperation and to invite the Bahamian entrepreneurs to participate in the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) in October 2015, the Indonesian Embassy organized on June 25th, 2015 a Business Dinner in Nassau which was attended by around 17 Bahamian Entrepreneurs.  


 

TRADE BALANCE

Indonesia – Bahamas

2010-2015

(Value: Thousand USD)

 

Description20102011201220132014

Trend

(%) 2010-2014

Jan-Apr

Change

(%) 2015/2014

20142015
TOTAL TRADE18.280,51.965,01.339,47.430,9925,4-37,10195,6327,467,37
OIL & GAS0,00,00,00,00,00,000,00,00,00
NON OIL & GAS18.280,51.965,01.339,47.430,9925,4-37,10195,6327,467,37
EXPORT1.152,41.154,71.234,3957,8911,0-6,36195,6325,066,15
OIL & GAS0,00,00,00,00,00,000,00,00,00
NON OIL & GAS1.152,41.154,71.234,3957,8911,0-6,36195,6325,066,15
IMPORT17.128,2810,2105,16.473,214,4-70,150,02,40,00
OIL & GAS0,00,00,00,00,00,000,00,00,00
NON OIL & GAS17.128,2810,2105,16.473,214,4-70,150,02,40,00
TRADE BALANCE-15.975,8344,51.129,3-5.515,4896,70,00195,6322,664,92
OIL & GAS0,00,00,00,00,00,000,00,00,00
NON OIL & GAS-15.975,8344,51.129,3-5.515,4896,70,00195,6322,664,92

 

Source: Trade Ministry, Republic of Indonesia

 

III.    SOCIO-CULTURAL

In the field of information and social-cultural exchanges, the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Bahamas have not been underpinned by a Cultural Agreement. Indonesia has attended three times the International Cultural Festival in the Bahamas (2002, 2009 and 2012) as well as the Food Festival in 2006. Indonesia attended these events mainly to introduce Indonesian culture to the local people and foreigners in the Bahamas. During the aforementioned events, Indonesia promoted craft items, batik motive in scarves, shirts, fan, coin bags and masks and several kinds of typical foods such as sausages solo, pastel, fried noodles, satay, nastar, kastangel and crackers. These activities were also useful to improve the understanding about Indonesia and also to explore the potential of Indonesian batik products in the Bahamian market. Such potential was proved right through the desire of local businesses to import batik from Indonesia. 

E.  COMPOSITION OF THE CABINET

     BAHAMAS

 

I.              MINISTERS

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance:Perry Christie
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development:Philip Davis
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government:Alfred Gray
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs:Allyson Maynard Gibson
Minister of Education, Science and Technology:Jerome Fitzgerald
Minister of Environment and Housing:Kendred Dorsett
Minister of Health:Perry Gomez
Minister for Financial Services:Hope Strachan
Minister of Labour and National Insurance:Shane Gibson
Minister of National Security :Bernard Nottage
Minister of Social Services and Community Development  :Melanie Griffin
Minister of Tourism:Obediah Wilchcombe
Minister of Transport and Aviation:Glenys Hanna Martin
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture:Daniel Johnson

 

​II.            GOVERNMENT MINISTERS

Minister of State for Finance:Michael Halkitis
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration:Frederick Mitchell
Minister of State for Investment:Khaalis Rolle
Minister of State for Legal Affairs :Damian Gomez
Minister of State for National Security:Keith Bell

 

Governor of Central Bank :Wendy Craigg

 

 As of July 8th, 2015