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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > Guadeloupe

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Guadeloupe: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Guadeloupe

It can get very hot and humid in Guadeloupe so lightweight suits are recommended for business meetings. Much of Guadeloupe's business is connected to France and customs tend to be similar, albeit more relaxed, than in France.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1400-1800 and most businesses close on Sunday.

Economy

Guadeloupe's economy revolves around agriculture, light industry and tourism. Bananas and sugar are the main exports, accounting for approximately one-third of total foreign earnings. Coffee, cocoa and vanilla are the other main cash crops. In recent years the export of bananas has been threatened by regional competition and the phasing out of preferential European quotas.

Tourism, especially ecotourism, is also becoming increasingly important. There is a growing number of cruise ship visitors. The islands have been suffering because of the economic downturn, which has kept tourists away. Unemployment hit 23% in 2012 (compared with 10.2% in France) and Guadeloupe's economy is kept afloat by public salaries and credits from Paris.

France supplies most of the island's imports and takes three-quarters of its exports. In February 2009, France announced a $730 million financial aid package to be shared between all of its Overseas Territories.

GDP

US$9.7 billion (2006 estimate).

Main exports

Bananas, sugarcane, rum and vanilla.

Main imports

Food, fuel, vehicles, consumer goods and construction materials.

Main trading partners

France, Germany, USA, Japan and Netherlands Antilles.

Keeping in Touch in Guadeloupe

Telephone

Good internal network. There are no area codes. Phonecards (télécartes) are necessary to make calls from public telephones.

Mobile Phone

Mobile phones work in most areas on the island and there is good coverage. Analogue networks are compatible with most US handsets, which can be activated on the island by dialling 0 or by registering online.

Internet

Available in Internet cafes at Saint-Francois, Sainte Anne, Mare-Gaillard and Pointe-à-Pitre; there are also terminals in some larger post offices and public buildings.

Post

Airmail takes about one week to reach Europe. Postal rates are the same as metropolitan France.