The economy of Saint Lucia is a small, upper-middle-income economy with a nominal GDP of US$1.4 billion as of 2020. It is an emerging economy that has seen steady growth over the past few decades, fueled by reforms to create a more open and business-friendly environment. Saint Lucia’s main economic sectors are tourism, manufacturing, financial services and agriculture.
Tourism accounts for around 40% to GDP and employs around 19% of the workforce; it is mainly concentrated on cruise ship visits as well as ecotourism activities in national parks such as Maria Islands National Park. Manufacturing accounts for around 10% to GDP and employs around 7% of the workforce; it includes food processing, furniture manufacturing and construction materials manufacturing. Financial services account for around 16% to GDP and employ around 8% of the workforce; it includes banking services (9%) & insurance (7%). Agriculture accounts for around 4% to GDP and employs over 6% of the workforce; it is mainly concentrated on banana production as well as fishing & livestock farming.
According to cheeroutdoor, Saint Lucia has undertaken several reforms to attract foreign investment into key industries such as technology, tourism, agribusiness and financial services; these include tax incentives provided by the government to foreign investors as well as improved infrastructure to facilitate transportation between major cities in Saint Lucia. In addition, Saint Lucia has also opened up its markets by joining several global trade agreements such as CARICOM since 1979.
Abbreviated as LCA by abbreviationfinder.org, Saint Lucia has for a long time had a favorable economic development. The basis of business is now the service and service industries. The industry has grown and diversified significantly in recent decades, including the textile and plastics industry, refinery and electronic component assembly plants, which have been built mainly in the Cul-de-Sac free trade zone outside Castries. Nevertheless, exports are still dominated by agricultural products. Bananas account for most of the export earnings. Banana crops occupy 9 percent of the area (25 percent of the arable land). Other important crops are mangoes and coconuts; Coconut oil is an important export commodity. The government has encouraged domestic market-oriented agriculture, including livestock management, to reduce food imports.
- COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Saint Lucia, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.
The trade deficit is offset by tourism and assistance from primarily the UK. The country’s dominant export goods are bananas, clothing, coconut products and tropical fruits, while imports are dominated by food, machinery and transport equipment. The most important trading partners are the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil.
Tourism and gastronomy
Saint Lucia is a popular destination. The island houses about 300,000 tourists annually, in addition to almost half a million sailors and visitors from cruise ships. Together, they are estimated to provide the country with an economic contribution equivalent to two-thirds of the value of exports.
Note: the capital city of Saint Lucia is Castries with a population of 22,200 (with suburbs, estimate 2014). Other major cities include Micoud, Vieux Fort, Soufrière.
The main sights are Castries and Vieux Fort. Saint Lucia is known for its beautiful and exciting nature, waterfalls and rainforests, elongated bathing beaches and very good sailing opportunities.
Sweet potatoes, cassava, corn and chili came with the Arawak Indians, okra with the African slaves, curries with the Indians. Bananas, mangoes and coconut are other main ingredients in the diet, which, however, make up more than a quarter of animal protein. The rich fishery, with crawfish and crabs, fly fishing, red snapper and grouper, is crucial here, but also a relatively lively livestock management with dominance of sheep and goat plays a role. Broulai (fish stew with cassava, tomatoes and onions) is popular, as is callau, taro leaf soup. Chicken with coconut milk and bananas as well as spicy stews with meat and seafood are common dishes.