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Martinique Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Martinique moved to a single local government (Conseil Territorial) in December 2015, which facilitates policy making at the local level. As a French territory, citizens and businesses in Martinique enjoy access to the same legal institutions as those in mainland France. The political environment is broadly stable. Despite the victory of a pro-independence candidate in the 2015 regional election, a vote on independence from France is not on the agenda. Martinique’s economy is mostly focused on tourism and agriculture, although agriculture has been declining in recent years, employing only around 10% of the workforce and contributing less than 5% of GDP. Our latest forecast calls for GDP to plunge by 12.7% in 2020; while we are still assessing the full impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-virus pandemic, this figure reflects the severe damage it is causing to key sectors. The slowdown of the global economy in 2020–21 will hurt Martinique, especially the slowdown in France. Risks are on the downside and stem from external factors, including a disruptive Brexit. Labour disputes and sporadic protests over the cost of living are common. Protests stemming from the demands of trade unions and activist groups have resumed with the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed because of the pandemic. In the second half of 2020, protests relating to the island's high unemployment rate and likely economic recession will probably resume. Beyond protests, security threats in Martinique are limited, with crime rates below the Caribbean average. There is some drug trafficking activity on the island, but it does not pose the same threat to security as it does in other Caribbean countries.
Last update: July 16, 2020

Operational Outlook

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-virus outbreak is likely continue to at least partly affect the operational environment until the end of 2020, with a moderate likelihood of supply-chain disruption. The island also remains vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and drought. In general, the French government offers fiscal incentives to promote investment in the overseas territories. Nevertheless, investors are likely to face problems resulting from bureaucratic delays and petty corruption. Labour unrest remains a constant feature of the operational panorama. Union-led strikes and protests over economic grievances will be likely in the second half of 2020, with roadblocks probably erected by demonstrators on key roads.

Last update: July 15, 2020

Terrorism

Low

The risk of terrorism is likely to remain moderate. However, the Islamic State group’s territorial losses in Syria and Iraq have increased the risk of foreign fighters returning to Trinidad and Tobago. Martinique is 439 km away from Trinidad and Tobago, which has been a fertile jihadist recruitment ground. Martinique’s proximity to Trinidad and Tobago increases the risk of jihadists using it as a new route to hit France. Calls for independence in Martinique have been stronger than in other French territories, particularly in the 1990s, but this has not generated politically motivated violence or acts of terrorism. Organised crime does not engage in terrorist actions to challenge the state.

Last update: July 11, 2020

Crime

Petty crime and criminal violence pose the greatest security risk in Martinique. In 2019, the authorities registered 25 homicides in Martinique, of which 19 where committed using firearms. According to the Union of Magistrates of the French West Indies and French Guiana, most of the homicides on the island are probably linked to drug-trafficking feuds. Martinique has been used by some organised crime groups to traffic cocaine from Suriname and Venezuela to Europe.

Last update: July 15, 2020

War Risks

The risk of civil or intestate war is low in Martinique. Cost-of-living protests in 2009 forced the central government to deploy over 100 additional Gendarmerie officers to the island from the mainland following three weeks of unrest. The head of the local government executive, veteran politician Alfred Marie-Jeanne, has toned down his pro-independence rhetoric and the likelihood of an independence inspired civil conflict is low. Martinique has no major disputes with its neighbours and France's military superiority over regional states mitigates the risk of interstate conflict.

Last update: July 11, 2020

Social Stability

Elevated

Trade unions remain powerful in Martinique and labour unrest is generally frequent and disruptive. Protests stemming from the demands of trade unions and activist groups have resumed with the gradual lifting of restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-virus pandemic. In the second half of 2020, protests relating to the island's high unemployment rate and likely economic recession will probably resume, involving the erection of roadblocks as well as confrontations with the police, who are likely to respond with tear gas.

Last update: July 15, 2020

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines required to enter the country

Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Martinique. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for most travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The rainy season lasts from June until November, with temperatures highest in July (28°C). The dry season extends from January until May (average temperature 26°C). Hurricanes can strike in September and October.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +596
Police: 17
Fire Dept.: 18
Ambulance: 15

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019