Barbados economy is considered to be prosperous and the standard of living is rated higher than that of other islands in the region. Barbados economy was first based on sugar cane which pretty much set the pace for Barbados economic development.
Barbados economy was a monocrop economy based on sugar production, but was eventually diversified through tourism which became important to Barbados economy. Tourism is today a major income earner for Barbados economy is provides employment for many Barbadians. Tourism also benefits Barbados economy as it provides many investment opportunities for both local and foreign investors. In 2008, tourism, having contributed 13.4% of GDP, had given way to offshore financial services which generated 19% of GDP in the same year. Various sectors in Barbados economy, to include manufacturing, construction, government services and communications contributed significantly to Barbados economy, representing 6.8%, 6.4%, 17.15 and 6.3% of gross domestic product respectively.
Other products which are important to Barbados economy are rum and beer. Barbados economy receives a significant amount of foreign exchange from its local rums Mount Gay and Cockspur, including its local brew, Banks Beer. Fishing and light industries are other players in Barbados economy and help to keep the economy of Barbados diversified and economically sound.
Barbados economy has began to focus on areas such as music, fashion, technology, film and wealth management. Foreign investment in these areas of Barbados economy have helped them to grow over the years. The main currency of Barbados economy is the Barbados dollar (BDS). The US dollar is widely accepted and circulated in Barbados as well.The exchange rate of the US dollar in the economy of Barbados to the Barbados dollar is 1USD:BDS1.98. Duty free shopping has many benefits for the Barbadian economy.Duty free shipping encourages purchases by visitors and locals alike in the economy of Barbados.Visitors are permitted to come into Barbados with a maximum of 1 liter of spirits of wine.