Photographer's Note

Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda's economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. The dual-island national's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts and electronic components.

Like other countries in the region, Antigua's economy was severely hit by effects of the global economy recession in 2009. The country suffered from the collapse of its largest private sector employer, a steep decline in tourism, a rise in debt and a sharp economic construction between 2009 and 2011. Antigua has not yet returned to its pre-crisis growth levels. Barbuda suffered significant damages after hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the Caribbean in 2017.

Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on tourist arrivals from US, Canada and Europe and could be disrupted by potential damage from natural disasters. The new government elected in 2014 and led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne continues to face significant fiscal challenges. The government places some hope in a new Citizenship by Investment Program, to both reduce public debt levels and spur growth and a resolution of a WTO dispute with the US.

As you can see from my photo life is not easy on the island even if they have a small business. The rate of unemployment in Antigua & Barbuda has been recorded at 14.1 per cent, according to the country's first ever Labor Force Survey, which was conducted in 2015.

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Additional Photos by Zbigniew Kalinowski (fotka) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 701 W: 10 N: 2151] (8909)
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