The beautiful Banks of The Bahamas shelter an emerald strand of 700 islands scattered across a blue-green kaleidoscope of crystalline seas and extending over 500 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from a point 50 miles off the East coast of Florida.
Spanish explorers discovered the New World here, and named this archipelago for those shallow seas – baja mar, or “shallow Banks”. What was to them a nightmarish maze of uncharted shallow waters and teeming ship-eating reefs, is now a tropical paradise attracting nearly 4,000,000 visitors each year.
Those same beautiful Bahamas Banks, seas and reefs now shelter a quality of life unimaginable in most of the rest of the world, “Old” or “New”. Among the attractions are:
Independent since July 10, 1973, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas remains a member of the British Commonwealth. The Queen is head of state, represented by a Bahamian Governor-General. The Bahamas has been a parliamentary constitutional democracy for more than two and a half centuries. Its constitution provides a ministerial, two-chamber government patterned on the British system, with a Prime Minister. Self-governing since 1964, The Bahamas continues to honour its traditions of parliamentary democracy and economic stability with a long history of prudent and moderate economic and fiscal policies.
The Common Law of England underlies the Bahamian independent judicial system. The Constitution provides politically independent judges with the UK’s Privy Council as the final authority.
Tourism still provides more than 60 per cent of revenue, followed by a long established financial services industry. Nassau is the third largest Euro-Dollar market in the world. Light manufacturing, fishing and agriculture make up the balance of the nation's $5 Billion gross domestic product. The Bahamian dollar, divided into 100 cents, is on par with the United States’ dollar and can be used interchangeably.
A strict duty of secrecy is imposed by statutory provisions regarding the affairs of legitimate clients, licensed Banks and trust companies, with strict civil and criminal penalties for unlawful disclosure whilst maintaining the integrity of an established, international financial centre.
English is spoken with an adult literacy rate estimated at more than 95 percent. The work force, especially in the financial sector, is fully equipped for the multi-lingual requirements of international business.
Imagine life with no taxes on income, earnings, profits, capital gains or distributions; No estate duties, probate taxes or inheritance taxes; No withholding taxes on dividends, interest, royalties, or payrolls. You can find that tax freedom in the Bahamas where corporations, individuals, trusts and estates all enjoy tax immunity whether resident or nonresident. There are minimal property taxes and import duties. Many duty exemptions and investment incentives apply.
The Bahamas Government and The Central Bank of The Bahamas, utilizing modern, progressive and regulatory policies oversees and maintains pre-eminence in offshore, financial, corporate and fiduciary services. They continue to modernize company and trust laws, whilst maintaining highest international standards of conduct and operation.
The Bahamas’ highly developed financial community consists of a large and diversified pool of highly sophisticated people and technical support in the fields of law, accountancy, corporate management and computer operations. World-wide communications are state-of-the-art, through direct long distance dialing on the telephone, telefax or internet services. Mobile phone, local, cable and satellite television services are offered. The population of over 300,000 provides a willing and able work force. Education is mandatory to age 16. Free education in Government schools plus a wide selection of private and religious schools are available up to University level. The College of The Bahamas offers accredited degree programmes. The average per capital-income rates only after the U.S. and Canada in the region.
One hour away by plane from Miami, Florida, The Bahamas enjoys the amenities of the USA and its gateways to Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Flights arrive and depart nearly hourly from Nassau International Airport. There are direct flights to London, Frankfurt and Paris. Many out islands also offer daily flights. The island chain abounds with delightful marinas for boating.
Two large hospitals make Nassau first world, medically. Smaller hospitals or clinics are on most islands. Modern dentistry and eye care are locally available, too. The water is drinkable from the taps and modern standards of health are enforced for restaurants and public facilities.
The Bahamas' perfect climate, averaging a balmy 72°F, encourages boating, carefree gardening and virtually every known sport. Cultural activities and social life are active and cosmopolitan. The rich and the famous play here, enjoying rare freedom for carefree relaxation in a secure and beautiful environment.