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Report outlines untapped potential of trade with Persian Gulf countries

There is potential for Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to increase trade with Persian Gulf countries by as much as $13 billion, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said in a press release outlining a new report on the matter, which revealed that The Bahamas’ trade with those countries is negligible.

The IDB’s report, “Towards a renewed and strengthened relationship fostering ties between Latin America and the Caribbean and the Gulf Countries”, explained that LAC countries should sign more trade and investment deals with countries in the Persian Gulf region, such as Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The report shows that on average, trade between the Gulf countries and The Bahamas was less than one percent between 2000 and 2015. According to one of the report’s charts, only automobiles were traded in 2016.

“Trade between the two regions is modest, coming in at $16.3 billion in 2018 – or about 7 percent of the total between Latin America and the European Union,” the press release points out.

“According to the report, Gulf countries imported $10.9 billion from Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018, while they exported $5.4 billion to the region.

“To tighten trade links, the report recommends countries sign trade, investment and double taxation agreements; increase the number of diplomatic missions; set up more direct flights, as well as strengthen communications and contacts between companies.”

As The Bahamas continues to move toward World Trade Organization accession, more trade could become possible and economic cooperation between some of the Persian Gulf countries has been slowly building.

The press release explains that IDB calculations suggest “trade agreements could increase trade between the two regions by $9.8 billion per year”, while “increasing the diplomatic footprint would increase annual trade by $3.3 billion”.

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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