St. Vincent Industry
The industrial sector is small and mainly comprises small-scale processing of agricultural products. Industrial operations occur only on the main island of Saint Vincent.
The most important plant produces wheat flour, peeled rice and animal food. Beer and other beverages are produced in a brewery. There is also some production of clothing and sports articles, the composition of electrical components, and the manufacture of certain building materials.
Almost a fifth of the workforce is employed in industry, with the construction sector included.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of St. Vincent and The Grenadines. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have a deficit in their foreign trade, that is, exports are smaller than imports. Exports are mainly to neighboring countries in the Caribbean and consist of flour, fruits and vegetables, beverages, tobacco and iron and steel.
Oil accounts for a large part of imports. Since 2005, Saint Vincent has been a member of the Venezuelan oil partnership Petrocaribe (see Natural Resources and Energy). Machines, vehicles and food are also among the larger import goods. The United States is the largest importing country, followed by Trinidad and Tobago and China.
Favorable conditions have long favored exports to Europe, according to agreements concluded by the EU and its predecessors with former colonies in the Caribbean, among others. In 2008, following a demand for adaptation to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, an economic partnership agreement was signed between a group of Caribbean and EU countries (Cariforum-EU EPA). It is a trade and development cooperation that gives the Caribbean countries continued opportunity for duty-free exports to the EU but means that over a 25-year period they must gradually open their markets to imports from the EU.
Through an American program, the so-called Caribbean Basin Initiative, the country can export certain goods duty-free to the United States.
FACTS – FOREIGN TRADE
US $ 37 million (2017)
US $ 290 million (2017)
– US $ 135 million (2017)
Commodity trade’s share of GDP
48 percent (2018)
Main export goods
bananas, flour, root vegetables
Largest trading partner
Caricom countries, USA, UK, China
Tourism is small but has increased and is expected to get a boost with a new airport which was inaugurated in 2017. Most tourists are sailors and cruise travelers from Europe, USA and Canada.
The opening of the Argyle airport means that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines can now easily accommodate larger aircraft with long-distance guests (see Communications).
The Grenadines are an appreciated destination especially for affluent tourists. The sails are attracted to the archipelago’s excellent waters and the scenic white sand beaches. However, violent crime targeting sailors has become a problem and is believed to have contributed to a reduction in the number of sailors coming to the islands.
In Saint Vincent, the tourism industry is limited and there are relatively few hotels on the island. From the main island ferries go to some of the larger islands in the Grenadines.
FACTS – TOURISM
Number of foreign visitors per year
US $ 208,000,000 (2016)
The share of tourist income from exports
72.8 percent (2016)