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Saint Kitts and Nevis

Economy

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Saint Kitts and Nevis has a gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$477 million (2006), equivalent to $9,865.20 per capita. Agriculture and tourism are the principal sectors of economic activity. However, agriculture, especially the production of sugarcane, is declining in importance, while tourism is rapidly growing. Although sugarcane remains the leading crop, output has been hit by the effects of low world prices, hurricane damage, droughts, and low wages. Other crops include coconuts, peanuts, sweet potatoes, yams, sweet peppers, bananas, rice, and coffee.

The government is encouraging ecotourism, travel based on respect for natural beauty and wildlife. Nature trails lead into the rain forests and onto the mountains, and snorkeling and scuba diving are popular along the coasts. Tourism is the single most important foreign-exchange earner on the islands, bringing in more than $117 million annually.

A small manufacturing sector also contributes to the economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Sugar refining has been the leading industry, but has declined in importance in recent years. Other industries include brewing, garment assembly, and the assembly of electronic parts for export.

The unit of currency is the East Caribbean dollar (2.70 E.C. dollars equal U.S.$1; 2006 average).



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