Our comprehensive assessment of Barbados's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Barbados, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Barbados' industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Barbados before your competitors.
Barbados Country Risk
We believe that the English-speaking Caribbean will continue to see a modest economic recovery in the coming quarters as US growth continues. A strengthening US consumer will boost tourism to the region, driving growth in tourism-dependent economies. Financial services will continue to struggle due to tightening financial regulation in developed economies, while lower precious metals prices will weaken the macroeconomic outlook for the region's miners. That said, growth will remain stronger in the region's mining-driven economies than in its predominantly tourism-driven countries.
Caribbean economies will continue to face economic headwinds in the coming years in light of rising debt burdens, fixed exchange rate regimes, and modest growth prospects. These factors, combined with our view that financial services sectors will see a significant...
Barbados Industry Coverage (4)
Food & Drink
Barbados Food & Drink
BMI View: We are turning more positive regarding economic growth in the Caribbean, as structural and financial reforms take hold in the region, tourism numbers pick up and growth becomes stronger in key markets like the US. The large decline in the price of oil over the last year will boost the region's consumer spending, as the Caribbean is a large net oil importer. Inflation will remain low, which will help food consumption growth over the coming years. That said, many regional economies continue to be heavily indebted, which limits general investment...
BMI View: Currency weakness will continue to plague the dollar terms returns of many of the Caribbean insurance sectors covered in this report. Offshore business in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, amounting to around USD45bn annually, dwarf the domestic sectors in the region. Health insurance, an underdeveloped line of business, is likely to outperform in many of these markets over the five-year forecast period.
The insurance markets of the Caribbean, particularly offshore business in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, but also domestic sectors, are heavily tied to the economic fortunes of the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada. The ongoing recovery in both major North American markets should boost the fortunes of the region's insurers, driving demand for offshore reinsurance and captives, as well as boosting domestic economies. On the whole, regulation...
BMI View: Digicel's IPO plans bode well for the future of the Caribbean regional telecommunications market as additional funds raised in the initial stock offering will allow investment into next-generational networks and help expand the market further. However, it also demonstrates the saturated nature of the telecoms industry in the Caribbean, with revenue and subscriber growth flattening. A key downside risk is the company's exposure to weak consumer spending trends in its core markets, an issue that could undermine investor confidence further down the line. Haiti and Cuba represent the largest organic growth opportunities in the region, as both are significantly underdeveloped compared to their peers. However, the risks associated with business in these two markets mean that a mobile subscription boom is far from likely.
BMI View: The ongoing economic uptick in the US will translate into rising departures to the Caribbean in 2015, with St Lucia, St Eustatius, the Cayman Islands and Cuba set to perform particularly well. We see particular opportunities in Cuba, with the US-Cuba diplomatic rapprochement boosting prospects for a relaxation of the bilateral tourist regime.
The Caribbean is a popular tourist market, attracting high numbers of visitors from North America and Europe. Its many beaches and islands have encouraged the development of a high-end, resort-led accommodation sector, with very few budget alternatives on offer. For this reason, the Caribbean is a relatively expensive destination and can be vulnerable to economic fluctuations in its major source markets. In addition, transport infrastructure is lagging behind hotel infrastructure, although we note that there are several major airport expansion projects under way....