Economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The St. Vincent economy is heavily dependent on agriculture being the world’s leading producer of arrowroot and grows other exotic fruit, vegetables and root crops. Bananas alone account for upwards of 60% of the work force and 50% of merchandise exports. Such reliance on a single crop makes the economy vulnerable to external factors. St. Vincent's banana growers benefited from preferential access to the European market. In view of the European Union's announced phase-out of this preferred access, economic diversification is a priority.

Tourism has grown to become a very important part of the economy. In 1993, tourism supplanted banana exports as the chief source of foreign exchange. The Grenadines have become a favourite of the up-market yachting crowd. The trend toward increasing tourism revenues will likely continue. In 1996, new cruise ship and ferry berths came on-line, sharply increasing the number of passenger arrivals. In 1998, total visitor arrivals stood at 202,109 with United States visitors constituting 2.7%, as most of the nation's tourists are from other countries in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. Figures from 2005 record tourism's contribution to the economy at US$90 million.[5]

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. The country belongs to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which has signed a framework agreement with the United States to promote trade and investment in the region.

St Vincent 2012 Export MIT Tree
Graphical depiction of St Vincent's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.
Economy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar (2.7 per US$ fixed rate since 1976)
calendar year
Trade organisations
GDP$1.301 billion (2012 est.)
GDP rank200th (2012 ext.) PPP
GDP growth
1.4% (2015), 1.9% (2016),
1% (2017e), 2.1% (2018f) [1]
GDP per capita
$11,900 (2012 est.)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 8.4%; industry: 19.9%; services: 73.6% (2012 est.)
6.1% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line
Labour force
57,520 (2007 est.)
Labour force by occupation
agriculture 26%, industry 17%, services 57% (1980 est.)
Unemployment15% (2001 est.)
Main industries
tourism, food processing, cement, furniture, clothing starch
125th (2017)[2]
Exports$68.3 million (2012 est.)
Export goods
bananas, eddoes and dasheen (taro), arrowroot starch, tennis racquets
Main export partners
 Trinidad and Tobago 15.2%
 Saint Lucia 13.5%
 Chile 12.1%
 Barbados 11.2%
 Dominica 8.9%
 Grenada 8.5%
 Antigua and Barbuda 7.6% (2012 est.)[3]
Imports$366.5 million (2012 est.)
Import goods
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, chemicals and fertilizers, minerals and fuels
Main import partners
 Singapore 27.0%
 Trinidad and Tobago 24.1%
 United States 18.3%
 China 5.4%
 EU 2.8% (2016 est.)[4]
Public finances
$252.2 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Revenues$185.2 million (2012 est.)
Expenses$185.2 million est.
Economic aid$47.5 million (1995); note - EU $34.5 million (1998)

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Macroeconomic statistics

Name Source Year Notes Ref
International Monetary Fund 2015 GDP (PPP) is $1.572 billion [1]
World Bank 2013 GDP (PPP) is $1,147,388,850 [2]
The World Factbook 2014 (Est.) GDP (PPP) is $1,198,000,000 [4]
GDP (PPP) per capita
International Monetary Fund 2015 GDP (PPP) per capita is $13,259.473 [5]
World Bank 2013 GDP (PPP) per capita is $10,490.6 [6]
The World Factbook 2014 (Est.) GDP (PPP) per capita is $10,900 [7]
GDP (PPP) per person employed
World Bank 1990-2010 GDP (PPP) per person employed $13,225 [8]
The World Factbook 2012 [9]
GDP (nominal)
United Nations 2013 GDP (nominal) is $709,197,778 [10]
International Monetary Fund 2013 GDP (nominal) is US$0.720 billion [11]
World Bank 2013 GDP (nominal) is $709,358,185 [12]
The World Factbook 2014 (Est.) GDP (nominal) is $745 million [14]
GDP (nominal) per capita
United Nations 2013 GDP (nominal) per capita is US$6,484 [15]
International Monetary Fund 2013 (Est.) GDP (nominal) per capita is US$6,563.096 [16]
World Bank 2012 [17]
The World Factbook 2013 [18]
Gross national income (Atlas method) World Bank 2013 Gross national income is US$707 million [19]
GNI per capita (Atlas method and PPP) World Bank 2013 Average national income (PPP) of US$6,460 per person/Year [20]

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Distribution of family income - Gini index: N/A

Agriculture - products: banana, coconuts, sweet-potatoes, spices; small numbers of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats; fish

Industrial production growth rate: -0.9% (1997 estimate)

Electricity - production: 115 million KWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption: 107 million KWh (2005)

Oil - consumption: 1,500 bbl/d (240 m3/d) (2005 estimate)

Current account balance: $-0.22 billion (2013 estimate)
$-0.19 billion (2012 estimate)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $115 million (2013 estimate)
$111 million (2012 estimate)

2010 Index of Economic Freedom rank = 49th

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2007), 2.7 (2006), 2.7 (2005), 2.7 (2003)

See also


  1. ^ "World Bank forecasts for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, June 2018 (p. 152)" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in St Vincent and the Grenadines". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  3. ^ "Export Partners of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines". CIA World Factbook. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  4. ^ "Import Partners of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines". CIA World Factbook. 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  5. ^ Bleau-Blackett, Cynthia. "Public Sector Modernization" (PDF). CARICAD. Retrieved 2006-09-15.

Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also Florida arrowroot from Zamia integrifolia, and tapioca from cassava (Manihot esculenta), which is often labelled as arrowroot. Polynesian arrowroot or pia (Tacca leontopetaloides), and Japanese arrowroot (Pueraria lobata), also called kudzu, are used in similar ways.

Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the central bank for the Eastern Caribbean dollar and is the monetary authority for the members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), with the exception of the British Virgin Islands and Martinique. Two of its core mandates are to maintain price and financial sector stability, by acting as a stabilizer and safe-guard of the banking system in the Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU.) It was founded in October 1983 with the goal of maintaining the stability and integrity of the subregion's currency and banking system in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of its member states.

The bank is headquartered in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and is currently overseen by Mr. Timothy Antoine, the Bank Governor. Prior to assuming his post in February 2016, the bank was overseen by the late Sir K. Dwight Venner. In early 2015, the bank announced plans to phase out the production of the 1 and 2 cent pieces. The date was finalised as July 1, 2015. When a motive was sought, it was stated that it takes about six cents to make one cent pieces and about eight cents to make a 2 cent piece.

Index of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Maranta arundinacea

Maranta arundinacea, also known as arrowroot, maranta, West Indian arrowroot, obedience plant, Bermuda arrowroot, araru, ararao or hulankeeriya, is a large, perennial herb found in rainforest habitats. Arrowroot flour is now produced commercially mostly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Arrowroot was one of the earliest plants to be domesticated for food in northern South America, with evidence of exploitation or cultivation of the plant dating back to 8200 BCE.

Outline of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines:

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a sovereign island nation located in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Its 389-square-kilometre (150 sq mi) territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines. The country has a French and British colonial history and is now part of the Commonwealth of Nations and CARICOM.

Saint Vincent dollar

The history of currency in the British colony of Saint Vincent closely follows that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. As such, it should not be considered in isolation. In order to get a broad overview of currency in the region, see the article British West Indies dollar.

Even though Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704 brought the gold standard to the West Indies, silver pieces of eight (Spanish dollars and later Mexican dollars) continued to form a major portion of the circulating currency right into the latter half of the nineteenth century. Britain adopted the gold standard in 1821 and an imperial order-in-council of 1838 resulted in British sterling coinage being introduced to St. Vincent in the year 1839. However, despite the circulation of British coins in St. Vincent, the silver pieces of eight continued to circulate alongside them and the private sector continued to use dollar accounts for reckoning. The international silver crisis of 1873 signalled the end of the silver dollar era in the West Indies and silver dollars were demonetized in St. Vincent in 1879 for fear that the silver standard might return. Even though the British sterling coins were made of silver, they were fractional coins of the British gold sovereign and hence they maintained their gold value. This left a state of affairs, in which the British coinage circulated, being reckoned in dollar accounts at an automatic conversion rate of 1 dollar = 4 shillings 2 pence.

From 1949, with the introduction of the British West Indies dollar, the currency of St. Vincent became officially tied up with that of the British Eastern Caribbean territories in general. The British sterling coinage was eventually replaced by a new decimal coinage in 1955, with the new cent being equal to one half of the old penny.

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