The rapid growth of the late 1980's has decreased. In 1991, real GDP experienced a negative growth of 3.7 percent compared with 6.6 percent in 1990 and an average of 12 percent during 1985-1989. The slow-down is attributed primarity to the completion of several major tourism and infrastructure construction projects and the effects of the U.S. recession. Despite the slow-down unemployment remains low at 7 percent and inflation is moderate at 3 percent.
Anguilla's traditional industries, fishing, farming, salt production, livestock rearing and boat building, have in recent years been overshadowed by commercial and residential construction, the tourism industry and a developing Offshore Finance Sector.
Two thirds of Anguilla's visitors are American but the British and European markets have been growing in recent years. In 1991, the number of tourists (long stay visitors) fell slightly reflecting a decline in U.S. visitors as a result of the Gulf War and the lingering recession. Despite the decrease in long-stay tourist arrivals, total visitors to the Island rose moderately in 1991 and again more significantly in 1992 and 1993. Output growth bounced back to 7.1 percent in 1992 and 7.7 percent in 1993.
Anguilla is currently actively promoting the island as not only a premier tourist destination, but as the offshore jurisdiction for discerning investors. The establishment of the offshore finance industry is aimed at diversifying and complementing the tourist industry.
In November, 1994 the Anguillian Legislature enacted an impressive package of financial legislation, a modern Companies Ordinance, an International Business Companies Ordinance, Trusts Legislation, Partnership and Limited Partnership Ordinances, a Limited Liability Companies Ordinance, a Fraudulent Dispositions Ordinance and a Company Management Ordinance. New domestic and offshore insurance legislation will also be prepared in 1995.
The Companies Registry will be fully computerized by late 1995 to provide on-line registration of companies and remote filing for both local and overseas agents. It is envisaged that the Registry will be able to provide services worldwide - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This will facilitate overseas agents operating in different time zones.
Currency and Exchange Rates: EC $1.00 = US $0.37 (fixed) US $1.00 = EC $2.70 (fixed) Annual Rate of Growth of GDP (constand dollars): 7.7% GDP US $51.6 million Per Capita GDP: US $5,378 Unemployment Rate: 7% Exports of Goods and Services US $51.17 million. Includes chiefly fish and lobster. Imports of Goods and Services: US $69.81 million. Composed of fuels, food products, chemicals, manufactured goods and textiles. Balance on Current Account: US $10.57 million Major Trading Partners (Exports and Imports): U.S.A., Puerto Rico and St. Maarten 1990 1991 1992 1993 Visitor Arrivals: 90,506 90,544 93,180 111,350 Inflation: 1% 7% 3% 4% Balance of Payments: 2.8m 0.2m (1.3m) (1.1m)
Foreign Exchange: There is no restriction on foreign exchange or exchange controls; monies in any currency are freely transferable in and out of Anguilla. The Government levies a 2% charge on the exchange of EC$ to US$. Although the official currency is the East Caribbean dollar, the US dollar is widely traded and accepted.