A recently-published 2016 Report entitled Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean prepared by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of the United Nations, provides data which show that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been attracting significant foreign investment as a proportion of this country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Indeed, in Latin America and the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines tops the chart in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a proportion of GDP. The actual number is FDI at 16 percent of GDP for the year 2015. The similar percentage measurements for 2015 for the other Caribbean countries are: Antigua-Barbuda 12 percent; St. Kitts-Nevis, 8 percent; Dominica, 7 percent; St. Lucia, 7 percent; Grenada, 6 percent; Barbados, 6 percent; Jamaica, 5.9 percent; Suriname, 5.7 percent; Trinidad and Tobago, 5.2 percent; Barbados, 4.2 percent; Bahamas, 4.1 percent; and Guyana, 4 percent.
The best performers in Latin America were: Panama, 9.8 percent; and Chile, 8.2 percent.
FDI IN DOLLARS
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Foreign Direct Investment in US dollars for the years 2005 to 2015 is as follows: 2005 to 2009, US $183 million; 2010, US $127 million; 2011, US $100 million; 2012, US $78 million; 2013, US $95 million; 2014, US $93 million; and 2015, US $95 million.
As Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves outlined in his recent budget speech, he anticipates that FDI in 2017 will amount to approximately US $100 million, accounting for one-half of the estimated capital investments of US $200 million in private investment (local and foreign) and public investment (central government and state entities). This is significant capital investment, given the size of the total GDP of US $800 million or approximately EC $2 billion.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not sell its citizenship or its passports but it attracts much Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as a proportion of GDP. This FDI is mainly in the tourism sector but it also includes other sectors such as telecommunications, air transport, financial services, housing, and agriculture (cocoa and coffee).
As always, the facts not propaganda speak the truth. The ULP government is to be commended for attracting much FDI. Sensible public policies, good governance, and quality leadership are vital in this regard.
Dated the 13th day of March 2017.