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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Commonwealth realm
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Coat of Arms of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Motto
Pax et justitia
Peace and justice
Anthem
St Vincent Land So Beautiful
Map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
CapitalKingstown
Government Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Monarch
- From 1979Elizabeth II
Governor-General
- From 2002Sir Frederick Ballantyne
Prime Minister
- From 2001Ralph Gonsalves
Legislature House of Assembly
History
October 27, 1979Independence from the United Kingdom
Commonwealth accessionOctober 27, 1979
Area389 km²
Population
- 2008120,000
 Density308.4/km²
GDP2008 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 1.1 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 9,976
CurrencyEast Caribbean dollar
Flag of None State of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a commonwealth realm and a parliamentary democracy in the Caribbean.


Background

Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.[1]

Economy

Success of the economy hinges upon seasonal variations in agriculture, tourism, and construction activity as well as remittance inflows. Much of the workforce is employed in banana production and tourism, but persistent high unemployment has prompted many to leave the islands. This lower-middle-income country is vulnerable to natural disasters - tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of crops in 1994, 1995, and 2002. In 2008, the islands had more than 200,000 tourist arrivals, mostly to the Grenadines, a drop of nearly 20% from 2007. Saint Vincent is home to a small offshore banking sector and has moved to adopt international regulatory standards. The government's ability to invest in social programs and respond to external shocks is constrained by its high public debt burden, which was over 90% of GDP at the end of 2010. Following the global downturn, St. Vincent and the Grenadines saw an economic decline in 2009, after slowing since 2006, when GDP growth reached a 10-year high of nearly 7%. The GONSALVES administration is directing government resources to infrastructure projects, including a new international airport that is expected to be completed in 2011.[2]

Monarch

  • Elizabeth II () (October 27, 1979 - )

Governor-General

  • Sir Frederick Ballantyne () (Sep 2, 2002 - )

Prime Minister

  • Ralph Gonsalves () (Mar 29, 2001 - )

Nation

Vincentian Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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