A substantial amount of industrial activity centers on the processing of agricultural products. Because of depression in the sugar industry, sugar-processing facilities established in 1981–82 were shut down in 1985; in the same year, a beer factory began production. Nonagricultural industries include several garment factories, a furniture factory, an electronics plant, and a corrugated cardboard box plant. Manufacturing accounted for 6.1% of GDP in 2001, compared to 5.8% in 2000, and industrial activity as a whole contributed 26% to GDP in 2001.
The tourism industry lagged in the 1990s because of difficult transportation access and the lack of white sand beaches on the main islands. However, the government has been putting more emphasis than ever on the promotion of the country as an upscale tourist destination. A new airport on Union Island was opened in 1993. A year earlier, a new airport, financed by a grant from the EC (now EU), opened on the island of Bequia. In 1996, a new cruise ship and berths came on line.
The 2003 budget called for the establishment of two business parks at Diamond and Campden Park, totaling 85,000 sq ft. The government also announced the reintroduction of a new product development and processing facility.