National Investment Policy
In 1994, the government introduced a National Investment Policy to support an investment-friendly climate and foster economic growth and development of The Bahamas. An edited version of the policy follows:
The Investment Environment
To support 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 considered.
- 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, a well equipped police constabulary, modern health and education facilities and other social services.
- Dependable public utilities.
- Essential public infrastructure, such as roads, ports and airports.
International Financial Centre
The Government is also 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 regulations 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.
Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB), launched in April 1998, represents an innovative commitment by the financial services industry and the Government of The Bahamas to promote a greater awareness of The Bahamas' strengths as an international financial centre.
BFSB represents and promotes the development of all sectors of the industry, including: banking, private banking and trust services, mutual funds, capital markets, investment advisory services, accounting and legal services, insurance, real estate and corporate and shipping registry.
For more complete details regarding the financial services industry in The Bahamas visit The Bahamas Financial Services Board Web Site at: www.bfsb-bahamas.com.
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 30 years:
- Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act
- Industries Encouragement Act
- Agricultural Manufacturers Act
- Tariff Act
- Hotels Encouragement Act
- Spirits and Beer Manufacturers Act
- Family Island Development Encouragement Act
- Free Trade Zone Act
*Customs duty exemptions do not apply to personal consumables
For more information regarding investing in The Bahamas please contact The Bahamas Investment Authority:
BAHAMAS INVESTMENT AUTHORITY
Office of the Prime Minister
Cecil Wallace-Whitfield Centre
Cable Beach P.O. Box CB-10980
Nassau, The Bahamas
P (242) 327-5970-4 F (242) 327-5907
Preferential Trade Incentives
The following trade arrangements are also in effect:
- Cotonou Agreement
- Caribbean Basin Initiative
Other incentives include investors acquiring public land for approved developments on concessionary terms.
Administration of Policy
The National Economic Council (NEC), headed by the Prime Minister, is responsible for executive management of the investment policy. Operational activities are the responsibility of the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA).