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Saint Lucia – Your Next Investment Location

Saint Lucia – Your Next Investment Location

With a stable political climate and backed by a consistent growth strategy over the past decades, Saint Lucia remains attractive to investors in varying sectors including tourism, global business outsourcing and manufacturing. Saint Lucia has also recently been exploring rapidly expanding emerging sectors like renewable energy and medicinal cannabis.

Saint Lucia At A Glance

  • Government: Independent, Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy; Elections held every 5 years
  • Total Area: Sq. miles 238/ sq. km 616
  • Capital City: Castries
  • Official Language: English
  • Standard Time Zone: EST+1, GMT-4
  • Population: 183,251 (2022)
  • Literacy Rate: 72.8% (2010 Census)
  • Labour Force: 109,362 (2022)
  • Labour Force Participation Rate: 60.4% (2022)
  • Unemployment: 16.5% (2022)

Key Economic Indicators

  • GDP: US $2,032.2 Million (2022)
  • GDP per capita: US $12,718.6 (2022)
  • GDP Real Growth Rate: 18.1% (2022)
  • Foreign Direct Investment Inflows: US $45.9 Million (2022pre)
  • Total Exports: US $79 Million (2022pre)
  • Total Imports: US 833.93 Million (2022)
  • Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$)
  • Official exchange rate: US $1 = EC $2.70
  • Inflation: 6.4% (2022)

One of the most unique islands in the Eastern Caribbean, Saint Lucia competes with other globally renowned destinations with her iconic twin peaks, The Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. The island offers a wide range of heritage and cultural attractions, miles of breathtaking white, black, yellow and pebble beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, historical seaports, and a dramatic coastline perfect for sailing, diving, and other ocean adventures. With several accolades, Saint Lucia enjoys regular airlift from major source markets in the United States, United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and the Americas.

Saint Lucia has transformed her investor profile to not only an investment worthy, but a livable, family friendly island where investors can make a home. Upon arrival investors fall in love with the terrain, the people, the food, and the culture. The list of things to love and immerse yourself in as an investor include the top-rated marinas, abundant fresh produce, fine dining, sprawling golf courses, duty free luxury goods, reliable shipping, lower crime rates, accessible foreign exchange, international schools, and a service-oriented culture with friendly citizens.

Why Saint Lucia?

Saint Lucia holds a solid track record of successful investment projects and continually performs at the top of hemisphere rankings in factors like ease of doing business, economic freedom, and transparency. The island ranks higher on the Human Development Index than most other Caribbean territories. Investors in Saint Lucia will also find access to a labour pool of one of the most tertiary-educated populations in the Eastern Caribbean, with additional access to a regional labour pool of 300,000 that can move freely within the OECS region.

Several other factors also position the island as an ideal investment location:

  • A youthful and educated workforce with a high work ethic
  • Stable macroeconomic environment
  • Stable political environment
  • Modern telecommunications infrastructure
  • Excellent air and seaports infrastructure with reliable air and freight services

Investment Incentives

  • No restrictions on repatriation of capital, dividends, royalties, and profits
  • No foreign exchange controls, capital gains or bank interest taxes
  • Seamless process for incorporating a business
  • Legislation such as the Fiscal Incentives Act, Tourism Stimulus and Investment Act, and Special Development Areas Act provide for exemptions on certain taxes and duties for specified periods
  • Under the Free Zone Act, licensed businesses receive duty and tax exemptions on all merchandise, articles, or other goods entering the free zone area for commercial purposes
  • Double taxation agreements with several developed countries including Canada, United Kingdom, United States of America, Sweden and Denmark
  • Saint Lucia is a member of the WTO, CARICOM and the OECS and party to several bilateral preferential trade agreements including with the EU, Canada, and the US

How Can Invest Saint Lucia Help You?

Invest Saint Lucia is the official investment promotion agency for Saint Lucia and promotes the island’s strategic location, efficient infrastructure, and a wide range of sectors to facilitate the development of businesses and encourage a friendly business environment. Invest Saint Lucia offers comprehensive knowledge of the processes to facilitate new and existing investors to assist with the navigation of official planning, legislative and environmental approvals processes. The agency assists investors in capitalizing on available incentives and resources to foster growth and expansion.

Invest Saint Lucia understands business and the needs of investors. As the only self-sustaining non-government-funded statutory agency of its kind in the region, Invest Saint Lucia owns assets and develops them to make a return. With a keen understanding of investor needs, we are available to facilitate businesses that are ready to invest in the industries and sectors that the island has to offer.

Invest Saint Lucia’s core services include:

  • Information and advisory services
  • Investor matchmaking
  • Site selection
  • Set up and installation
  • Retention and reinvestment

Invest Saint Lucia is the third largest landowner in Saint Lucia and manages and owns seven industrial estates containing several factory shells ranging in size from 4,000 to 32,000 square feet. The agency also owns and operates the major duty-free shopping complex at Port Castries, Saint Lucia’s main cruise pot of call.

SECTOR PROFILES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Saint Lucia’s growing economy supports and facilitates business expansion and the stable political environment provides an ecosystem that is development and business focused, which is ideal for investors and citizens alike. Tourism is the nation’s main source of income, however through synergies and collaborations with local businesses and investors, Saint Lucia has seen organic growth in support industries for other investors and businesses. This includes agricultural business support, especially in the blue economy and agro-processing for world class, standardized products. Saint Lucia has captivated the global market of Fortune 100 to 500 companies, exporting their warmth, hospitality and customer services skills within the global business outsourcing sector. These sectors are all supported by a dynamic labor force that meets all the employment needs of these sectors and industries.

Tourism

Tourism remains Saint Lucia’s flagship product with pristine beaches, unique scenery, and vibrant culture. Saint Lucia boasts several luxury international and regional brands some of which have been supporting explosive numbers in tourism arrivals for more than two decades. Having captured 14 World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, Saint Lucia has now begun to make its mark as the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Destination. The island’s attractions accommodate niche markets in ultra-luxury tourism, wellness, and eco-tourism. In addition, the tourism industry and support services for tourism account for approximately 70 % of the island’s GDP and is the biggest employer in the country.

Tourism Investment Opportunities

Fond d’Or

Fond d’Or spans approximately 346 acres of land in a pristine and rugged area. It offers unique topography and 15 acres of sandy beach bordered by lush forests and wildlife.

This unspoiled beachfront provides spectacular views of the horizon coupled with adjacency to a heritage park, making it ideal for an eco-tourism/nature project or hotel development.

Le Paradis

Located on the beautiful Praslin Bay, this development was deemed to be 65% complete. The Le Paradis Resort property was principally constructed a few years ago on a 544-acre estate and included plans for a Westin Hotel and a signature 18-hole Greg Norman-designed golf course. The design also included luxury villa residences, condos, spas, restaurants, and other high-end resort amenities.

Rivier Doree

Discover a location ideal for a boutique resort or ecotourism venture. With clifftop views of the breathtakingly pristine Caribbean Sea and backdropped by unmatched scenes of Gros Piton, this 70-acres of relatively flat land extend along the coastline spanning over 1520m/5000ft. River Doree is in the district of Choiseul, on the South-West Coast of Saint Lucia.

GLOBAL BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

With a service-based economy, Saint Lucia possesses a tech-savvy, customer service-oriented labour pool which has fostered growth while maintaining attrition levels below 3%. Bolstered by the expansion of new reliable technological infrastructure, a stable and democratic transition of power, a reputable legal and regulatory framework, sound macroeconomic policies, and business reforms, Saint Lucia remains a leader in the region. The sector has seen impressive growth since the early 2000s, when expansion came along with the dawn of new reliable fibre optic technology and infrastructure, a reputable legal and regulatory framework, a stable macroeconomic environment, and business reforms introduced in the 1990s.

Saint Lucia has seen noticeable growth and interest in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. Additionally, there is a keen governmental focus on growth and strategic policy for BPO, as Saint Lucia possesses several key advantages in nearshore market competencies.

In 2019 the BPO/KPO industry grew by 20%, becoming the fastest growing sector in Saint Lucia, with each player in the market seeing growth during the downturn. Invest Saint Lucia has championed on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia repositioning through additional training, education and policy to accommodate this ongoing expansion and ensure the sustainability of BPO and KPO investments on the island.

In 2020, the BPO sector was the country’s largest job creator, accounting for over 50% of new jobs. The average growth rate in the sector increased from 394 in 2020 to 606 in 2022. This increase resulted from new jobs created by the various BPOs/KPOs in Saint Lucia, which shows evidence that the sector is growing.

Saint Lucia has emerged as a leading choice for many companies. This can be attributed to factors such as an educated labour pool, low attrition rates, and government support. In addition, the island has an enviable reputation because while the wider region enjoys outsourcing success due to its proximity to the United States, Saint Lucia offers project-ready locations, more reliable technology, human resource capability, and a warm, clear neutral English accent with a strong affinity to the varying American accents, dialects and culture.

MANUFACTURING AND AGROPROCESSING

Invest Saint Lucia owns and manages seven industrial estates, which contain several factory shells ranging in size from 4,000 to 32,000 square feet. Our multi-purpose facilities are strategically placed throughout the island’s economic hubs, key transits and are available for rental rates that are some of the best in the region.

These spaces are also suitable for business process outsourcing (BPO) operations. The island offers quality technology infrastructure which enables faster real-time communications, transactions, and smart city capabilities.

Saint Lucia has been offering subsidies to the manufacturing sector through land and infrastructure since the 1970s. Invest Saint Lucia is one of the largest developers in Saint Lucia of warehouse and manufacturing space and has remained a key vested stakeholder in the development of the manufacturing sector.

CONCLUSION

Invest Saint Lucia strategically plans to advance Saint Lucia’s socio-economic development by targeting and facilitating high-impact projects in tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and BPO that will enable linkages with the wider society.

Through forging partnerships and engaging key government institutions, the agency will continue to encourage a united front and advocate for the established and new investor for the promotion of Saint Lucia as the location of choice for investments, visitors, and exports.