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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > Bermuda

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Bermuda: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Bermuda

Lightweight suits or shirt and tie are acceptable, as are Bermuda shorts, when worn in the appropriate manner. Business cards are usually exchanged.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

Economy

Bermuda's economy is dominated by two industries - tourism and international business, including financial, insurance and re-insurance services. Together they account for approximately 90% of GDP, although the contribution from tourism has steadily declined over the years, and now accounts for approximately 30% of GDP.

Offshore banking and related services have been the mainstay of the financial sector, although in recent years, insurance has grown to the point where Bermuda is now one of the largest insurance markets in the world. Tax receipts from several thousand offshore companies registered in Bermuda, plus customs duties, go some way to offsetting the island's large annual visible trade deficit of around US$500 million.

The small light-manufacturing base in Bermuda is engaged in boat building, ship repair and perfume and pharmaceutical production. There is some agriculture, concentrated in the growing of fruit and vegetables, although most of Bermuda's food is imported along with all its oil, machinery and most manufactured goods.

GDP

US$5.7 billion (2009).

Main exports

Semi-tropical produce and light manufactured goods.

Main imports

Household goods, chemicals, live animals, machinery and transport.

Main trading partners

USA, UK, France, Kazakhstan, Spain and Korea (Rep).

Keeping in Touch in Bermuda

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

Internet

There are internet cafes in the Royal Naval Dockyard, City of Hamilton and Town of St George, and connections are provided in most hotels.

Media

The Bermuda Broadcasting Company and VSB are the main broadcasters. Most homes and hotels have access to cable and satellite TV.

Post

Most letters will automatically travel by airmail even if surface rates are paid, although paid-for airmail will be given priority. Airmail letters to Europe take five to seven days.

Post Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700. In addition, the General Post Office in Hamilton is open Sat 0800-1200.