Association of Caribbean States, Seawell, Caribbean Community, CARICOM, Common Market
The economy of Barbados has traditionally relied on the growing of sugarcane and the production and export of refined sugar, molasses, and rum. Sugarcane is grown principally on large estates rather than on small farms; the harvest in 2001 totaled 520,000 metric tons. Efforts have been made by the government to reduce the dependency on sugarcane products. Local industries manufacture clothing, furniture, electrical and electronic equipment, and plastic items. Newly discovered reserves of petroleum and natural gas are being exploited. Fishing has also increased in importance. Tourist facilities have been developed, and since the late 1960s tourism has earned more foreign revenue than sugar products. Budget revenues in fiscal year 1994-1995 totaled $509 million; expenditures were $636 million. Barbados is a member of two free-trade organizations, the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
The island is well served by roads, of which some 1,475 km (915 mi) are paved. An international airport is located at Seawell in the southeast. The artificial deepwater harbor of Bridgetown was opened in 1961. In 1972 a central bank was established and a new unit of currency adopted, the Barbados dollar (2 Barbados dollars equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).
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