Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua & Barbuda is no longer on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Antigua & Barbuda was undertaken in 2018. According to that Evaluation, Antigua & Barbuda was deemed Compliant for 9 and Largely Compliant for 23 of the FATF 40 Recommendations. It was Partially Compliant or Non-Compliant for all 6 of the Core Recommendations. It was deemed Highly Effective for 0 and Substantially Effective 0 of the Effectiveness & Technical Compliance ratings.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Antigua and Barbuda is categorised by the US State Department as a Country/Jurisdiction of Primary Concern in respect of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
Antigua and Barbuda has made some progress on its AML regime. The country finalized a National Risk Assessment (NRA) in 2018, but has yet to implement all the recommendations. As of December 2019, the financial sector includes six domestic banks, nine international banks (offshore banks), 18 insurance companies, eight international insurance companies, four MSBs, one development bank, 37 citizenship by investment agents, and six credit unions. There are eight online gaming and sports betting businesses. As of December 2016, the offshore sector hosted 5,102 IBCs, of which 3,635 were active.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index N/A
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 63
Tourism continues to dominate Antigua and Barbuda's economy, accounting for nearly 60% of GDP and 40% of investment. The dual-island nation'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.
After taking office in 2004, the SPENCER government adopted an ambitious fiscal reform program and was successful in reducing its public debt-to-GDP ratio from approximately 130% in 2010 to 89% in 2012. In 2009, the country's economy was severely hit by the global economic crisis and suffered from the collapse of its largest private sector employer, a steep decline in tourism, a rise in debt, and a sharp economic contraction between 2009 and 2011. The country has not yet returned to its pre-crisis growth levels.
Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on tourist arrivals from the US, Canada, and Europe and potential damages from natural disasters.
Investment Climate - US State Department
Antigua and Barbuda is one of the more developed countries in the Eastern Caribbean with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1.12 billion (2015). Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). According to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Antigua and Barbuda’s economy is expected to grow by 3.23% in 2016. During the last fiscal year, Antigua and Barbuda’s economy remains buoyant due to falling oil prices, increased tourist arrivals and revenue from the Citizenship by Investment program. However, some fiscal challenges remain particularly in the area of debt servicing. The current government is committed to create an enhanced business climate to attract more foreign investment to the country. Antigua and Barbuda is currently ranked 104th out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2015 after falling five places from its 2015 ranking.
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is pursuing investment in niche markets, particularly tourism, international financial services, offshore education, agro-processing, light manufacturing, real estate & construction and information & communication technology (ICT). These sectors present the more immediate opportunities for U.S. investment in Antigua and Barbuda.
The United States and Antigua and Barbuda are both parties to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO Dispute Settlement Panel and Appellate Body resolve disputes over WTO agreements, while courts of appropriate jurisdiction in both countries resolve private disputes. The United States and Antigua and Barbuda brought a case before the WTO, and the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda bases its legal system on the British common law system. There is an ongoing dispute regarding expropriation of an American-owned property. In November 2015, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) paid the property owners the amount of $16 million towards the $41.7 million owed. The owner noted that the GOAB paid down the principal of the expropriation ($23 million), requiring the GOAB to pay less accumulated interest. The owner intends to continue battling the GOAB in court. For this reason, while the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is trying to meet its legal responsibilities, the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown recommends continued caution when investing in real estate in Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda has bilateral investment treaties with Germany and the United Kingdom. Antigua and Barbuda also signed free trade agreements with Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic but the agreements have not entered into force. Antigua and Barbuda has double taxation agreements with Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
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