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). Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves opposes granting citizenship for attracting inward investment. Before the onset of the COVID-19 virus, the country expected a boost in inbound tourism with the new terminal building at the Argyle International Airport and the February 2020 announcement of the construction of the first-ever five-star luxury resort on the mainland.
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 remain relatively high, mainly because of the growth of drug trades and the greater availability of firearms. There has however been a decrease in the number of reported murders, by 44% from 34 cases in 2018 to 19 in 2019. The majority of victims of homicides are locals. Although crime levels do not pose a serious risk to foreign investment, visitors face theft risks outside hotel areas at night.
The likelihood of inter-state 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 not recognised 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.