Find Industry and Manufacturing expertise in Saint Lucia
Manufacturing accounted for 3.84% of GDP in 2011, while industry contributed 16.9% in the same year according to figures from the World Bank. Saint Lucia is ranked 53rd out of 185 countries by the World Bank for ease of doing business, a ranking based on how conducive the regulatory environment is to the opening and operation of a local firm. Figures for the percentage of the labour force employed by the industry are unavailable.
Traditionally, tourism has been the most lucrative industry in Saint Lucia, although it was adversely affected by the 2008 global financial crisis and ensuing cut-backs to air travel to the island. The island’s other traditionally profitable industry, the production of bananas, was similarly affected in recent years due to increased competition and the destruction of plantations by Hurricane Tomas (2010). The manufacture and assembly of clothing, electronic components, cardboard boxes and beverages also contribute significantly to the Saint Lucian economy, while other popular economic activities include lime and coconut processing (2012, CIA).
Services as well as clothing and produce – such as bananas, cocoa, mangoes, avocados and coconut oil –were exported from the country to an estimated value of US$203.3 million in 2012, an increase on the 2011 figure of $179.8 million (CIA Factbook), when this made up 46% of total GDP (World Bank). Goods are exported primarily to the US, Peru, France, UK, and Antigua and Barbuda. Imports contributed $552.3 million to the economy in 2012, arriving mainly from Brazil (CIA).
The government of Saint Lucia has offered various incentives to attract foreign direct investment to the area. Those covered by the Fiscal Incentives Act include the waiving of import duty, introduction of substantial tax holidays and unrestricted repatriation of capital and profits. A small number of state-owned enterprises exist in Saint Lucia and support the government in meeting investment objectives. Main investors and companies within Saint Lucia include American Airlines, Hess Oil and Treasure Bay Corporation, as well as Burger King, Basic Blue (Levis) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Invest Saint Lucia is the central agency working to increase foreign interest and investment in the island, marketing it to the global audience and ensuring that transactions are of mutual benefit to Saint Lucians and investors. The Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association is a private sector representative body aiming to develop the manufacturing sector and aid goods distribution on the local and international level.