Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Country Report
The government welcomes investment, and companies can easily set up operations. The investment promotion agency Invest SVG provides guidelines for investors. However, ongoing constraints include partially deficient infrastructure and the continued threat of natural hazards (mainly hurricanes). The recently opened Argyle International Airport is likely to boost inbound tourism. In February 2019, the IMF stressed the importance of advancing structural reforms to promote economic growth. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves opposes granting citizenship for attracting inward investment, an initiative implemented by other Caribbean countries.
There are no domestic terrorist groups with the intention or capability to undertake attacks against the population and/or commercial or government-owned property. The country is not considered a target for international terrorist organisations.
In common with other Caribbean countries, St Vincent and the Grenadines' crime rates have been escalating in recent years, mainly due to the growth of the drugs trade and the greater availability of firearms. The majority of victims are locals and there was a total of 34 homicides in 2018. Although crime levels do not pose a serious risk to foreign investment, visitors face theft risks outside hotel areas after nightfall.
The likelihood of interstate conflict involving St. Vincent and the Grenadines is very low. St. Vincent disputes Venezuela’s claim to Bird Island, but relations between both countries are friendly under the current administrations. Prime Minister Gonsalves has ideological sympathy for the governments of Cuba and Venezuela and has refused to support the US by recognising Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president. The country works alongside US and European security forces, particularly in regional anti-drug trafficking efforts. In 2017, St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed maritime boundary agreements with Barbados and St. Lucia, reducing the risk of diplomatic disputes.