I. Country Profile
The Bahamas, officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country consisting of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States (nearest to the state of Florida). Its land area is 13,939 km2 (5,382 sq mi), with a population of 353,658. Its capital is Nassau. Geographically, the Bahamas lie in the same island chain as Cuba, Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands; the designation of Bahamas refers normally to the Commonwealth and not the geographic chain.
Originally inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 to 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
The Bahamas became a Crown Colony in 1718 when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American War of Independence, thousands of American Loyalists and enslaved Africans moved to the Bahamas and set up a plantation economy. The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 and many Africans liberated from slave ships by the Royal Navy were settled in the Bahamas during the 19th century. Slavery itself was abolished in 1834 and the descendants form the majority of the Bahamas's population today.
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❖ Management Orientation
o Bahamas have a “Local Government Act” to facilitate the establishment of Family Island Administrators, Local Government Districts, Local Government Councilors and Local Town Communities for the various island communities.
o The overall goal of this act is to allow all the various elected leaders to govern and oversee the affairs of their respective districts without the interference of Central Government. Their host-country nationals manage the subsidiaries and coordinate operations on a regional basis.
B. Global Market Analysis
❖ Economic Environment
The economy of the Bahamas is heavily dependent on the tourism and off-shore banking sectors. Tourism alone, directly or indirectly, employs around 60 per cent of the country's workforce.
Economic growth is interlinked with the performance of the US economy, which is the major source of tourism for the Bahamas. Tourism-related construction is the mainstay of the economy, and the construction sector is expected to benefit from numerous tourist-related investment programs.
The Bahamas relies heavily on customs duties for revenue and, as a consequence, treats the issue of free trade cautiously. The Bahamas is currently an observer at the World Trade Organization and has aspirations to join as a full member. The Bahamas chose not to join the Caribbean Single Market (CSM), which took effect on 1 January 2006, mainly because of concerns over its people movement provisions.
❖ Cultural-Social Environment
Bahamian culture is a hybrid of African, European, and other cultures. During the past thirty years the culture has become increasingly influenced by the Hip-Hop culture of United States.
Bahamian culture is related to other creole cultures throughout the Caribbean Basin, but also to the Gullah culture in coastal South Carolina and Georgia in the United States. Many Gullah people were taken to the Bahamas after the American Revolutionary War.
Bahamians are known for being friendly, outgoing and informal. However they maintain a sense of...
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