Executive Summary

Grenada is a liberal, 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. 2016 saw revisions to several bills, and the launch of a new Government investment incentives regime. This new regime positively impacts the investment climate, ensuring transparency, equitable practices; adherence to the rule of law, and an established standard for potential investors to Grenada.

The objective of the new regime is to streamline bureaucratic and legal processes which for years have been a huge challenge to the investment climate. While failed attempts were made at constitutional reform in 2016, the revisions made to key economic bills will serve to bolster the investment climate in Grenada. Some of these bills are: value added tax, property transfer tax, investment, excise tax, customs (service charge), and bankruptcy and insolvency bills.

Grenada’s ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business Indicator slipped from 130 in 2015 to 135 in 2016. However, while there have been positive attempts to improve the country’s business climate, public statements and actions have cast doubt on the inviolability of contracts, particularly in the utility sector, and most recently within the hotel and tourism industry. This will require careful scrutiny throughout 2017 pending final decisions.

There were notable investments throughout 2017 within the tourist and construction industries, particularly through the Citizenship by Investment Program. The construction of several five star resorts is currently underway along with the refurbishing of several tourist attractions–some of which are scheduled for completion by 2019. The most recent addition to Grenada’s fleet of hotels is the all-inclusive Sandals Luxury Resort. This resort has attracted an affluent clientele of repeat guests, several of which are interested in doing business in Grenada.

The tourism sector attracts the most foreign direct investment followed by construction, retail and duty free outlets; and most recently agriculture. There have also been expressed interests to invest in Grenada’s energy sector by a number of private and Governmental agencies.

The availability of tax incentives, equitable treatment of national and foreign investors, political stability, good infrastructure, and a favorable location with untapped markets, makes Grenada an ideal and strategic destination for investments. To date, the main countries investing in Grenada are The United States, China, Great Britain and Trinidad and Tobago.

Table 1

Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 56 of 175 http://www.transparency.org/
World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business” 2016 138 of 190 doingbusiness.org/rankings
Global Innovation Index 2016 N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) 2015 $7 million USD http://www.bea.gov/
World Bank GNI per capita 2015 $8,650 USD http://data.worldbank.org/

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

Grenada employs a liberal approach to foreign direct investment 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.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Foreign investors and national investors are treated the same in Grenada. There are no economic or and industrial strategies that specifically 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 practically 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.

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 a new incentives regime. The new regime involves 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 invests, 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 .

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 agreement under the European Partnership Agreement (EPA). Under certain circumstances, provisions of these agreements may offer incentives to the potential investor.

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.

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 in 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Throughout the past three years there have also been attempts 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 is seeking to open the market to potential investors to decrease cost and improve energy efficiency. The 2016 Electricity Supply Act, which was presented to cabinet in 2016 allows for the granting of multiple licenses to energy generators both regional and international; thus removing GRENLEC as the sole electricity provider in Grenada. This continues to unfold, garnering the interest of current and potential investors to the country.

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

In the event of investor-State Disputes, Grenada engages the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The country has engaged ICSID in the past and secured favorable rulings.

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.

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 EC$100.00/US$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.

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.

Grenada ranked 138th in 2016 and 137th in 2017, in the Doing Business Report for ease of ‘registering property.’ 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

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 intellectual property rights 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.

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 listed in neither the USTR’s Special 301 report, nor in the 2016 notorious market report.

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/ .

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 bank 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 Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

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.

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.

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.

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

The following agencies are responsible for combating corruption in Grenada:

Tafawa Pierre
Superintendent of Police/ Head of FIU
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)
The Carenage, St. George’s, Grenada

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

Ronnie Marryshow
Ombudsman Acting
Office of the Ombudsman
Tanteen, St. George’s, Grenada
(473) 435-9315

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

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.

Grenada’s Labor Force was approximately 55,500 persons at the end of 2013, with an unemployment rate of 33.5 percent. The minimum wage in Grenada varies based on the industry.

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).

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 1030.21 2015 $984.0 Government of Grenada
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical Source USG or International Statistical Source USG or international Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2015 $7 million BEA data available at http://bea.gov/international/direct_investment_
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2015 $8 million BEA data available at http://bea.gov/international/direct_investment_
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP 2013 7.5% 2012 3.9% N/A

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

No data available.

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

No data available.

Stephen Frahm
Principal Officer
US Embassy
Email: frahmst@state.gov

Rachér Croney
Econ/Commercial Assistant
U.S. Embassy
Email: croneyrr@state.gov

Contacts for Investment-Related Inquiries:

Ronald Theodore
Chief Executive Officer (Ag)
Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC)
Frequente Industrial Park
Frequente, St. George’s, Grenada
Tel: (473) 444-1035
Fax: (473) 444-4828
Email: Invest@grenadaidc.com
Website: www.grenadaidc.com 

Sibyl Alexander
Deputy 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 

2017 Investment Climate Statements: Grenada
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