SVG woos foreign investment
September 24, 2004
SVG woos foreign investment

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is on a drive to attract investors, and aims to convince regional and international businesspeople that the country is a model for foreign direct investment, says Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. {{more}}
His statement was delivered on his behalf by the Prime Minister’s wife, Eloise Gonsalves, at a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Investment Forum in the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, on 7 September 2004. Dr. Gonsalves noted that his Government “accepts it cannot diversify and transform the economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines without the full participation of regional and international investors”. 
He said: “The presence of macroeconomic fundamentals in St. Vincent and the Grenadines provides comfort to investors, namely, a stable currency, low inflation, balanced economic growth, and a fiscal prudence which provides routinely a surplus on the Government’s current account.” 
The Commonwealth Secretary-General reminded the forum that the majority of Commonwealth countries are small states. While they were vulnerable in a number of areas, including global trade, they had an important advantage: “Small countries have a greater ability to cut red tape than big countries. We believe you can have a comparative advantage because you are more capable of speeding up processes in your bureaucratic structures.”
Brian Glasgow, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said the country did not expect to become a leader in industrial development and manufacturing. However, “We expect to play a noticeable role in providing world class services in leisure, financial services and electronic commerce to satisfy targeted niche markets in both developing and developed countries.”
The investment forum was attended by more than 50 selected businesspeople and investors, officials of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Government and the Commonwealth Secretariat. It was supported by the Secretariat’s Special Advisory Services Division (SASD), as part of its technical assistance to the country. Angela Strachan, chief programme officer in SASD’s Trade Section, said the Division had assisted the Government in developing an investment policy and a promotion strategy and is now providing consultancy services for implementing these. 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has already attracted foreign investment in the fields of tourism, international financial services, banking and insurance, telecommunications, manufacturing and construction.

CNIS – the Commonwealth News and Information Service.