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The market entry strategy provides a broad overview of the best methods for entering the market, such as traveling to the country, emphasizing relationships when looking for a good partner and using agents.

Relationship-based strategies

In The Bahamas, relationships are essential for conducting business. It is typical for a first meeting to be exclusively devoted to establishing a rapport, and it could take several meetings to develop trust and create a good working relationship. The Bahamas are well-known to many Americans, and established business ties between the two nations underpin the majority of trade between them. Many significant wholesalers and retailers in The Bahamas have long-standing personal and professional ties to their American counterparts.

Seek adequate information and resources

A market visit is highly advised for new entrants to properly examine the industry and its possibilities as well as to speak with potential partners.

Investors are advised to use the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in their area, the U.S. Embassy, and other American or local resources for this. The U.S. Department of Commerce is represented by Embassy Nassau in The Bahamas, and it charges American businesses for its commercial services.

Local agent/distributor or franchise

The government promotes local equity participation and/or ownership and favors this during the application process for investments. A local partner can streamline corporate processes and offer some degree of investor protection. Businesses frequently use exclusive agreements, credit conditions, and franchising contracts.

Expect delays

Foreign investment and associated work permits have generally been approved slowly and with delays for American enterprises. Larger foreign investment projects typically require environmental and economic impact evaluations for review by various government agencies before NEC consideration, in addition to approval by the National Economic Council (NEC), a subcommittee of the Cabinet. The NEC approvals procedure is not the only instance of bureaucratic barriers, as the nation still lags below other nations in terms of ease of doing business indices.

The government of the Bahamas recently stepped up efforts to reduce wait times and enhance commercial operations in the nation, and it has vowed to continue to enhance these procedures. It is possible to hire the Embassy for business-related services that could help alert the government to pending clearances.

Market opportunities

Here are the opportunities that thrive here. 

Tourism and related services (including construction)

The Bahamian economy depends heavily on the tourism and tourism services industry, which generates more than 70% of its GDP and employs slightly over half of its workforce. Despite the global COVID-19 crisis’s positive effects on tourism, it has not yet recovered to its pre-pandemic level of more than seven million visitors annually, the majority of whom were from the United States.

Renewable and non-oil energy and energy efficiency

The Bahamas is making the switch to non-oil and renewable energy, notably by sourcing 30% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030, offering financial incentives for residential solar, and going entirely solar on less populated islands. On its most populous island, New Providence, the Bahamas is switching from diesel to liquified natural gas (LNG) and sees LNG as a bridge to the adoption of renewables. As part of this shift, the government unveiled plans for a 70-megawatt solar plant in New Providence.

Digital economy and E-commerce

Due to the epidemic, there has been a spike in demand for data protection and information technology services in the Bahamas. The government promised to build an “entrepreneur visa” to entice high-tech firms and progressively automate its services and online procedures, including applications for foreign investment. Smart technology, ICT services, and products, medical technology and products, and consumer goods are still in high demand. With the aid of a U.S.-based company, the government has developed marketing strategies to promote the tech hub and teach Bahamians software development. The government intends to establish a “Tech Hub” at the University of The Bahamas Grand Bahama campus.