St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is an independent state in the south-eastern Caribbean Sea consisting of the island of St Vincent and the 32 northernmost islands and cays of the Grenadines chain. The largest Grenadines island is Bequia and nearby is the well-known island of Mustique. The country became fully independent from the United Kingdom in 1979 and is a parliamentary democracy with HM Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State, represented by a Governor-General who is locally appointed.
The country is about 160 Km west of Barbados and 32 Km south of St. Lucia. The capital city is Kingstown, with a population of around 28,000 and the whole nation has a population of about 103,000 although large numbers live and work abroad, notably in Canada, the USA and UK. In area St. Vincent and the Grenadines is about twice the size of Washington DC.
This country is a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the International Labour Organization, Caricom, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The main city and financial centre, Kingstown, is situated on St. Vincent Island. The Loyal Bank offices are in Villa, a suburb of Kingstown and an area with expansive views south down the Grenadines island chain.
The business and spoken language is English and the legal system follows English Common Law practice with an independent judiciary. There are up-to-date laws governing International Business Companies, International Banks and International Trusts.
The financial services regulator is the Financial Service Authority which is responsible for regulating international banks, trusts, mutual funds, credit unions, building societies and insurance companies.
Tourism is an important contributor to the economy and the country is especially known for high quality diving and yachting. Most tourist developments are small scale, appropriate and unobtrusive: there is no mass market tourism and compared to some other highly developed Caribbean tourist destinations, the islands not only have an unspoilt and simpler feel but visitors find costs are lower. Tourism is promoted by the Tourist Board.
Foreign investment in tourism and development is encouraged and National Properties Limited, a government company, offers buildings and lots for sale.