Saint Lucia

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Castries

Population: 163,362 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 616 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $13,100 (2013 CIA est.)

The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.

Economy – Overview:
The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. Tourism is Saint Lucia’s main source of jobs and income – accounting for 65% of GDP – and the island’s main source of foreign exchange earnings. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area. Crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, but St. Lucia’s once solid banana industry has been devastated by strong competition. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks, including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. Furthermore, high public debt – 77% of GDP in 2012 – and high debt servicing obligations constrain the ANTHONY administration’s ability to respond to adverse external shocks. St. Lucia has experienced anemic growth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, largely because of a slowdown in tourism – airlines cut back on their routes to St. Lucia in 2012. Also, St. Lucia introduced a value added tax in 2012 of 15%, becoming the last country in the Eastern Caribbean to do so. In 2013, the government introduced a National Competitiveness and Productivity Council to address St. Lucia’s high public wages and lack of productivity. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil

Remittances inflows: US $30 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2013 ranking: 88 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $26,840,000.
Major Development Partners include: E.U. Institutions, CarDB, IDB, IMF (Concessional Trust Funds, Japan) (OECD 2012).

Total External Debt: US $446.4 million (31 December 2013 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth: 77.41 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 9.4
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 77.0
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 2.3
(UNDP 2013)

United Nations membership date: 18 September 1979

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Saint Lucia to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, N.Y.10017 USA
Telephone: (212)-697-9360, -9361
Fax: (212)-697-4993,

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency.
World Development Indicators. World Bank
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Human Development Report 2013.United Nations Development Programme.

Updated January 2015