by Mellissa Thomas
MIAMI, FLORIDA USA – The Caribbean island nation of Grenada, known as the “Isle of Spice” or “Spice Island,” is in a quagmire: According to Caribbean360, a consistent two percent of its population migrate to other nations, and World Bank estimates it is among the top five nations to “export its college educated citizens.” Furthermore, despite being the world’s second greatest source for nutmeg, Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005) caused almost $45 million dollars in losses—including the nutmeg crop, which, according to Kingston University London graduate Lyndon Mukasa
, takes approximately ten years to grow to the point of full production. The U.S. Census shows a contrast: Grenadian-Americans’ median income passes $51,000 per year, and wire transfers from expatriates (U.S. and elsewhere) back to Grenada comprise one-third of the island’s GDP. But while that looks promising, such remittances are primarily consumer-based for family and friends and emergency expenses, so the overall economy only sees a slight benefit. According to Grenada’s official government website
, only forty percent of its nearly 110,000 people are in the labor force. Mukasa also noted that the nation’s nutmeg crop is now only twenty percent of what it was before Hurricane Ivan struck in 2004, and the country had a thirty percent unemployment rate as of 2013. However, Ambassador at Large and Consul General H.E. Warren Newfield is working to change the picture for the better.
Miami Beach’s First Ever Consulate
Consul General Newfield opened the doors to his new Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach June 1, 2015. “Florida is the gateway to the Caribbean and can facilitate getting export opportunities for Grenadian companies,” he explained to FNN News about his location choice. “Miami is the business center—headquarters for South Florida, all other consulates are based in Miami, and Miami Beach is a great place to meet people.”
That last point is essential to him because he is pursuing investors ready to do business in the Isle of Spice.
Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Newfield (right) and Grenadian cultural attache Margaret Lessey at the launch of the Grenada Consulate on Miami Beach, Florida.
The Consul General relayed that his consulate’s jurisdiction “covers all of Florida, not just Miami.” He said he will visit other parts of Florida as needed. The consulate’s services include Grenada passport preparation, emergency travel document assistance, affidavit preparation, tourism information, trade and investment opportunity consultation, permits and certificates, visas for travel to Grenada, and document verification.
He also stated that Margaret Lessey will serve as the consulate’s cultural attache (above) and plans to appoint two deputy consuls: one who is responsible for consular services, and the other for business promotion—encouraging investors to choose Grenada as a business destination. He recently met with some Florida congressional members in Washington, D.C. to also spur their interest in the island nation and his work with the diaspora, including Congressman Alan Grayson (below) and Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s Senior Congressional Aide Stephanie Anim-Yankah (second below).
Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Warren E. Newfield (right) was invited to Washington, D.C. by US Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida (left) to discuss U.S. and Grenada relations at the U.S. Capitol June 11, 2015. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.
Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Willie David, Diplomatic Consultant on Foreign Relations, talk with Stephanie Anim-Yankah, Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Corrine Brown about investment opportunities in Grenada in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2015. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.
Newfield + Grenada
Consul General Newfield, who amassed entrepreneurial success internationally, primarily in the mining industry, wanted to make an impact. He sold his last company in Africa in 2012 and “wanted more than to just build another business.” He met the Grenadian Prime Minister and said the PM’s goals resonated with him. “I felt bringing business to Grenada would change people’s lives,” he said.
He has a three-target focus for getting investors in involved with Grenada: agriculture, tourism, and education. The tourism and services industry make up over seventy-six percent of Grenada’s GDP, according to its government website, and Newfield sees continued potential for investors.
“Businesspeople look for an investor-friendly environment,” he mentioned in his list of benefits for doing business in Grenada. “There is government support…lack of interference for doing business, and investors have access to an educated workforce.” He remarked that there is “tremendous opportunity” for entrepreneurs in the restaurant and hotel industries, especially since the Grenadian government is “working hard on tourism,” and there are now daily American Airlines flights to Grenada from Miami International Airport.
He found taking entrepreneurs to the island, usually two or three at a time, and showing them the opportunities that exist is the most effective way to get them to invest. One such group has already set up a duty-free venture, and two others are interested in setting up hotels. He is currently speaking with Chambers of Commerce in Florida to generate more interest.
Consul General Newfield is also currently in search of scholarships to provide Grenada’s highest performing grade school students an opportunity for college education in the U.S. He is already in talks with some of Miami’s most renowned universities.
Consul General Newfield is passionate about his mission to be instrumental in strengthening Grenada’s economy. “I thought my business interests can help impact the nation,” he said. “It’s important to help.”
So far, his cause has been well-received in the U.S. He said his meeting in D.C. was warm and receptive, and involved exploring what can be achieved.
“I’m passionate about employment and education. [That] increases the standard of living and quality of life for everyone…The support and warmth I have received is much appreciated.”
Consul General Warren Newfield
Consulate General of Grenada in Miami
400 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Suite 506
Miami Beach Florida, 33140, USA
O: (305) 570-2716
F: (305) 397-2441
9:30 am to 3:30pm – Monday-Thursday
Event photos of Consul General Warren Newfield at the Consulate General to Grenada Opening Ceremony in Miami Beach
Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell (center) at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.
Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine (left), City Commissioner Joy Malakoff (2nd left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.
John Munro, president of Grenadian-American Educational & Cultural Organization of Central Florida (left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.