Find a business in St Vincent and The Grenadines
St Vincent and the Grenadines has a developing economy which has been forced to diversify away from agriculture due to increased volatility of banana prices, the natural challenges from the weather and losing preferential trade arrangements with the EU. St Vincent and Grenadine has a relatively high quality of life with a GNI per capita of US$6,400 (2012), while the GDP growth rate has dropped to -0.2% per annum in recent years (2008-12).
Tourism has become a major source of foreign exchange earnings but this sector is vulnerable as well. In 2011 travel and tourism directly contributed to 7% of GDP, generating 2,500 jobs – 6.4% of total employment. St Vincent and Grenadine is promoted as a destination for eco-adventures. The idyllic beaches, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons of The Grenadines are a tropical paradise for yachting, scuba diving, enjoying nature and relaxing in luxurious hideaways.
Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. The agriculture sector contributes 7% of GDP (2010) and produces: bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; and fish
The manufacturing industry sector accounts for 19% of GDP (2010) and includes: food processing, cement companies, the furniture sector, manufacturing of clothing and starch production.
The main import partners of St Vincent and Grenadines are: Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA, China and France (2009).
The economy was hit badly by the global economic downturn of 2008-09 with growth slowing sharply because of its reliance on international tourism.
There are 829 km of roads, 70% of which are paved and the capital, Kingstown, serves as the country’s main port and terminal.
The Eastern Caribbean country is ranked ninth in the world for dealing with construction permits, according to the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2012’ study. Overall, it is ranked 75th for the ease of doing business, but 12th in the Latin America and Caribbean region. These rankings measure the conduciveness of a regulatory regime in starting and operating a business.
Around 96% of the population are literate and England and French are both spoken on the islands.