Antigua and Barbuda – Country Profile

Antigua and Barbuda – Country Profile

General Information

Official Name Antigua and Barbuda
Capital Saint John’s
Land Area 440 sq km
Population 91,295
Currency 1 CAD = 2.03 $ECD (East Caribbean Dollar)
National Holiday 1 November (State Day)
Language(s) English
Source: Bank of Canada (Currency Conversion 01/09/2015)

Political Information

Form of State Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
Head of State Queen Elizabeth II, represented  by the Governor-General, currently Sir Rodney Williams
Head of Government Gaston Browne
Elections June 2019
Source: Economic Intelligence Unit

Economic Information

Antigua and Barbuda Canada
GDP (PPP) $2,636 Billion $2,042.75 Trillion
GDP per capita $29,751 $47,531
GDP annual growth rate +2.37% +2.3%
GDP – composition by sector Agriculture: 1.9%

Industry: 18.5%

Services: 79.6%

Agriculture: 1.7%

Industry: 28.4%

Services: 70.1%

Inflation rate – average consumer prices 1.19% 2%
Main industries Tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances) Transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas.
Note: 2014 data in Canadian dollars ($CAD)
Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, World Bank Data, CIA World Factbook, Bank of Canada (Currency Conversion 01/09/2015).

Political and Economic Stability

Antigua and Barbuda is an independent state and a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The OECS is an economic union of nine countries from the eastern Caribbean. OECS countries agreed to promote cooperation and assistance in the development of each nation after gaining independence from Great Britain (except Anguilla). The OECS shares a common supreme court and is governed by seven departments that cover all the nations: the Authority, the Council of Ministers, the Assembly, the Economic Affairs Council, the Commission, The Secretariat and the Institutions department.

Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda’s economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. The dual-island nation’s agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on tourist arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from natural disasters. In 2009, Antigua’s economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis and suffered from the collapse of its largest private sector employer, a steep decline in tourism, a rise in debt, and a sharp economic contraction between 2009 and 2011.

Antigua and Barbuda is experiencing a moderate economic recovery, but fiscal performance has been weaker than expected. The economic recovery continues to be tepid, with real GDP growth estimated at 2.4 percent in 2014. A weakening of tourist arrivals in the fourth quarter continued in the first few months of 2015 and is expected to reduce growth to 2.1 percent in 2015. The growth outlook for Antigua and Barbuda is moderate. This outlook reflects, on the upside, the lower oil prices, the recovery in the US, and the opening of a new airport terminal. And, on the down side, the decline in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2015 (6.4 percent) has reduced the prospects for the sector.


Global Affairs Canada (GAC) recommends that Canadians exercise normal security precautions when traveling to Antigua and Barbuda.  For detailed and up-to-date information on travel security, please refer to the DFATD Travel Report for Antigua and Barbuda.

Trade Information

Trade Partners & Direction 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Antigua and Barbuda to the World 35,858 28,685 28,989 33,891 27,862
Antigua and Barbuda to Canada 420 414 1,738 623 447
Canadian Exports to Antigua and Barbuda 20,085 10,249 18,968 15,957 11,444
Note: Data in thousands of Canadian dollars (CAD)
Source: Trade Data Online (Industry Canada), Trade Map (International Trade Centre), World Integrated Trade Solution (World Bank)
Excluding mineral products (HS2 Codes 26-27 and 71-80)
Source: International Trade Centre Trade Map
Excluding mineral products (HS2 Codes 26-27 and 71-80)
Source: Industry Canada Trade Data Online

Business Climate

The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report ranks economies from 1 to 189 (with 1 being the best) on their ease of doing business. In the 2016 report, Antigua and Barbuda ranked 104 overall and 114 for Trading Across Borders, which measures the ease with which a standardized shipment of goods can be imported or exported across its borders. In the 2014 report the average time to export goods in Antigua and Barbuda is 16 days, with a low average estimated cost of $CAD 2,636 per 20-foot container.

Antigua and Barbuda wasn’t assessed by Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index. However, Canadian companies are advised to exercise strict due diligence before working with a company from Antigua and Barbuda to ensure that it is a bona fide and reputable entity. It is suggested that Canadian importers commission a report by a credit information provider to verify the financial strength of the partner.

Sustainability Initiatives

Antigua and Barbuda, as a member of the OECS, adheres to the St. George’s Declaration, an act that establishes principles for environmental sustainability. This declaration outlines 21 principles concerning poverty reduction, strengthening regulation and the rule of law, social integration in industries, private sector involvement, education improvement, climate change preparation and mitigation, pollution management, protection of endangered species, developing science and technology, among others. Each member nation of the St. George’s Declaration has the responsibility to implement programs in accordance with this declaration in order to guarantee a sustainable region for the future.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) acts as the Monetary Authority for eight of the ten OECS nations and maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean Currency. The ECCB also encourages governments, industries and foundations located in the Eastern Caribbean Islands to develop programs and initiatives for improving education, community outreach, sports funding, cultural development and education through awarding governments, public and private sector companies. Each year, The Best Corporate Citizen awards recognize and provide financial benefits to companies and entities that developed CSR initiatives in one or more of the OECS countries.

Trade Opportunities

Antigua and Barbuda’s primary export goods include sails for boats (8.5 million CAD in 2014), rum and tafia (1.2 million CAD in 2014) and electronic products (2.25 million CAD). These three product groups offer opportunities for increased trade between Canadian buyers and exporters from Antigua and Barbuda.

1. Sails for boats

Sails for boats have only been exported since 2013 but do already represent around 30% of all exports from Antigua and Barbuda. The majority of exports go to the United Kingdom (50%) and the United States (30%). Currently there is no import to Canada.

2. Rum and tafia

Canada is the second largest importer of rum and tafia from Antigua and Barbuda (after Trinidad and Tobago). In 2014 rum and tafia accounted for 75% of all imports from Antigua and Barbuda into Canada. This shows a popular demand for the product in Canada and can possibly grow further.

3. Electronic products

Antigua and Barbuda has a small manufacturing sectors that has access to the US, European, and Caribbean markets. Products exported in 2014 include radios, televisions, and cameras. Currently there is no significant export of such products into Canada.

4. Information and communications technology (ICT)

As of 2012, nearly 65% of Antigua and Barbuda’s GDP came from the service industry. Of that 65%, almost ¼ can be attributed to communications. In comparison to other OECS countries, Antigua and Barbuda has the highest number of internet and mobile-phone users per 100 persons, however the country lags behind its peers in the use of technology licensed from foreign companies. This could suggest that there are opportunities for greater collaboration with foreign companies.

Contact Information

Antigua and Barbuda Consulate Canada
60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 909
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1N5
Tel.: (416) 961 – 3143

Useful Links

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Site(OECS)  
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)  
Caribbean Community Secretariat  (CARICOM) 
Caribbean Community Secretariat  (CARICOM) – Regional Statistics 
Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions
Antigua and Barbuda
Government of Antigua and Barbuda
Department of Tourism
Statistics Division

Links to Cited Documents

Bank of Canada – Daily Currency Convertor
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Country Info
CIA World Factbook
Global Affairs Canada – Foreign Relations
Global Affairs Canada – Travel Reports
EDC (Export Development Canada) – Country Profiles
Industry Canada – Trade Data Online
International Trade Centre – Trade Map
Transparency International – Corruption Perception Index
World Bank – Doing Business Report
World Bank – Open Data
Bank of Canada – Daily Currency Convertor
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Country Info
CIA World Factbook
Global Affairs Canada – Foreign Relations
Global Affairs Canada – Travel Reports
EDC (Export Development Canada) – Country Profiles