Saint Lucia

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Castries

Population: 176,000 (UNDP 2011)

Surface area: 616 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $12,900 (2011-CIA est.)

Background:
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, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects. Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint Lucia’s main source of income and the industry is the island’s biggest employer. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, although tourism sector revenues declined with the global economic downturn as US and European travel dropped in 2009. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry, although recent hurricanes have caused exports to contract. Saint Lucia is vulnerable to a variety of external shocks including volatile tourism receipts, natural disasters, and dependence on foreign oil. High public debt and high debt servicing obligations constrain the ANTHONY administration’s ability to respond to adverse external shocks. Economic fundamentals remain solid, even though unemployment needs to be reduced. (CIA, 2012)

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

Remittances:32 million USD (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: 82 out of 187 countries

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA iUS $41 million

E.U. Institutions, CarDB, IDB, IMF (Concessional Trust Funds, Japan) (OECD 2010).

Total External Debt: US $381.8 million (December 2011- CIA est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth:  74.6 years (UNDP 2011)

Environmental Indicators:  

                                                 Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 9

                                                 Forested Area (percentage of land area): 77.0

                                                 CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 2.3

                                                 (Data Source: UNDP 2011)

United Nations membership date: 18 September 1979

New York Mission:

Permanent Mission of the Saint Lucia to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y.10017USA
Telephone: 212-697-9360, 9361
Fax: 212-697-4993,
Website: http://www.un.int/stlucia

 

Sources:

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

 

Updated July 2012