About BARBADOS
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Barbados is situated just east of the Caribbean Sea, it is considered a part of the Lesser Antilles. Its closest island neighbours are Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia to the west. To the south lies Trinidad and Tobago—with which Barbados now shares a fixed official maritime boundary, and also the South American mainland.

Barbados's total land area is about 430 square kilometres (166 square miles), and is primarily low-lying, with some higher in the country's interior. The highest point in Barbados is Mount Hillaby in the parish of Saint Andrew.

British sailors landed in 1625. From the arrival of the first British settlers in 1627–1628 until independence in 1966, Barbados was under uninterrupted British control.
Its economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance. .

Economy
The Barbadian economy was dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but production in recent years has diversified into manufacturing, offshore financial services and tourism.

The start of the Port Charles Marina project in Speightstown helped the tourism industry continue to expand in 1996-2000.

Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners, and there is also a light manufacturing sector. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, encourage direct foreign investment, and privatize remaining state-owned enterprises.
The economy contracted in 2001 and 2002 due to slowdowns in tourism, consumer spending and the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but rebounded in 2003 and has shown growth since 2004.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.695 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita:$20,200 (2008 est.)


Currency:
Barbadian dollars (BBD) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2 (2006), 2 (2005), 2 (2004), 2 (2003)

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