The Bahamas industry first began to develop in the 1960s and has a limited economic significance. The local market is small and the wage situation is too high for extensive export-oriented industry.
Several of the major foreign investments have been made in the economic free zone of Freeport in the Grand Bahamas, established in 1960. The companies operating in the free zone are exempt from tax and customs duties. The zone includes chemical and pharmaceutical companies, shipyards for repairs, a large terminal for storage of oil and a transhipment port for containers.
Nassau produces rum for export as well as beer, soft drinks and clothing. Rome exports were formerly important but have declined in importance since the large Roma company Bacardi relocated its manufacturing from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico in 2009. The reason was that the Bahamas had lost its trade advantages over the EU.
In the remote southern island of Inagua, salt is extracted from seawater that is allowed to evaporate. The company was previously American but has been owned by a German company since 2008.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Bahamas. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.