Barbados is a high-income country, with a private sector being the main economic engine with tourism continuing to play an important role. Barbados, like many other countries in the Caribbean, was severely affected by the global economic crisis and the impact continues to be felt through the economy.

EU cooperation 2014-2020

Under the 11th EDF, Barbados benefits from a EUR 3.5 million allocation which will focus on the energy sector and, more specifically, on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

EU cooperation 2008-2013

Under the 10th EDF, Barbados received €8.33 million for the implementation of its Human Resources Development Programme, thereby increasing competitiveness and developing the country's human resources to achieve economic diversification, improve productivity and to increase its global competitiveness. This programme was complemented by the €42 million EU’s sugar accompanying measures scheme (2010-2016) which assisted African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries - which are heavily dependent on sugar production - to diversify their economy.

As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Forum of the Caribbean Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific ACP States (CARIFORUM), Barbados benefits from regional programmes funded under the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes.

The country is also a signatory of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a comprehensive free trade agreement with a strong focus on development cooperation.

Key country statistics

  • Total population (2015): 284 000
  • Life expectancy (at birth) (2015): 73 years (male), 78 years (female)
  • Human Development Index - High human development (2014): 0.785
  • High income country - Gross National Income per capita (2012): 14 118 US$ (constant 2005 US$)
  • Average Gross Domestic Product growth over 5 years (2009-2013): -0.6%

Selected results achieved with EU support through projects and programmes completed between mid-2014 and mid-2015 for Montserrat, St Vincent and Grenadine, Barbados, Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis

Inclusive Growth and poverty reduction

  • 20 affordable housing units were constructed in Montserrat and outfitted with essential amenities (kitchen, toilet and bath, bedroom)


  • 2.7 km roads granting access to 4 touristic sites in St Vincent & the Grenadine have been upgraded

Employment and Social Protection

  • The Maritime/Hospitality Institute to train youth for the hospitality and cruise ship industry in St Vincent & the Grenadine has been constructed, equipped and is operational
  • 10 000 people in Barbados have enrolled in continuing education programmes
  • 35 people in Anguilla participated in in adult technical vocational education and training (TVET), which represents an increase from 170 persons in 2011 to 205 persons in 2012
  • A national social protection strategy and action plan 2012-2017 for St. Kitts and Nevis was produced and approved. It establishes the main priorities for the social protection reform and the creation of a sustained comprehensive and integrated social protection system

Public Finance Management

  • The Anguilla Procurement Act has been enacted and published by House of Assembly, and a Procurement Board has been established


  • 30 teachers in Anguilla completed in-service training