Private Sector Development, Economic Growth and Jobs

The Unity Labour Party Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents


No government in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines  has been as supportive of the domestic private sector like the ULP government. Our government’s business-friendly measures include:

✔ Reduction of the standard rate of company tax and personal income tax from 40 percent in 2001 to 32.5 percent in 2004.  Only the global economic crisis restrained us from taking the rate in stages down to 25 – 27 percent;

✔ Reduction of the standard rate of company tax on tourism enterprises from 40 percent in 2001 to 30 percent in 2005 and to 20 percent from 2008;

✔ Reduction of tax to 25 percent on the chargeable income in relation to the export of manufactured commodities to CARICOM countries and to 15 percent to extra-regional countries;

✔ Increase in tax allowances for housing construction companies engaged in the building of housing developments;

✔ Provision of generous tax incentives or relief of all kinds for producers in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, transportation, manufacturing, restaurants, telecommunications, shipping, construction, small enterprises, among others;

✔ Liberalisation of telecommunications to facilitate competition and expansion of the businesses to the benefit of the providers and consumers;

✔ Ensuring an independent, fair, and transparent tendering process in the central government and public sector enterprises for building contracts and the procurement of goods and services;

✔ Reduction of the number of commodities requiring import licences and generally freeing up regional and international trade;

✔ Creation by government of eleven vital institutions to facilitate businesses generally and in specific sectors, namely, Centre for Enterprise Development, Invest SVG, the Tourism Authority, Inputs Warehouse Company, the Banana Services Unit, the Farmers’ Support Company, the Commerce and Intellectual Property Department, the National Centre for Technological Innovation (NCTI), the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the upgraded Bureau of Standards;

✔ Instituting a bundle of reform measures to improve “Ease of Doing Business” and providing a sound investment/business climate.

In the ULP government’s fourth term, we will:

  • Target a further reduction of the standard rate of corporate and income tax from 32.5 percent to at least 27 percent over the next five years;
     
  • Work through the Currency Union mechanisms to establish an Enterprise Fund and a Regional Development Bank for the OECS to source credit facilities at competitive prices for start-up, business expansion, working capital, and private sector development generally;
     
  • Strengthen the Farmers’ Support Company to benefit farmers, fisherfolk, and agro-processors;
     
  • Build ever more public-private sector partnerships;
     
  • Promote further innovation and productivity at all levels in the private sector;
     
  • Facilitate the enhanced use of ICT in private sector development;
     
  • Promote increased private sector participation/representation in regional, hemispheric and global negotiations;
     
  • Address further to improve, in practical terms, each of the indicators/criteria in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” Assessment;
     
  • Include even more private sector personalities on the boards and management structures of the public enterprises;
     
  • Work with the private sector to create more jobs through various incentives and facilitations;
     
  • Set up an Office of Private Sector Development in the Ministry of Economic Development to better interface with businesses and their representatives.

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