The industry is still undeveloped. It consists mainly of the processing of agricultural products and the production of paint, paper towels and beverages, such as rum and soft drinks.
The beverages are sold both on the local market and export to other Caribbean islands. There are also some export-oriented manufacturing, including assembly plants for electronic products.
The construction sector experienced a sharp upswing after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, as hotels and a host of other destroyed properties would be rebuilt.
During the second half of the 2010 growth in the construction industry increased again in connection with new construction projects in the tourism sector.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Grenada. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Grenada is dependent on commodity exports and thus sensitive to cyclical fluctuations in the world market. The country has long been one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg. The high nutmeg prices have given the country good income. However, Hurricane Ivan’s progress in the fall of 2004 became a serious threat to nutmeg exports.
Most of the crops were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan and it was uncertain when they would be able to recover (see Agriculture and Fisheries).
Other important export products are bananas and cocoa. The quality of the bananas has at times been inadequate. In recent decades, the Caribbean countries have seen growing global free trade as a risk, not least as a threat to the favorable trade agreements that countries traditionally enjoy both with the EU (the Cotonou Agreement and formerly the Lomé Convention) and with the United States (Caribbean Basin Initiative).
In 2008, Grenada, together with a number of other Caribbean countries, approved an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU (EPA) under the Cotonou Agreement. This means that the Caribbean countries do not have to pay customs duties and other restrictions on virtually all exports to the EU countries. However, Grenada and the other Caribbean countries must gradually phase out tariffs on 87 percent of EU imports by 2033.
The United States is the country’s largest trading partner, but the EU and the eastern Caribbean are also important. Grenada traditionally has a large trade deficit due to the country having to import oil. The deficit is partly offset by foreign currency income from tourism and money sent home by grenadiers abroad, but the international recession since 2008 has reduced these revenues. An important source of foreign currency is the US-owned University of Saint George’s.
Like many other Caribbean states, Grenada has a favorable agreement with Venezuela on oil imports since 2006.
FACTS – FOREIGN TRADE
US $ 35 million (2017)
US $ 370 million (2017)
– US $ 144 million (2017)
Commodity trade’s share of GDP
41 percent (2018)
Main export goods
nutmeg, bananas, cocoa, fish,
Largest trading partner
USA, EU, CARICOM countries
Tourism is the main source of foreign currency. From rainforest experiences, fine beaches and sights to the street life in the beautiful port city of Saint George’s attracts visitors.
Hurricane Ivan’s ravages in the fall of 2004 were a severe blow to the tourism industry and no tourism occurred during the winter season 2004-2005. The sector subsequently recovered, although the international financial crisis of 2008 again led to some decline. In 2016, the number of tourists was record high and approached 150,000. In addition, around a few hundred thousand cruise passengers usually come to Grenada, but they do not spend as much money ashore.
Tourism is estimated to account for around a quarter of GDP and close to 5,000 job opportunities. At the same time, tourism has brought severe pressure on the sensitive rainforests as well as erosion problems where beach-based tourist facilities have been built.
FACTS – TOURISM
Number of foreign visitors per year
156 000 (2016)
US $ 510,000,000 (2016)
The share of tourist income from exports
86.1 percent (2016)