Antigua and Barbuda

Region: Caribbean

Capital: St John’s

Population: 89,018 (July 2012 CIA est.)

Surface area: 442 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity USD $22,100 (2011 CIA est.)

Background:

The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.

Economy – Overview:

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. After taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program and was successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from 120% to about 90% in 2008. However, the global financial crisis that began in 2008, has led to a significant increase in the national debt, which topped 130% at the end of 2010. The Antiguan economy experienced solid growth from 2003 to 2007, reaching over 12% in 2006 driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing associated with the Cricket World Cup, but growth dropped off in 2008 with the end of the boom. In 2009, Antigua”s economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis, suffering from the collapse of its largest financial institution and a steep decline in tourism. This decline continued in 2010 as the country struggled with a yawning budget deficit but returned to positive growth in 2011. (CIA 2012)

Major Export Commodities: petroleum products, bedding, handicrafts, electronic components, transport equipment, food, and live animals

Remittances inflows: US $ 24 million (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking60 of 187 countries (2011)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: 19 USD million in 2010.

Major development partners include: Japan, EU,GEF, Canada, CarDB (OECD 2010)

Total External Debt: US $359.8 million (June 2006)

Life Expectancy At Birth: 72.6 years

Environmental Indicators:

Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 8

Forested Area (percentage of land area): 23.3
                                       
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 5.2
                                        (UNDP 2011)
United Nations membership date: 11 November 1981

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations
305 East 47th Street, 6th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
Telephone: 212-541-4117
Fax: 212-757-1607

Website: http://www.un.int/antigua

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated July 2012