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Synopsis

The state of St Vincent and the Grenadines consists of a group of 18 small islands that form part of the Windward Islands chain. The islands are located in the Caribbean 100 miles to the west of Map Barbados and north of Venezuela. The main island (St Vincent) has an area of 150 square miles. The Grenadines, of which Bequia and Mustique are the best known, provide the best sailing waters in the Western Hemisphere and arguably the world. The islands gained independence from Britain in 1979 but the Queen remains as Head of State and is represented by a Governor General. SVG is a member of the British Commonwealth and the United Nations.

The basic law of SVG is the English common law but the country has developed its own set of statutory provisions especially in the area of trusts, banking and international finance.

The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) which is linked to the US$ at an exchange rate of 2.7 EC$ to 1 US$. This rate has remained unchanged since 1976.

The country has a reputation for strong stability, democracy, press freedom and human rights. The current population is about 108,000, and the Government headed by Sir James Mitchell, is aggressively pursuing economic policies designed to promote the country as an international financial centre. Communications are excellent.