The infrastructure of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is not fully developed, although recent government initiatives have involved improvements in roads, port facilities, and hospitals. Of 1,040 kilometers (646 miles) of roads only 320 kilometers (199 miles) were paved in 1996. Roads in rural areas, particularly in the north of Saint Vincent, are often poor. There are no railways, and the single international airport, near Kingstown, is unable to receive wide-bodied jets. Discussions have taken place with potential foreign investors concerning the runway's extension, while opponents of this scheme favor a new airport.
Lack of infrastructure has hampered the growth of tourism, even though the government has recently invested in a cruise ship jetty (landing wharf) at Kingstown as well as an airport on Canouan. Small farmers also complain that poor roads are an obstacle to transporting fragile commodities such as bananas to dock or to inland collection points. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also suffers from having to import most of its energy supplies, mainly petroleum, from Trinidad and Tobago. About one-third of the country's annual electricity production of 64 million kilowatt hours (kWh) is derived from hydro-electric schemes, while annual consumption is estimated at 60 million kWh.
Telecommunications, dominated by Cable & Wireless, are generally good, and there is growing use of cellular phones. There were an estimated 20,500 main line telephones in use in 1998, but Internet use is as yet relatively underdeveloped.
|Country||Telephones a||Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a||Radio Stations b||Radios a||TV Stations a||Televisions a||Internet Service Providers c||Internet Users c|
|St. Vincent & the Grenadines||20,500 (1998)||N/A||AM 1; FM 3; shortwave 0||77,000||1||18,000||15||2,000|
|United States||194 M||69.209 M (1998)||AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18||575 M||1,500||219 M||7,800||148 M|
|Jamaica||353,000 (1996)||54,640 (1996)||AM 10; FM 13; shortwave 0||1.215 M||7||460,000||21||60,000|
|St. Lucia||37,000||1,600||AM 2; FM 7; shortwave 0||111,000||3||32,000||15||5,000|
|a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.|
|b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.|
|c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].|