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- GDP (PPP):
- $2.2 billion
- -0.4% growth
- 1.3% 5-year compound annual growth
- $13,104 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- FDI Inflow:
Saint Lucia’s economic freedom score is 70.7, making its economy the 33rd freest in the 2014 Index. Its score is 0.3 point better than last year, with improvements in labor freedom and freedom from corruption offsetting combined declines in business freedom, monetary freedom, and fiscal freedom. Saint Lucia is ranked 2nd out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is above the world average.
Saint Lucia was first graded in the 2009 Index, and its economic freedom score since then has increased only modestly. Improvements in four of the 10 economic freedoms, led by a 25-point advance in investment freedom, have been undermined by declines in the management of government spending, business freedom, and monetary freedom.
Saint Lucia has been rated “mostly free” since 2010. Its economy scores above the world average in many of the 10 economic freedoms, including property rights, business freedom, freedom from corruption, and monetary freedom. Greater access to financing opportunities remains critical to private-sector development, and there is considerable scope for further development and better regulation of the financial sector.
In late 2011, former Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony and his Saint Lucia Labour Party defeated Prime Minister Stephenson King’s more business-friendly United Workers Party. Saint Lucia is a member of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and home to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. Its economy depends primarily on tourism (65 percent of GDP), banana production, and light manufacturing. An educated workforce and reliable infrastructure and port facilities attract foreign investment in tourism, petroleum storage, and transshipment. A decline in tourism during the 2009 recession, fluctuations in banana prices, and reduced European Union banana trade preferences have motivated greater economic diversification in cocoa, mangos, and avocados. Violent crime threatens tourism.
Saint Lucia has low levels of corruption. Access to information is legally guaranteed, and government officials are legally required to present their financial assets annually to the Integrity Commission. The judicial system is independent, conducts generally fair public trials, and includes a high court under the Saint Lucia–based Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Enforcement of intellectual property rights has been weak.
Saint Lucia’s top personal income and corporate tax rates are 30 percent. Other taxes include a consumption tax and a property transfer tax. The overall tax burden is 25 percent of GDP. Government spending amounts to 35 percent of GDP. Public debt has been rising, reaching a level greater than 75 percent of the size of the domestic economy.
Enforcement of commercial regulations is relatively effective and consistent. It takes five procedures to incorporate a business, and no minimum capital is required. A well-functioning labor market has not been fully developed, and much of the labor force is employed in agriculture and tourism. In June 2013, the government reduced bulk rice, flour, and brown sugar subsidies by 50 per cent.
Saint Lucia’s average tariff rate is 9 percent. There are few non-tariff barriers to trade, and the government generally treats foreign and domestic investors equally. New foreign investment may require government approval. A considerable portion of the population does not use the formal banking sector, and access to financing is limited. There is a small offshore financial sector, and the banking sector is dominated by commercial banking.