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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.


Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago

Natural Resources

forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential

Population - distribution

most of the population is found on the periphery of the island, with a larger concentration in the north around the capital of Castries

English (official), French patois
CASTRIES (capital) 22,000 (2014)
Conventional long form
Conventional short form
Saint Lucia
Local long form
Local short form
parliamentary democracy (Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
Geographic coordinates
14 00 N, 61 00 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
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.
External debt stocks
US$ 529,447,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -100,327,088
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 732,962,963
Exports of goods and services
US$ 658,518,519
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 95,030,741
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 406,004,310
bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa
tourism; clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, lime processing, coconut processing
bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, avocados, mangoes, coconut oil (2010 est.)
Dominican Republic 24.6%, US 15.6%, Suriname 8.9%, Antigua and Barbuda 6.9%, Dominica 6.7%, Trinidad and Tobago 6.1%, Barbados 6%, UK 4.7%, Grenada 4.5% (2015)
food, manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, fuels
Brazil 35.2%, US 25.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 14.6%, Colombia 11% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
Business Climate Rating

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