The Caribbean Council is delighted to announce Antigua and Barbuda as a new Country Partner for 2023-2024.
The multi-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is located on the north-eastern arc of the Eastern Caribbean, about 650 km (400 miles) southeast of Puerto Rico. It is one of the Leeward islands within the Lesser Antilles, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Antigua is the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands at 108 sq. miles – about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide. Barbuda is a flat coral island with an area of 62 square miles and lies approximately 30 miles due north of Antigua. Together the islands have a population of 94,564 and are known for their high-end tourism offering. Combined with its stunning natural beauty and idyllic location in the most cosmopolitan part of the Eastern Caribbean, it has a well-established tourism brand along with high-end restaurants, excellent service standards, historical sites, and world-renowned yachting events.
Market Access and Opportunities:
Antigua and Barbuda are a member of the WTO as well as several regional groupings. It also has preferential access to the United States and Canada and reciprocal access to the European Union and the UK as a part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Priorities of the High Commissioner Her Excellency Ms Karen-Mae Hill include exploring how Britain and the Caribbean can cooperate in areas such as healthcare, education and social policy. “We have to find ways to celebrate and promote those things we have in common. Working with NGOs, the public and private sectors, and our diaspora, I have the glorious opportunity to bring all this together.” Secondly, Her Excellency would like to engage her diaspora in Britain to maximise positive contributions to both British and Antiguan and Barbuda society.”
Strong growth sectors and opportunities within Antigua and Barbuda include;
Tourism – Luxury resorts, small boutique properties, and short-term rental properties.
Education – Opportunities exist to establish higher education centres aimed at students from the US and other markets, where shortages of places in home countries exist.
Financial Services – Antigua and Barbuda hosts both inshore and offshore financial services companies covering banking, trusts and insurance.
IT Services & Business Process Outsourcing – Antigua and Barbuda has a number of factors that make it an attractive location for ITES-BPO, which can include IT support, hosting or servers and Call Centres. Growth potential is seen in the provision of Fintech, Bitcoin and Blockchain technology services to the interactive gaming industry.
Yachting and Marine Services – The Caribbean sailing season is from December to April. During that time yachts are brought mainly from Europe, either sailed themselves or by ship. The season starts with a yacht charter show, attended by charter companies and agents, and ends with Antigua Sailing Week, which has been running for over 50 years. The country has a tradition of servicing boats cruising the island chain.
Agriculture – The government encourages foreign investment in many sectors including agriculture and fisheries with a strong emphasis on empowering and enabling nationals already engaged in the sector. Opportunities exist to provide products to the local market, especially to the hospitality sector. Potential investment opportunities include agro-tourism, horticulture; Indoor vertical farms, and greenhouses.
Renewable Energy – The Government is aiming for the widespread adoption of renewable energy, with an emphasis on solar, wind and biofuels, to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel imports and consumption. Consequently, the National Energy Policy sets a goal of reducing the energy consumption of public facilities by 30 percent by 2025.
Real Estate – The Government is keen to ensure that real estate developments respect the environment of the islands. Market opportunities include expatriate rental market with an emphasis on higher-end properties. To encourage investment in the sector, the Government provides options for citizenship for those investing in real estate.
Top Reasons to Trade and Invest in Antigua and Barbuda:
Political Stability – Antigua & Barbuda is a small, stable country both politically and socially, with a strong democratic system of government based on the UK system. The current High Commissioner is Her Excellency, Ms Karen-Mae Hill.
Safety and Security – Antigua & Barbuda is one of the most secure and safe countries in the Caribbean and compares very well worldwide for low crime rates and the rule of law. The country has little or no exposure to large-scale security concerns, such as terrorism, cybercrime, and money laundering.
Skilled Population – Antigua & Barbuda has developed significant human resource skills in tourism, information technology-enabled services, financial services, BPOs, and construction. Further, government policy is aimed at ensuring that the skills being produced match competitive business requirements.
Strong Investor Opportunities and Protection – The country is open to trade and investment with strong sectors such as tourism, agriculture, marine services, blue economy and food and beverage.
Antigua & Barbuda has a Common Law system based on the UK model. The legal code guarantees investor protection, facilitating an attractive investment environment. In the Latin American Caribbean Region, Antigua & Barbuda is ranked highly for enforcing contracts and protecting investors.
Business-friendly Currency and Foreign Exchange Environment – Antigua & Barbuda is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) within a common central bank and currency area. The currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar which is pegged to the US Dollar at the rate of EC$2.70 to US$1. The country has no foreign exchange controls or restrictions on capital repatriation.
Progressive Financial Incentives – Antigua & Barbuda’s corporate income tax rate is 25% and exemption from payment or reduction in the rate is allowed depending on the level of capital investment and number of jobs to be created in new investment proposals. Further, exemption from or reduction in the rate of import duty on raw materials, components and machinery and equipment can also be granted.
Robust ICT Infrastructure – The country has placed a high priority on ICT as an important enabler for national development. Therefore, the country has experienced rapid growth in its ICT sector, driven by major public and private sector investment.
Antigua & Barbuda now has a modern telecommunications infrastructure. This has facilitated fast growth in broadband internet and data and voice services that are so vital for modern information-intensive businesses.
Welcoming People & Open Work Culture – The people of Antigua & Barbuda are noted for their friendly and welcoming nature, particularly towards visitors, whether tourists or investors. There is wide acceptance of the importance of attracting foreign investment into the country.
A new Citizenship by Investment Programme is available in return for specified levels of investment in the country.
Meet the High Commissioner:
The High Commission of Antigua and Barbuda in London is the diplomatic mission of Antigua and Barbuda in the United Kingdom. High Commissioner Karen–Mae Hill is a barrister by profession who has worked for over 15 years in the banking and financial services sector before branching into government.
Her aim is to see the country “no longer be a small island developing state, but a small island state that punches above its weight. I think it’s possible with the right connections, support, resources, mindset and vision.”
Her Excellency Ms Karen-Mae Hill
High Commission for Antigua and Barbuda
45 Crawford Place
London W1H 4LP
T: 020 7258 0070
F: 020 7258 7486
For more information on opportunities or contacts, feel free to contact the Caribbean Council: Maria Tereza Laino firstname.lastname@example.org