Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade, FDI, Corruption

Saint Lucia’s financial freedom score is 68.7, making its economy the 38th freest in the 2019 Index. Its overall score has increased by 1.1 points, with much higher scores on fiscal health insurance and federal government spending easily offsetting declines in judicial performance and property privileges. Saint Lucia is ranked 4th among 32 countries in the Americas region, and its own overall score is above the regional and world averages.

Read more about Saint Lucia Economy. Saint Lucia, an island country in the Lesser Antilles known because of its two distinctive “Piton” mountains, is a two-party democracy with a bicameral parliament. Former Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet of the United Workers Party became chief executive in 2016. Saint Lucia is an associate of the Caribbean Community and Common Market and hosts the headquarters of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

The economy depends primarily on tourism, banana production, and some light production. Recent improvements in roads, communications, water supply, sewerage, and interface facilities, coupled with a well-educated labor force, have attracted international investment. The federal government has inspired farmers to diversify from bananas into other vegetation, but agriculture has experienced from the lingering effects of 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.

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Saint Lucia has a good legislative framework to safeguard property rights, but enforcement of intellectual property privileges is generally weakened. The independent judicial system’s highest court is the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC); lower courts are understaffed and sluggish. Although Saint Lucia has low degrees of corruption generally, enforcement of anticorruption statutes is not always effective.

The top personal income and corporate tax rates are 30 percent. Other fees include usage and property transfer fees. The overall tax burden equals 24.0 percent of total local income. Over the past three years, authorities spending has amounted to 26.3 percent of the country’s output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 2.3 percent of GDP.

Public debt is the same as 71.3 percent of GDP. The regulatory environment for businesses helps entrepreneurial activity. A competent labor market is not developed. Application of existing labor codes is uneven, but the nonsalary cost of having a worker is low. The IMF has recommended that the national authorities eliminate nontargeted liquefied petroleum gas and food subsidies, and controversy arose in 2018 over whether the federal government should subsidize a local air travel company. The combined value of exports and imports is add up to 95 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 5.9 percent. Some agricultural imports face additional barriers. Foreign investment is screened by the government, and the overall investment regime lacks efficiency. Greater access to funding opportunities remains critical to private-sector development. The bank sector is dominated by commercial banking.

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