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Trade Investment & Culture in Saint Lucia . Public Sector Agencies in St. Lucia.

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Public Sector Agencies in St. Lucia

  • St. Lucia is a British monarchy under Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented in St. Lucia by a Governor General Her Excellency Dr. Calliopa Pearlette Louisy. The country has a stable parliamentary government, with its public sector currently under the political administration of the United Workers Party. The public sector agencies, led by Prime Minister the Honorable Stephenson King.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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A BRIEFOVERVIEW

  • St. Lucia has an open economy which is heavily dependent on foreign trade and investment and therefore, welcomes foreign investment as a necessary input in the development strategy and economic modernization of the country. The economy was once oriented around agriculture, particularly the production and exportation of bananas, however, there has been significant progress made towards the diversification of this particular sector. Currently, the tourism sector plays a major role in the country’s economic growth, ranking as the highest foreign exchange earner and in 2001, the largest single contributor towards the country’s Gross National Product (GNP) of 12.7 percent.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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The Economic Outlook in Saint Lucia

  • In accordance with views of The Caribbean Development Bank the tourism sector will continue to grow and the agricultural sector may see a further decline as the banana sub-sector is expected to be reduced. Manufacturing in general is expected to remain marginal, although exports of coconut derivatives should increase. Private sector construction is expected to remain vibrant in the short term due to hotel development and capital development projects.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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In keeping with the economic changes within our global environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

Financial Services

Informatics and Information Technology

Hotel and Resort Development

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Agro Processing

Manufacturing

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Infrastructure environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities. and Real Estate

Roads:

St. Lucia has an adequate road network which links all villages and towns to the city of Castries.

Sea Ports:

There are two major multi-functional ports fully equipped with facilities for berthing, loading and unloading, and bulk cargo storage both serving regular freight sailing to the United States, Canada, Britain and the other Caribbean islands. Port Castries, located in the northwestern coast of the island, is the main port for the import and export of cargo, and serves a diversified trade from container traffic to cruise passengers. Port Vieux Fort, situated in the south has a container terminal and multipurpose cargo handling facility designed to cater to the largest vessels currently trading in the region. A number of shipping lines provide services to St. Lucia on a regular basis, some of which include Geest Lines, Tecmarine Lines, Tropical Shipping and many more.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Infrastructure and Real Estate Cont’d environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

Airports:

There are two airports in St. Lucia. Hewanorra International Airport is located in Vieux Fort and accommodates large transatlantic and all international flights from Canada and Europe. George F.L. Charles Airport is located in Castries and accommodates small and medium-sized aircraft from within the region and USA.

Postal Services:

Postal services are provided by the St. Lucia General Post Office with a number of outlets located throughout the island. There are no direct deliveries however, post boxes are widely utilized and available. The service is efficient and reliable and the cost is comparatively inexpensive.

Telecommunications:

St. Lucia has an efficient telecommunications system capable of providing a full range of services including International Direct Dialing, ISDN, Telegrams, Internet, and wireless (cellular) services.

Electricity: St. Lucia has a reliable supply of electricity provided at 220 volts AC, 50 cycles per second.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Real Estate environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

Industrial Estates and Business Parks:

For manufacturing industries, there are adequate industrial estates available at strategic locations on the island, each providing a range of warehousing, factory shells, and office and showroom space. A special Informatics Business Park is available as well.

Commercial Office Buildings:

The city of Castries is the centre of all commercial activity and the seat of government. There is a fair amount of commercial office space available in the downtown core, however, investors involved in international financial services and related services may find a suitable space and location between the Castries and Gros Islet urban region.

Tourism Development:

There is very limited flat land with beach front available due to the recent increase in resort development on the island. A number of suitable hillside locations are available which, when designed and developed with the environment in mind, provides a unique tropical paradise of its own (St. Lucia is an island therefore, the beach is always 5 minutes away). There are a few locations designated as special development areas which are available for tourism investment projects which would seek to highlight the heritage and natural environment of St. Lucia.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Education environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

St. Lucia offers a high level of quality educational opportunities for everyone. As a result, St. Lucia’s working-age population are graduates with secondary and post-secondary education from accredited technical colleges and universities from the Caribbean, USA, Canada, and Europe. Currently, St. Lucia’s post secondary education offers a community college (Sir Arthur Lewis Community College) the University of the West Indies through their Distance Education Centre, The Monroe College, and the Spartan Health Sciences University with a full range of diploma and under graduate programmes in the fields of management, arts, technology, science, and engineering.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Population environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities. and Labour Force

Population:

  • St. Lucia is the home of an estimated 159,133 (2001 census) residents with a population growth of 1.24 percent annually and a population density of 720 persons per sq. mile (277 per sq. km).

    Labour Force Participation and Unemployment:

  • St. Lucia has a high level of labour force participation which, based a 2000 estimate, was 71.7 percent of the population. Unemployment stood at a rate of 18.5 percent in the same period.

    Employment by Profession

  • St. Lucia possesses a diversified and highly skilled workforce which continue work in various occupations including business, finance and administration, hospitality, construction, and sales and service related jobs.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Taxation & Incentives environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

  • Changes are made to St. Lucian tax law each year and the incentives are generous in order to facilitate serious investment which will result in overall economic growth while improving the socioeconomic well being of the residents of St. Lucia. The tax systems described are general, however, you are encouraged to contact the Amcham Secretariat for up-to-date figures.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Business Tax Overview environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

Corporate Income Tax:

  • St. Lucian companies ordinarily resident (both public and private) pay tax at a flat rate of 33.3% on income accruing in St. Lucia or elsewhere, whether received in St. Lucia or not. Dividends are not taxable to foreign companies, and other concessions may apply.

    Income Tax - International Financial Services:

  • Companies licensed under the Registered Agent and Trustee Licensing Act pay a blanket rate between 50 - 100 percent on all profits.

    Property Tax:

  • Stamp duty is payable on the conveyance, transfer or sale of any immovable property. The purchaser pays 2 percent ad valorem and the vendor pays between 2.5 - 10 percent ad valorem, which is based on whether the individual or the entity is a citizen of St. Lucia, a registered company, or not.

    Hotel Tax:

  • A combined hotel occupancy tax of 18% which accounts for accommodation and service charge.

    Import and Excise Duty:

  • This amount ranges from 0 - 100%

    Personal Income Tax:

  • This amount ranges between 10 - 30% of taxable income.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Trade Activity in Saint Lucia environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

  • The development of St. Lucia’s infrastructure systems and the number of regional and international trade agreements have enable it to trade effectively with the countries of the Caribbean (CARICOM), Canada, Europe, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These trade agreements are summarized below:

  • Caribbean Community (CARICOM):St. Lucian manufacturers have preferential access to a regional market of fifteen countries whereby goods manufactured may be imported duty free into any of the CARICOM countries.

  • Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI):Specific products made or assembled in St. Lucia are allowed to enter the United States duty free.

  • Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN):Duty free access to the Canadian market for all imports from the Commonwealth Caribbean countries and measures to encourage Canadian investment and other forms of industrial cooperation.

  • CARICOM/Venezuela Trade Agreement:An agreement with the fundamental objective of strengthening trade and economic relations.

  • CARICOM/Columbia Trade Agreement:An agreement with the fundamental objective of strengthening trade, economic and technical cooperation.

  • Lome Agreement:Qualified goods exported from members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) to countries of the European Union are granted duty free status.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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The People of St.Lucia environment which continues to influence the country’s economic development, the Government of St. Lucia has identified the following as priority areas for investment opportunities.

  • Approximately 85% of all St. Lucians are of pure African decent. There is a small percentage of mixed African, British, French, East Indian, and Carib ancestry, and a pure group from East Indian and European decent. Combined, the overall population of St. Lucia is approximately 160,000 with at least one-third of that amount living in the Castries-Gros Islet region and its suburbs.

  • St. Lucians share a French Creole heritage which stems from British and French as well as Catholic colonial domination. While not quite bilingual (French/English) the people observe and celebrate all Catholic feast days, as well as African based festivals and English national holidays. The official and dominant language is English however, French Creole or Patios is a native language which is widely used throughout. The Creole language is used by many as a way of presenting figurative expressions and to a lesser extent, phrases which are known to be proverbs which once influenced the lives and motives of our ancestors.

  • In the rural communities of St. Lucia, many of these figurative expressions and phrases continue to form part of the traditional “conte” which essentially, is the telling of folk tales in small groups at nights or during a “la Veillèe” where mourners are comforted throughout the night through prayers and by the popular “quick-quack” stories from senior members of the community. In some cases, community living is still highlighted by the “coup de main” which is a form of cooperative effort in planting gardens, building timber homes, or any community related project.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our beautiful Island home St.Lucia with you; And thank the US Commercial Services & The American Chamber of Commerce for providing us with the opportunity to introduce you to our very diverse, and rich heritage.

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia


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CONTACT US beautiful Island home St.Lucia with you; And thank the US Commercial Services & The American Chamber of Commerce for providing us with the opportunity to introduce you to our very diverse, and rich heritage.

Hugh W Jones B.Sc., M.B.A

Island General Manager

Diamonds International St.Lucia

President – AmchamSt.Lucia

758 453 6399

diamondintl@candw.lc

Sharon Leonce Valmont

Membership Co-Ordinator

AmchamSt.Lucia

758 453 6399

dimarketing@karibcable.com

American Chamber of Commerce in St.Lucia