Saint Lucia – Country Profile

General Information

Official Name Saint Lucia
Secretariat Castries
Land Area 606sqkm
Population 163,362
Currency 1 $CAD =  2.70 East Caribbean Dollar (ECD)
Language(s) English (official), French patois
Source: Economic Intelligence Unit, Bank of Canada (Currency Conversion 04/09/2014)

Political Information

Form of State Parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Head of State Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor-general, currentlyPearletteLouisy
Head of Government Kenny Anthony
Elections November 28th 2011; next national election must be called by December 2016
Source: Economic Intelligence Unit, CIA World Factbook

Economic Information

Saint Lucia Canada
GDP (PPP) $2,449.35 Billion $2,042.75 Trillion
GDP per capita $14,362.29 $57,569.65
GDP annual growth rate -1.1% 2.3%
GDP – composition by sector Agricultural: 3%
Industry: 14.5%
Services: 82.5%
Agricultural: 1.7% Industry: 28.2% Services: 70.1%
Inflation rate – average consumer prices -1.1 2%
Main Industries Tourism, clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, lime processing, coconut processing. Transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper, fish products, petroleum and natural gas.
Source: World Bank Data, CIA World Factbook, Bank of Canada (Currency Conversion 16/07/2015).

Political and Economic Stability

Saint Lucia is an independent state member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The OECS is a union of nine countries from the eastern Caribbean. OECS countries agreed to promote cooperation and assistance in the development of each nation after gaining independence from Great Britain (except Anguilla). The OECS shares a common supreme court and is governed by seven departments that cover all the nations: the Authority, the Council of Ministers, the Assembly, the Economic Affairs Council, the Commission, the Institutions department and The Secretariat. The OECS Secretariat is located in Saint Lucia and its Export Development Unit is located in Dominica.

The tropical eastern Caribbean island of Saint Lucia boasts beaches, mountains, exotic plants and the Qualibou volcano with its boiling sulphur springs.

Saint Lucia’s late history between English and French contest during the 17th and 18th century left a lasting effect on the country’s culture and political system. English is the official language, however, French patois is commonly spoken among the islanders. The main industries attracting foreign investment include tourism and offshore banking. Before the visitor influx, banana exports sustained St Lucia, especially after 1964 when it stopped producing sugar cane.

The tourism industry represents 65% of GDP and is vulnerable to hurricanes and external economic shocks. Saint Lucia has the most diverse manufacturing industry in all of the OECS, ranging from electrical equipment to cocoa and edible fruits.  Crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export.

High public debt of -77%, a result of the global economic downturn of 2008 and its effect on tourism, continues to limit St. Lucia’s economic development and the public sector investment in infrastructure.


The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) recommends that Canadians exercise normal or high security precautions when traveling in Saint Lucia, because of limited medical resources, unreliable public transportation and moderate crime rates in some of them. For detailed and up-to-date information on travel security, please refer to the DFATD Travel Report for Saint Lucia.

Trade Information

Trade Partners & Direction 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
St. Lucia Exports to the World 100,041 197,089 91,365 115,598 86,888
St. Lucia Exports to Canada 203,676 272,278 266,934 307,686 316,914
Canadian Exports to St. Lucia 36,410 9,430 10,143 10,847 11,943
Source: Trade Data Online (Industry Canada), Trade Map (International Trade Centre), World Integrated Trade Solution (World Bank), United States Trade Representative
Note: Data in thousands of Canadian dollars ($CAD)

Business Climate

The World Bank’s annual Doing Business report ranks economies from 1 to 189 (with 1 being the best) on their ease of doing business. In the 2014 report, Saint Lucia ranked between 64 overall and 104 for Trading Across Borders, which measures the ease with which a standardized shipment of goods can be imported or exported across its borders. The average time to export goods in Saint Lucia is 14 days, with an average estimated cost of $CAD 1,044.86 per 20-foot container.

Although there are many reputable exporters in Saint Lucia, Canadian importers should be aware that corruption could be an issue when doing business in the country. Saint Lucia ranked between 71 out of 175 in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, where 1st place indicates highly corrupt.  Canadian companies are advised to exercise strict due diligence before working with a company from Saint Lucia to ensure that it is a bona fide and reputable entity. It is suggested that Canadian importers commission a report by a credit information provider to verify the financial strength of the partner.

Sustainability Initiatives

Saint Lucia, as a member of the OECS, adheres to the St. George’s Declaration, an act that establishes principles for environmental sustainability. This declaration outlines 21 principles concerning poverty reduction, strengthening regulation and the rule of law, social integration in industries, private sector involvement, education improvement, climate change preparation and mitigation, pollution management, protection of endangered species, developing science and technology, among others. Each member nation of the St. George’s Declaration has the responsibility to implement programs in accordance with this declaration in order to guarantee a sustainable region for the future.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank encourages governments, industries and foundations located in the Eastern Caribbean Islands to develop programmes and initiatives for improving education, community outreach, sports funding, cultural development and education through awarding governments, public and private sector companies. Each year, The Best Corporate Citizen awards recognize and provide financial benefits to companies and entities that developed CSR initiatives in one or more of the OECS countries.

Trade Opportunities

In addition to petroleum oils and preparations, other primary exports include bananas (9.1 million CAD in 2014) and beer from malt (3.8 million CAD in the same year). Bananas, beer made from malt, and condiments are three opportunities for increased trade between Canadian buyers and St. Lucian exporters.

1. Bananas 

Bananas represent a large percentage of edible fruit exports from Saint Lucia, the second largest product type for export to the world. Although this is a million dollar industry, Canadian buyers are playing a very small role in it. In the late 1990s, steps were taken towards privatization of the banana industry. This strategy saved the industry and resulted in Saint Lucia being the only island in the Windward Islands that still has a banana industry.

2. Malt Beer 

Malt beer is the largest product type representing 45% of imports to Canada from Saint Lucia. This shows a popular demand of the product in Canada and can possibly grow further.

3. Condiments 

Apart from exporting quality agricultural products globally, Saint Lucia manufactures a variety of condiments, food seasonings, herbs and spices. These are famous flavorings for scrumptious culinary dishes and are commonly used throughout the gastronomic industry. Some examples of these products include cassava flour, coconut oil and hot sauce. Baron Foods is the only company within the Caribbean region to have attained another award from the International Taste & Quality Institute and has received the International Superior Taste Award 2015 for its innovative Banana Ketchup product.

4.  Service Industry 

St. Lucia’s private sector is dominated by services and accounts for 60% of GDP in 2012. By 2013, the contribution of the service industry was estimated at 79.5%. The largest contribution is from real estate followed by transport, storage, and communications. Tourism is another major component of the service sector with an estimated million tourists visiting the island every year since 2007. The service industry is governed by the Saint Lucia Coalition of Services Industries (SLCSI) which acts as a focal point to lobby, channel and address trade in services issues.

Contact Information

Saint Lucia Consulate Canada
60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 909
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1N5
Telephone: 1(416) 203 8400

Useful Links

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Site (OECS)
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
Caribbean Community Secretariat  (CARICOM)
Caribbean Community Secretariat  (CARICOM) – Regional Statistics
Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions
Government of Saint Lucia
Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Santa Lucia
Saint Lucia Statistics Office
Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture

Links to Cited Documents

Bank of Canada – Daily Currency Convertor
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Country Info
CIA WorldFactbook
DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development) – Foreign Relations
DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development) – Travel Reports
EDC (Export Development Canada) – Country Profiles
Industry Canada – Trade Data Online
International Trade Centre – Trade Map
Transparency International – Corruption Perception Index
World Bank – Doing Business Report
World Bank – Open Data
Bank of Canada – Daily Currency Convertor
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Country Info
CIA WorldFactbook
DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development) – Foreign Relations
DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development) – Travel Reports
EDC (Export Development Canada) – Country Profiles