Martinique

🇲🇶 Fort-de-France is the capital of Martinique. Martinique is an island and an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France. An integral part of the French Republic, Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, north-west of Barbados and south of Dominica. Martinique is also an Outermost Region of the European Union and a special territory of the European Union; the currency in use is the euro. Virtually the entire population speaks both French and Martinican Creole.

Economy In 2014, Martinique had a total GDP of 8.4 billion euros. Its economy is heavily dependent on tourism, limited agricultural production, and grant aid from mainland France.

Historically, Martinique's economy relied on agriculture, notably sugar and bananas, but by the beginning of the 21st century this sector had dwindled considerably. Sugar production has declined, with most of the sugarcane now used for the production of rum. Banana exports are increasing, going mostly to mainland France. Chlordecone, a pesticide used in the cultivation of bananas before a ban in 1993, has been found to have contaminated farming ground, rivers and fish, and affected the health of islanders. Fishing and agriculture has had to stop in affected areas, having a significant effect on the economy. The bulk of meat, vegetable and grain requirements must be imported. This contributes to a chronic trade deficit that requires large annual transfers of aid from mainland France.

All goods entering Martinique are charged a variable "sea toll" which may reach 30% of the value of the cargo and provides 40% of the island's total revenue. Additionally the government charges an "annual due" of 1–2.5% and a value added tax of 2.2–8.5%.

Exports and imports Exports of goods and services in 2015 amounted to €1,102  million (€504  million of goods), of which more than 20% were refined petroleum products (SARA refinery located in the town of Le Lamentin), €95.9  million of agricultural, forestry, fish and aquaculture products, €62.4  million of agri-food industry products and €54.8  million of other goods. Imports of goods and services in 2015 were €3,038  million (of which €2,709  million were goods), of which approximately 40% were crude and refined petroleum products, €462.6  million were agricultural and agri-food products, and €442.8  million were mechanical, electrical, electronic and computer equipment.

Tourism Tourism has become more important than agricultural exports as a source of foreign exchange. Most visitors come from mainland France, Canada and the US. Roughly 16% of the total businesses on the island (some 6,000 companies) provide tourist-related services.

Agriculture Banana cultivation is the main agricultural activity, with more than 7,200 hectares cultivated, nearly 220,000 tons produced and almost 12,000 jobs (direct + indirect) in 2006 figures. Its weight in the island's economy is low (1.6%), however it generates more than 40% of the agricultural value added. Rum, and particularly agricultural rum, accounted for 23% of agri-food value added in 2005 and employed 380 people on the island (including traditional rum). The island's production is about 90,000 hl of pure alcohol in 2009, of which 79,116 hl of pure alcohol is agricultural rum (2009). Sugarcanecultivation occupies 4,150 hectares, or 13.7% of agricultural land. The area under cultivation has increased by more than 20% in the last 20 years, a rapid increase explained by the high added value of the rum produced and the rise in world sugar prices. This production is increasingly concentrated, with farms of more than 50 hectares accounting for 6.2% of the farms and 73.4% of the area under production. Annual production was about 220,000 tons in 2009, of which almost 90,000 tons went to sugar production, and the rest was delivered to agricultural rum distilleries. Pineapples used to be an important part of agricultural production, but in 2005, according to IEDOM, they accounted for only 1% of agricultural production in value (2.5 million euros compared to 7.9 million in 2000).

Martinique Time 
Martinique Time
Image: Adobe Stock Nicola #373319877

Martinique has a population of over 376,480 people.

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

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