Invest Saint Lucia has had a long and eventful history since being established in 1971 as the National Development Corporation. Now, ISL is the principal agency of the Government of Saint Lucia with responsibility for investment promotion and facilitation.
During the 1970s and 1980s Saint Lucia pursued a policy of industrial development by invitation and experienced dynamic economic growth. The National Development Corporation, a statutory corporation established by an Act of Parliament in 1971, was at the forefront of this growth and in that period a comprehensive programme of industrial estate building and residential land development was initiated. Employment expanded as products made in Saint Lucia enjoyed preferential market access under trading arrangements such as The Lomé Convention, the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN).
The 90s followed with unprecedented change and uncertainty. The World Trade Organization replaced the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs and globalisation and free trade became the new economic realities. In 2001, the Parliament of Saint Lucia enacted legislation giving the corporation a new mandate to stimulate, facilitate, and promote investment by foreign and local investors but much of the focus remained on physical asset management and passive investment facilitation.
The 2001 mandate was further renewed following the November 2011 General Election. Thus, the National Development Corporation (NDC), now trading as Invest Saint Lucia, was given a primary mandate of investment promotion and business facilitation. This directive was informed with the recognition that investment is a major vehicle for implementing the government’s stated development strategy.
Foreign direct investment is one of the key drivers of economic growth and development in any country. The new mandate is also compelled by an inherent appreciation that inward investment is critical to the country’s continuing development process.
On June 25, 2009, the then Cabinet of Ministers, by Cabinet Conclusion 696 of 2009, agreed to the adoption of a new marketing name for the National Development Corporation, to modernise and rebrand the corporation.
However, the formal launch of the Invest Saint Lucia brand would not take place for another three years. The corporation underwent several internal changes and, in the process, reprioritised it’s assets and strategic plans to function as Invest Saint Lucia.
On July 20, 2012, at a formal rebranding ceremony, the National Development Corporation officially rebranded itself under the trading name, “Invest Saint Lucia”. The legal change of name was issued by an Act of Parliament in May 2014.
In September 2019, Invest Saint Lucia’s look was refined and changed one more time to align with the Government of Saint Lucia’s new umbrella branding of national agencies. Now, the agency strives to be a leader in business and investment in the country and the Caribbean.