At Home in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Known affectionately around the world as the ‘Spice Islands’, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the most beautiful Caribbean Island nations. They are actually a chain of islands and are well known for their lush tropical rainforests, beautiful cascading waterfalls and areas of untouched and unspoiled natural beauty. The island chain is located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. It consists of one main island called Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines cluster. The nation has a British colonial past and is now a part of the British Commonwealth.
St. Vincent and The Grenadines Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure
Agriculture in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is dominated by the banana crop, which remains the most important sector of an essentially lower-middle income economy. Banana cropping employs 60% of the work force and accounts for 50% of the merchandise exports. The dependence on one crop is seen as the biggest obstacle to the development of this Caribbean island nation, especially since tropical storms could potentially wipe out large portion of crops. This dependence makes the economy very vulnerable to price fluctuations in the world banana market and changes in European Union trade preferences.
The services sector is based principally on the growing tourism industry and is gaining in importance. Tourism has the potential for development and growth in the sector has stimulated activity in construction and improvement infrastructure. Tourism has now grown to become the chief earner of foreign exchange, attracting high-end yachting visitors and Caribbean real estate investors. In 1996, new cruise ship and ferry ports were opened to help increase the number of arrivals of overseas visitors.
Attempts at introducing new industries have been largely unsuccessful, and high unemployment rates still continue. There are small manufacturing and offshore financial sectors. The currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. The country is also a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. This means duty-free entry into the U.S. for many goods from here. Economic growth hinges on the seasonal variations in agriculture and tourism. The small offshore banking sector has made moves to adopt the international regulatory standards.
St. Vincent real estate is easily available and largely affordable. Large villas start at around $600,000. Condos and apartment buildings can be found with a $350,000 starting price.
Many visitors, vacationers and Caribbean real estate investors come to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to experience its unspoiled natural beauty. Few can bring themselves to leave this truly tropical paradise.