Grenada

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
July 19, 2018

This is the basic text view. SWITCH NOW to the new, more interactive format.


Executive SummaryShare    

Grenada is a working parliamentary democracy, has a functioning court system, low rates of crime, and is devoid of political violence. The country's legal framework for business is strong. The availability of tax incentives, equitable treatment of national and international investors, political stability, good infrastructure, and a favorable location give Grenada a healthy investment climate.

According to the Country’s 2018 Budget Statement, Grenada’s economy expanded by an estimated 4.5 percent in 2017—its fifth consecutive year of growth. The construction, tourism, private education, and manufacturing sectors fueled the uptick in economic activity. Forecasters project another 3.3 percent growth for 2018. Grenada maintains a strong fiscal position with a primary surplus of 4.7 percent of GDP estimated for 2017 – the third consecutive year of a primary surplus.

During the past two years, parliament revised regulations on value added tax, property transfer tax, investment, excise tax, customs (service charge), and bankruptcy and insolvency bills. The Government also launched the new Investment Incentives Regime intended to streamline bureaucratic and legal processes, which for years have burdened the investment climate. This new regime improves transparency, equitable practices, and adherence to the rule of law.

The World Bank’s Doing Business ranking for Grenada’s tracked downwardly for 2015-2018—slipping from 130 in 2015 to 135 in 2016, 138 in 2017 and 142 in 2018. Despite the Government’s efforts to improve the country’s business climate, its public statements, legislative and legal actions against the nation’s sole electric company and its private investors along with an attempt to expropriate a major resort property cast doubt on the inviolability of contracts.

Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program successfully attracted high value investments in the tourist and construction industries in the past five years. Prime Minister Mitchell announced receipts of XCD81.1 million from the CBI program in 2017.

The tourism sector attracts the most foreign direct investment. 2017 saw key activities within tourism focused on the development of new resorts and hotels, expansion of community-based tourism products and services, product enhancements and marketing. This contributed to an increase in stay-over and cruise passenger arrivals. Other international investment included projects in construction, retail, duty free outlets, and agriculture.

Transactions with Grenada’s main trading partners – the United States and the United Kingdom (U.K) –.grew in 2017. For 2018, the government of Grenada’s budget assessment projects trade from the U.K. will decelerate to 1.5 percent from 1.7 percent, but increase slightly with the United States from 2.2 percent to 2.3 percent.

Table 1

Measure

Year

Index/Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index

2017

52 of 180

http://www.transparency.org/
research/cpi/overview

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”

2017

142 of 190

http://www.doing
business.org/rankings

Global Innovation Index

2017

Not Ranked

https://www.globalinnovation
index.org/analysis-indicator

U.S. FDI in partner country (M USD, stock positions)

2016

USD 7

http://www.bea.gov/
international/factsheet/

World Bank GNI per capita

2016

USD 9,100

http://data.worldbank.org/
indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Policies towards Foreign Direct Investment

Grenada employs a liberal approach to foreign direct investment (FDI) geared at the country's socio-economic development. This approach is supported by a strong strategic, legislative and regulatory landscape.

The strategic agenda of the Government of Grenada demonstrates its belief that investment is directly related to growth and development. As a result, the Government of Grenada identified additional foreign investment opportunities related to the country’s resource endowment of “sand, sun, sea and rich fertile soil.” The Government of Grenada’s accession to international trade and development agreements opened a greater number of sectors to foreign investment opportunities.

The Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) is the country’s investment promotion agency. It was established by the Government of Grenada in March 1985 as a statutory body to stimulate, facilitate and encourage the creation and development of industry. Through an act of Parliament, the name was changed to Grenada Investment Development Corporation in 2016 to better convey its mandate. GIDC comprises of three strategic business units which is responsible for carrying out its core responsibilities. They are:

  • Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) – responsible for investment promotion facilitation
  • Business Development Centre (BDC) – provide business support services to micro, small and medium sized enterprises
  • Facilities – manages the three business parks owned by GIDC
  • A fourth unit, ‘shared services’ provides financial, human resource management, legal, research and monitoring and evaluation support to the Strategic Business Units. The agency is a ‘one stop shop’ offering services in:
  • Investment and Trade Information
  • Investment Incentives
  • Investment Facilitation & Aftercare
  • Entrepreneurial/Business Skills Training
  • Small Business Support Services
  • Industrial Facilities
  • Policy Advice

In an effort to promote FDI, GIDC adopts a targeted approach to promote investment opportunities; provide superior investor facilitation and entrepreneurial development services; and advocate for a supportive enabling environment for investors to develop and grow business, trade and industries.

Investment retention is a priority in Grenada and this is maintained through ongoing dialogues with investors facilitated by GIDC. There is also the presence of investment communities, and a legislative and supportive framework that provide the necessary guidance to ensure investor success.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Foreign and national investors are treated the same in Grenada. There are no economic and industrial strategies that discriminate against foreign investors.

Non-Grenadian investors may be required to obtain an Alien Landholding License and a property transfer tax, which levies a 10 percent fee on the purchase of shares in a Grenadian registered company or real estate. In addition the sale of such shares or real estate to non-nationals will attract a property transfer tax of 15 percent payable by the seller.

Foreign investors employed in Grenada are subject to an annual renewal of a Work Permit. U.S. Investors must pay a fee of USD 1,105. For investors from other countries, the fee varies based on the investor’s country of citizenship. There are no limits on foreign ownership or control. Foreign investors may not invest in or operate investment enterprises that are prejudicial to national security or detrimental to the environment, public health or the national culture; or which contravene the Laws of Grenada. Grenada has accepted but not yet implemented regional obligations on anti-competition concerns. U.S investors are not disadvantaged or singled out by any of the ownership or control mechanisms, sector restrictions, or investment screening mechanisms in Grenada relative to other foreign investors.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

The Government of Grenada passed its most recent Investment Promotion Act in 2014, replacing the 2009 Act. The new legislation promotes, encourages, and protects investment in Grenada by providing investors with a stable framework of fundamental and enforceable rights. It seeks to guarantee and ensure security and fairness in strict accordance with the rule of law, and best international standards and practices. This new bill is also in compliance with WTO regulations, the Economic Partnership Agreement, and CARIFORUM-EU.

In 2016, parliament passed new incentives regime. The new regime involved amendments to specific legislation which grants incentives. This was done to ensure that all new tax exemptions are codified in legislation, restricting discretionary exemptions, and certifying that the beneficiaries of all exemptions file appropriate tax returns, and are tax compliant.

It also proposes a streamlined, simple and non-discretionary system/process for the granting of incentives; where the Customs and Inland Revenue Departments will administer exemptions which are provided through a clearly defined rule-based system, rather than the very open ended incentive schemes that require each case to be approved by Cabinet.

Under the new regime, incentives will be granted to projects within the priority sectors for investment. They are: tourism, manufacturing, agriculture & agri-business, information technology service, telecommunication providers and business process outsourcing operations, education & training, health &wellness, creative industries, energy; and research and development. Other sectors also include student accommodation, heavy equipment operators, investment projects of particular investment thresholds, and projects within geographical location.

The new incentive regime seeks to provide investment incentives on a performance basis (i.e. the more one invest, the more incentives one can receive). Therefore, based on the level of investment, different levels of incentives will be granted in a transparent, open, predictable, and non-discriminatory manner.

Business Facilitation

Political and economic stability, human resources, supportive government policies, trade and investment opportunities, quality of life and good infrastructure all provide the ideal environment for FDI in Grenada. Investors are invited to invest in all fields of lawful economic activity that are not prejudicial to national security, or detrimental to the health, environment or culture of the Country.

An investor must register a business name and identify whether it is a partnership or limited liability company. A registered business can be wholly-owned or a joint venture. The official website of the Grenada Investment Development Corporation includes an Investor’s Guide that details the procedures for starting and operating a business in Grenada. With the graphic aid of a business procedure flow chart, the guide gives step-by-step instructions from registering a business and owning properties to obtaining permits and licenses. Detailed information on business registration can be found at http://grenadaidc.com/investor-centre/investors-guide/starting-up-a-business/#.WKxXdfnQe70

The Country’s investment agency, GIDC provides business facilitation mechanisms and ensures the equitable treatment of women and underrepresented minorities in the economy.

Outward Investment

The Government of Grenada does not promote or incentivize outward investment. However, under the Revised Treaty of Chagaramus, there are Rights of Establishment in any CARICOM member state. There is also a chapter on service agreements under the European Partnership Agreement (EPA). Under certain circumstances, provisions in these agreements may offer incentives to the potential investor. Grenada does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.

2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation TreatiesShare    

Bilateral Investment Treaties / Free Trade Agreements

Bilateral Investment Agreements established between Grenada and several countries are designed to encourage and protect international investments and to ensure that investors receive fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory treatment. Bi-lateral Investment Treaties exists between Grenada and the United States as well as Grenada and the United Kingdom.

Grenada is a member of CARICOM, established by the Treaty of Chagaramus in 1973 to promote economic integration and development among its 15 member states. The Revised Treaty of Chagaramus later established the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), to provide for the free movement of goods, services, capital and labor within member states.

Grenada is also a member of CARIFORUM (Caribbean Forum), and party to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Community and Caricom Member States. This agreement serves to alleviate poverty, foster regional integration, promote economic cooperation, and propel CARIFORUM States' entry into the world economy by creating an attractive investment climate and ensuring trade viability on the world market.

As part of this agreement, trade related developments are provided in areas such as intellectual property and the environment.

Grenada is also a member of The Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) - an agreement between the Canadian Government and the Commonwealth Caribbean to promote trade, investment, and industrial cooperation. Treaties with investment provisions also exist through CARICOM-Costa Rica FTA, CARICOM-Cuba Cooperation Agreement, CARICOM-Dominican Republic FTA and CARICOM-Venezuela FTA.

There is also an agreement with the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) - an initiative created by the United States Government with the Caribbean and Central America to provide several, trade, and tariff benefits, among others.

At present the Government of Grenada under the umbrella of CARICOM, is reviewing trade agreements with Cuba and the Dominican Republic in an effort to negotiate new market access and opportunities.

Additionally, the Government of Grenada is considering a bi-lateral Open Skies Agreement with the United States of America. This agreement will replace the 1946 Bermuda I Agreement to ensure a more current, responsive and beneficial arrangement that is reflective of 21st century civil aviation trends. It will liberalize the aviation market, remove various restrictions, increase capacity, routes and bolster the ease of travel to and from Grenada by attracting additional air carriers and routes.

Bilateral Taxation Treaties

Grenada approved the passing of a legislation that will implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Inter-Governmental Agreement (FACTA) with the United States of America. FACTA requires that information on U.S. citizens with accounts at local financial and credit institutions, holding in excess of XCD 50,000 be shared with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The legislation provides for the Competent Authority to be Comptroller of Inland Revenue, who will communicate directly with the IRS. The Comptroller will mandate his/her staff to gather information from financial institutions to be divulged to the IRS. According to the legislation, “failure to comply with such a request is a summary offence punishable by a fine not exceeding USD 100,000.”

The legislation also provides for the protection of privacy stating that the Competent Authority and any other person appointed, employed, or designated to carry out articles of, or having any official duty under the Agreement, shall regard and deal with as secret. Other than FACTA, the United States does not have a tax treaty with Grenada. Therefore persons must pay tax on the income in the same way and at the same rates shown in the instructions for the applicable U.S. tax return.

3. Legal RegimeShare    

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The Government of Grenada recognizes that investors value transparent rules and regulations dealing with investment.

The Investment Act and the new Investment Promotion Regime promotes transparency by authorizing key sectors to be offered investment incentives through the Grenada Investment Development Corporation. This helps to streamline processes, standardize treatment of investors, define investment rights; provide procedural guarantees, and reduce the scope for political influence in business negotiation.

The Government also promotes investments by consulting with interested parties; simplifying and codifying legislation; using plain language drafting; developing registers of existing and proposed regulation; expanding the use of electronic dissemination of regulatory material; and by publishing and reviewing administrative decisions.

The Grenada Investment Development Corporation works in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade and Economic Development to deliver clarity to investors when consultations are not broad enough to generate public awareness of particular proposals or where draft legislation does not receive a public hearing.

Tax, labor, environment, health and safety, and other laws and policies do not distort nor impede investment, though the laws are not always applied in a consistent manner. In theory, bureaucratic procedures, including those for licenses and permits, are sufficiently streamlined and transparent. In practice, local authorities recognize that the implementation of procedures can sometimes be inconsistent and slow.

Legal, regulatory, and accounting systems are generally transparent and consistent with international norms. In addition, there are clear institutional arrangements established to support the implementation of transparent regimes governing investment.

International Regulatory Considerations

Grenada has been a member of the World Trade Organization since February 1996 and is a party to Agreements established under the organization. In pursuit of WTO-compliance, the Government of Grenada recently signed and is in the process of negotiating trade and investment agreements that contain provisions that are better aligned with the provisions of the WTO. Grenada is also part of CARICOM and the Caricom Single Market and Economy which also adheres to the international norms and regulatory standards outlined by the WTO.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Grenada, a constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary System, has vested the Prime Minister and his Cabinet with the executive power for concluding and signing international agreements and conventions with other States and international organizations.

The Judicial System of the nation is based on English Common Law. The judiciary has four levels: Magistrate Court; High Court, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Privy Council.

The Magistrates Court primarily handles minor civil and criminal cases, while the High Court adjudicates cases under the purview of the Acts of Parliament. Appeals from the Magistrates Court are heard by the High Court, while appeals from the High Court are heard by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is comprised of the Chief Justice, who serves as the Head of the Judiciary; four Justices of Appeal; nineteen High Court Judges; and three (3) Masters, who are primarily responsible for procedural and interlocutory matters. The Court of Appeal judges are based at the Court’s Headquarters in Castries, Saint Lucia where administrative and legal support is provided under the supervision of the Court Administrator and Chief Registrar respectively.

The Privy Council serves Grenada as the final Court of Appeal. However, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has compulsory and exclusive jurisdiction under Section 211 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (which Grenada is a party to, and which delineates rights and responsibilities in CARICOM) to hear and determine disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the Treaty.

The judicial system remains independent of the executive branch, and judicial processes are generally competent, fair, ad reliable.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The economy of Grenada is supported by a strong legislative and regulatory framework that supports Foreign Direct Investments, and promotes investment initiatives. The Government of Grenada amplified the investment climate with a revitalization of its Citizenship by Investment Program. In 2016, several revisions were made to the following bills:

  • Value Added Tax Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to amend the Value Added Tax Act CAP.333A to provide for VAT exemptions applicable to qualifying investments in priority sectors and would be read in conjunction with regulations made pursuant to the Investment Act, 2014 for the establishment of priority sectors for economic growth.
  • Excise Tax Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to amend the Excise Tax Act CAP. 94 to provide for tax incentives to investors engaged in manufacturing and investors entitled to conditional duties exemptions with respect to motor vehicles.
  • Property Transfer Tax Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act CAP.257C to provide more favourable rates of property transfer tax for investors. The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Act, 2015 (No. 23 of 2015) amended section 5 of the principal Act to reduce the property transfer tax payable by non-citizens with qualifying investments from 10 percent to 5 percent, such that non-citizens would be entitled to pay a reduced rate if the non-citizens commit to making a qualifying investment. This Bill seeks to expand upon this incentive and would be read in conjunction with regulations made pursuant to the Investment Act for the establishment of priority sectors for economic growth.
  • Customs Service Charge Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to amend the Customs (Service Charge) Act CAP. 75D to remove the discretionary power of Cabinet to prescribe varying rates of customs service charge (‘CSC’) and to prescribe a new rate of CSC applicable to investors engaged in manufacturing.
  • Investment Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to create express provision for specified circumstances under which the Minister of Finance may make regulations under the principal Act.
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Amendment Bill - This Bill provides for the modernization of the law relating to bankruptcy and insolvency of individuals and companies. The Bankruptcy Act, which applies only to individuals, would be repealed. Provisions in other Acts, such as the Companies Act, dealing with liquidation or winding up would continue to apply.

The Bill is based on the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which has been used as a model in a number of Caribbean countries.

  • Income Tax Amendment Bill - This Bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act CAP. 149 to provide for a waiver on withholding tax applicable on specified types of repatriated funds relating to investors engaged in tourism accommodation or health and wellness, to repeal the Sixth Schedule, and to address other matters.

The Grenada Investment Industrial Corporation together with the Inland Revenue and Customs Department of Grenada works together to ensure adherence to the rule of law; and facilitate the procedures outlined in the revised investment regime.

The legal and regulatory framework governing foreign direct investment in Grenada is described here: http://grenadaidc.com/investor-centre/investors-guide/starting-up-a-business/#.WLA0BfnQe70

Competition and Anti-Trust Laws

There are no laws that regulate competition in Grenada. However, Government of Grenada discussed model draft bills at the CARICOM and OECS levels. These are being formulated to strengthen market regimes under the CARICOM Single Market & Economy. CARICOM established a Competition Commission and plans are underway to have a sub-regional entity, the Eastern Caribbean Competition Commission, fully functional soon.

Expropriation and Compensation

According to the Constitution, the Government of Grenada shall not compulsorily acquire or take possession of any investment enterprise, or any asset of an investor except for a purpose which (a) is in accordance with the laws of Grenada; (b) is on a non-discriminatory basis; (c) is in accordance with the procedures provided by law; (d) provides for prompt payment of adequate and effective compensation together with interest from the date of acquisition or taking possession of the investment enterprise or asset to the date of payment at the commercial bank rate on loans to the corporate sector; and (e) provides for the right of access to the High Court by any person claiming such compensation for the determination of any interest in or right over the investment enterprise or asset and the amount of compensation. There were no expropriation actions against foreign investors in over a decade. However, there is an ongoing dispute between the Government of Grenada and a British-owned resort in which the Government asserts a right to reacquire the land on which the property sits, claiming the owners of the resort failed to comply with provisions of the long term lease agreement. The outcome of this case is one to monitor going forward.

There was also a successful attempt by the Government of Grenada to repeal the 1994 Electricity Supply Act which granted the WRB-owned Grenada Electricity Services sole privileges to transmit, distribute, supply and generate electricity to Grenada. After 21 years, the Government opened the market to potential investors to decrease cost and improve energy efficiency. The 2016 Electricity Supply Act allows for the granting of multiple licenses to energy generators both regional and international; thus removing GRENLEC as the sole electricity provider in Grenada.

In the past, Grenadian citizens had their lands expropriated to permit foreign investments, but have been compensated for such actions. There are no sectors at greater risk of expropriation than another; and there are no laws requiring local ownership.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Grenada is a signatory and contracting member of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) since May 1991, and has engaged this platform to resolve past disputes. While the domestic laws of Grenada have adapted the provisions outlined in The New York Convention, the country has not yet ratified the convention.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

There were no known investment disputes involving a U.S. person over the past 10 years. Currently the Government of Grenada and the British owned Grenadian by Rex Resorts is engaged in a dispute involving the re-acquisition of land that was leased to the resort for 99 years. A ruling handed down by the High Court in December 2016 stated that the Government has the right to acquire the property, but it must be done in strict compliance with the country’s acquisition legislation. Following an appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, on February 21st, the court ruled an interim conservatory order that Rex Resorts “be permitted to continue to remain in possession of, and to continue to operate the hotel known as the Grenadian by Rex Resorts.”

There is no history of extrajudicial action against foreign investors.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

In the event of a dispute between two foreign parties engaged in an investment; between a foreign investor(s) and Grenadian parties; between Grenadian partners; or between the investors and the Government of Grenada (GOG) with respect to an enterprise the disputants shall first seek to settle their differences through consultation or mediation to reach an amicable settlement. In the event that the disputants fail to resolve the matter, they may then: (a) submit their dispute to arbitration under the Arbitration Act No 2 of 1989; (b) invoke the jurisdiction of the courts of Grenada; (c) invoke the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice; or (d) adopt such other procedures as provided for in the Articles of Association of the investment enterprise.

There is generally no government interference in the court system. While occasionally such government interference has been alleged, it has not been proven to date.

In addition to the above, Grenada also features a Court Connected Mediation mechanism that can be accessed through the Meditation Centre. This Centre was established by the statutory provisions of the Practice Direction Act No.1 of 2003. It extends court connected mediation to all Member States of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). It makes provision for the referral to mediation of civil actions filed in the Court. Through this system parties are able to utilize any form of dispute resolution including, in particular mediation, upon the consideration of the Court that this is an appropriate mechanism to be employed.

Court connected mediation, however, cannot be used in family proceedings, insolvency (including winding up of companies), non-contentious probate proceedings, proceedings when the High Court is acting as a prize court and any other proceeding in the Supreme Court instituted under any enactment, in so far as rules made under that enactment regulate those proceedings.

Bankruptcy Regulations

Grenada is ranked number 169 for ease of "resolving insolvency" in the World Bank's Doing Business Report for both 2016 and 2017.

Chapter 27 of the Bankruptcy Act (Amended by Act No. 10 of 1990) makes provisions for all aspects of Bankruptcy. This was one of the bills recently amended under the new investment regime in an effort to modernize the law relating to bankruptcy and insolvency of individuals and companies.

Part III of this Act sets out what are acts of bankruptcy and the procedure for an application to be made by a creditor to the High Court to obtain a bankruptcy order against a debtor and appointment of a trustee in bankruptcy. There is also provisions for the Court to appoint an interim receiver (who must be a trustee) pending the outcome of the application for a bankruptcy order. (An interim receiver is to be distinguished from a receiver appointed under a security agreement or by the Court to protect the interests of secured creditors).

Part III also has provision for a process whereby an insolvent person, with leave of the Court, may make an assignment of the insolvent person’s property for the general benefit of creditors of the insolvent person. A trustee is to be appointed by the Supervisor.

The High Court exercises exclusive jurisdiction in matters related to bankruptcy.

4. Industrial PoliciesShare    

Investment Incentives

The legislation of Grenada provides a package of benefits and concessions for specific investment activities. Incentives available include tax waiver, import duty exemptions, repatriation of profits and withholding tax exemptions.

Incentives that are trade-related are notified under Article 25 and Article 27 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. Concessions are available under the Income Tax Act, the Common External Tariff (SRO 42/09), the Property Transfer Act, the Petrol Tax Act and the Customer Service Charge Act.

Incentives include accelerated depreciation (10 percent on plant & machinery; 2 percent on industrial building); investment allowance (100 percent write-off on total investment); carry forward of losses for three years, reductions in the property transfer tax, 100 percent relief from customs duties on plant, equipment and raw materials; and deductible expenditure incurred for training, research and development.

Other incentives include no restrictions on foreign ownership; no restrictions on foreign currency transactions; no restrictions on the repatriation of profits, capital, and dividends. Certain incentives may be linked to the site of investment, the number of persons employed, or other factors. There was no instance in which the Government of Grenada needed to review an approved investor for non-compliance with incentive requirements.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

There are no foreign trade zones or free ports in Grenada. However, there are various companies which offer duty free shopping for travelling customers. These are typically located within the country’s tourism belt.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

CARICOM investors are accorded Rights of Establishment, while other foreign investors are required to obtain an alien landholding licenses to invest in property, and a work permit.

Persons wishing to apply for a work permit must pay XCD100.00/USD 37.00 to acquire an application form from the Work Permit Division of the Ministry of Labor. Along with the completed application form, they must also submit four passport sized photos, a police certificate of character from their country, certificates of qualification, a letter of intention, character reference from a reputable person/former employer, copy of passport page indicating the last date of arrival to Grenada, business registration certificate, company stamp, NIS compliance certificate, and recent tax compliance and VAT receipt.

The approval process takes two to three weeks, longer if there are queries, and is valid for one year. U.S. investors and workers are required to pay USD 1,105 per year for renewal. This fee varies based on the investor’s country of citizenship.

There is no policy of "forced localization" of data storage at present, nor pressure on international ICT providers to provide source code or encryption keys. The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and other stakeholders began addressing matters relating to electronic regimes. Draft Model Laws were developed under the Harmonization of ICT Policies, Legislation and Regulatory Procedures (HIPCAR) Project in this regard; but laws specific to data storage and protection have not yet made it to the national legislative agenda.

There are no measures which prevent or unduly impede companies from freely transmitting customer or business related data outside the country. There is no performance requirements, nor enforcement procedures for performance requirements. Investment incentives are applied uniformly to both domestic and foreign investors on a case by case basis.

5. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

The Aliens Land-holding Regulation Act No. 29 of 1968 (last amended in 2009) is the primary legislative instrument governing the right to private ownership of property and establishment by licensed Aliens. Provisions are made for investors to purchase or lease privately owned land and dispose of, or transfer interests in the land under the Act. Investors may hold State lands by grant or lease from the State.

As of 2011, the appointment of a registrar, which focuses specifically on property, has aided significantly in cutting the time needed to transfer property in Grenada by almost half.

Property rights and interests are enforced under the Alien Landholding Regulation Act. The only specific regulation regarding land lease or acquisition by a foreign or non-resident investor is the acquisition of an Alien Landholding License. This is also provided for under the Act. The application process is described on the following website: http://grenadaidc.com/investor-centre/investors-guide/starting-up-a-business/#.WLBEUvnQe70

Before a deed is issued there is a title search on the previous owner, followed by conveyance, and the registering of the property to a new owner. A clear title must first be identified before the process moves forward. Once the landholder possesses a deed, the property remains legally theirs, occupied or not, until the deed is signed over to someone else.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

The Patents Act (Cap 227 of the Consolidated Laws of Grenada) or the Trade Marks Act (Cap 284 of the Consolidated Laws of Grenada), or the Copyright Act Cap No 32 of 1988 (Cap 67 of the Consolidated Laws of Grenada) guarantees the IPR of investors and investment enterprises e.g. patents, trademarks, brand names, and copyrighted materials in printed, recorded, or electronic format etc.. Grenada is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Domestic legislation regarding intellectual property protection has not yet been amended to bring it in line with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. However, it is a work in progress as the necessary legislations are currently being drafted. On this front, the Government of Grenada has implemented the Trademark Act No. 1 of 2012 and the Copyright Act of 2011. The Patent Act of 2011 has been drafted but is not yet fully implemented. The geographic location and industrial design bills have been drafted and is currently awaiting the necessary approval prior to implementation. Once these outstanding matters have been addressed, Grenada’s protection of IPR will be fully consistent with TRIPS.

Administration of intellectual property laws in Grenada is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

The registration of patents, trademarks and copyright is conducted at the Corporate and Intellectual Property Office. Grenada operates a re-registration system based on registration in the United Kingdom. The Registration of the United Kingdom Patents Act, Cap. 283 and Grenada’s Patent Act No. 16 of 2011 govern Grenada’s system for registering patents. In accordance with the legislation, based on Section 91 of the U.K.’s Patents and Design Act of 1907, any patent holder in the United Kingdom may apply within three years from the date of issue of the patent to have it registered in Grenada.

The United Kingdom Trade Marks Act, Cap 284, authorizes any proprietor of a trademark in the United Kingdom to apply at any time during the existence of the registration to have it registered in Grenada.

Grenada is not listed in USTR’s 2018 Special 301 report, and neither is it listed in the 2017 Notorious Market List.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/.

6. Financial SectorShare    

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Grenada possesses both a robust legislative and policy framework that facilitates free flow of financial resources. Its currency, the Eastern Caribbean dollar, has a fixed exchange rate established by the regional Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Foreign personnel of investment enterprises and their families may also repatriate their earnings, after paying personal income tax and all other taxes due. The Government of Grenada encourages foreign investors to seek investment capital from financial institutions chartered outside Grenada due to the short supply of capital within the country rather than tap the local financial market or access low-interest rate loans or government grants directed towards local borrowers. Foreign investors are more likely to tap local financial markets for working capital.

The private sector has access to the limited number of credit instruments. Grenadian stocks are traded on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE), whose limited liquidity may pose difficulties in conducting transactions.

Money and Banking System

The Financial Industry in Grenada is regulated by two entities; the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Grenada Authority for Regulation of the Financial Industry (GARFIN). The ECCB regulates the banking system. GARFIN oversees non-banking financial institutions through a regulatory system that encourages and facilitates portfolio investment. The estimated total assets of the largest banks is USD 1.03 billion. Information on the percentage of non-performing assets is not available. Grenada has not experienced cross-shareholding or hostile takeovers.

Foreign banks or branches are allowed to establish operations in Grenada subject to prudential measures and regulations governed by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. For the requirements and procedures foreign banks can refer to the following website: https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/p/grenada-1

There is correspondent banking available with all licensed commercial banks on island. No correspondent banking relationships have been lost in the past three years; nor is there any correspondent banking relationships in jeopardy currently. There are no restrictions on a foreigner’s ability to establish a bank account.

Post is not aware of the implementation, or an intent to implement blockchain technologies in banking transactions in Grenada.

In addition to the banking sector, there are alternative financial services provided through Credit Unions. This is regulated by Grenada Authority for Regulation of the Financial Industry.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange Policies

Grenada's currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), and it is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), located in St. Kitts. The exchange rate is also determined by the ECCB. The Eastern Caribbean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar at 2.7 adding to the stability of trade and investment in Grenada.

There are no restrictions or limitations placed on foreign investors in converting, transferring, or repatriating funds associated with investment. Funds associated with any form of investment can be freely converted into a number of currencies including U.S., Pound Sterling, Canadian and Euro dollars. However, banks reserve the right to delay transactions if deemed suspicious, or outside the typical level of activity initially indicated on the account.

Remittance Policies

There are no difficulties or delays regarding remittances, and there are no proposed policy changes that would either tighten or relax access to foreign exchange for investment remittances.

Transfers of currency are protected by Article VII of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Articles of Agreement. Grenada is also a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Grenada does not have a Sovereign Wealth Fund.

7. State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

Grenadian state-owned enterprises are legislatively established by Acts of Parliament. These enterprises all have Boards of Directors appointed by the Government and answerable to particular ministries. Twenty five of 28 authorized SOEs are operational. They secure credit on commercial terms from commercial banks. SOEs submit annual reports to the Government Audit Department and are subject to audits shared with their parent ministries. SOEs manage transportation infrastructure (ports and airports), housing, education, hospitals, and cement production, investment promotion and small business development among other functions. Generally, where they compete with the private sector, they do so, on an equal basis.

Grenada, like its neighbors, acknowledges the guidelines of the Organization of Economic Corporation and Development. Corporate governance of SOEs in Grenada is established and regulated by founding statutes. Local courts show no favoritism toward SOEs in adjudication of investment disputes.

For additional information on SOES in Grenada see: http://www.oecd.org/countries/grenada/

Privatization Program

Grenada does not have a privatization program.

8. Responsible Business ConductShare    

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), interchangeably used with responsible business conduct, is a concept that was introduced by some of the multi-national and regional corporations on island to Corporate Grenada relatively recent. Businesses are slowly rebranding to incorporate this principle into their corporate image.

Some social responsibility initiatives undertaken by the Corporate Community and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) include: education programs, fitness, sporting activities and cultural endeavors. These are predominantly done by the telecommunication companies, Digicel and LIME. There is also a recent push towards environmentally friendly practices with regard to business operations, and eco-friendly projects.

While firms that promote CSR are more favorably viewed by the community, there is little familiarity with international CSR standards. Operations are deemed to be responsible business conduct as long as it is lawful economic activity; not a threat to national security, and is not detrimental to the environment, health and culture of the Grenadian people.

There have been no high-profile, controversial instances of private sector impact on human rights or resolution of such cases in the recent past.

The Grenadian government effectively and fairly enforce domestic laws in relation to human rights, labor rights, consumer protection, environmental protections, and other laws/regulations intended to protect individuals from adverse business impacts. Additionally, there is the presence or Labor Unions which freely promote and monitor responsible business conduct.

9. CorruptionShare    

Grenada is party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. In 2013, Parliament passed the Integrity in Public Life Act (Act No.24 of 2013), the country's first anticorruption bill. It requires that all public servants report their income and assets to the independent Integrity Commission for review.

The Ombudsman Act of 2007 established the Office of Ombudsman, and the country’s first Ombudsman since independence, was named in September, 2009. In 2016, the Ombudsman received 94 complaints, 8 of which were closed, 32 remain ongoing, 35 resulted in advice or referrals, and the remaining 19 were beyond the jurisdiction of the office.

Bribery is illegal in Grenada, and Grenadian officials take allegations seriously. The Integrity in Public Life Commission monitors and verifies disclosures, although disclosures are not made public except in court. According to the provisions of the bill, failure to file a disclosure should be noted in the Official Gazette. If the office holder in question fails to file in response to this notification, the commission can seek a court order to enforce compliance.

Grenada is not party to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. The country accepted and acknowledged the UN Convention against corruption; but has not yet signed or ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention.

U.S. firms have not identified corruption as an obstacle to FDI in Grenada.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies are responsible for combating corruption:

Tafawa Pierre
Superintendent of Police/ Head of FIU
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
The Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 435-2373 / 2374
gdafiu@spiceisle.com

Allison Miller
Ombudsman Acting
Office of the Ombudsman
Tanteen, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 435-9315
ombudsmangd@spiceisle.com

Contact at "watchdog" organization:

Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph
Chairman
Office of the Integrity Commission
Archibald Avenue, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 439-9212/ 534-5190
office@grenadaintegritycommission.org

10. Political and Security EnvironmentShare    

Grenada has a stable parliamentary representative democracy devoid of political violence.

11. Labor Policies and PracticesShare    

Grenada signed and ratified all of the International Labor Organization’s undertakings and enshrined these rights into its labor laws, including the Labor Relations Act No.1 of 1999 and the Employment Act No. 1 of 1999. Grenadian law upholds the right of workers to be represented by a trade union of their choice.

The Government of Grenada does not restrict the legal activities of trade unions. The majority of the workforce is unionized and the labor relations atmosphere on the island is generally stable.

In accordance with the Trade Union Recognition Act No 29 of 1979 (Cap 325 of the Consolidated Laws of Grenada), investors shall grant union representation at any site of employment if the majority of their employees indicate the desire for union representation. Investment enterprises are also required to contribute to the social insurance and welfare programs for their workers in accordance with the National Insurance Act.

While there were strikes in the past year, none posed an investment risk, and they were all satisfactorily resolved in a timely manner. There are no gaps in compliance in law or practice with international labor standards that may pose a reputational risk to investors; and no potential gaps were identified in law or practice with international standards by the International Labor Organization.

No new labor related laws or regulation were enacted during the last year, and neither are there any pending draft bills.

Preliminary results from the 2017 Labor Force Survey indicated that relative to 2016, the employed labor force expanded by 1,095 persons and the unemployed labor force declined by 2,822 individuals, resulting in a reduction in the unemployment rate from 28.2 percent in 2016 to 24 percent in 2017.

12. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

Grenada’s accession to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) entered into force on June 27, 1968. A current OPIC project provided insurance in 1994 to a USD 7.5 million transaction between the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (GRENLEC) and WRB Enterprises. Grenada is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

 

Host Country Statistical Source

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

 

Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (M USD)

2016

USD 1,056

2015

USD 997

www.worldbank.org/en/country

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical Source

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country (M USD, stock positions)

N/A

N/A

2016

USD 7

BEA data available at
http://bea.gov/international/
direct_investment_multinational_
companies_comprehensive_data.htm

Host country’s FDI in the United States (M USD, stock positions)

N/A

N/A

2016

USD 8

BEA data available at 
http://bea.gov/international/
direct_investment_multinational_
companies_comprehensive_data.htm

Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP

N/A

N/A

2016

5.95%

http://unctad.org/en/Pages/
DIAE/World%20Investment%
20Report/Annex-Tables.aspx


Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

Information for Grenada is not available on the IMF’s coordinated Direct Investment Survey


Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

Information for Grenada is not available on the IMF’s Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey for Sources of Portfolio Investment.

14. Contact for More InformationShare    

Stephen Frahm
Principal Officer
US Embassy
Grenada
473-407-2495
Email: frahmst@state.gov

Racher Croney
Econ/Commercial Assistant
U.S. Embassy
Grenada
473-405-7006
Email: croneyrr@state.gov

Contacts for Investment-Related Inquiries:

Ronald Theodore
Senior Vice President, GIDC
Vice President of Investment Promotions Agency (IPA)
Frequente Industrial Park
Frequente, St. George’s, Grenada
Tel: (473) 444-1035
Fax: (473) 444-4828
Email: Invest@grenadaidc.com
rtheodore@grenadaidc.com
Website: www.grenadaidc.com

Steve Horsford
Executive Director
Grenada Citizenship by Investment Committee
The Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada
Tel: (473) 435-0177/ (473) 405-0772
Email: CBI.Grenada@gmail.com
Website: http://www.citizenship.gd/

Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce
Building #11
Frequente Industrial Park
P.O. Box 129, St. George’s Grenada
Tel: (473) 440-2937
Fax: (473) 440-4485
Email: gcic@spiceisle.com
Website: www.grenadachamber.org