US-based Site Selection Magazine recently identified Saint Lucia as one of the countries outside the United States, where companies will locate within the next five to ten years from now. The Magazine cited a population with a burgeoning middle class; political and economic stability; an industrious, well-educated workforce; and quality foundational infrastructure as some of the considerations for investing in Saint Lucia over other islands. Saint Lucia has comparative advantages in the areas of regulation; starting a business; market access; incentives; transportation; infrastructure and quality of life, and has been ranked as the second freest economy in the Caribbean based on the Economic Freedom Index of 2016 (70%).
Saint Lucia’s strategic geographic location provides access to major markets in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. The island has two main seaports, two marinas and two airports and is well serviced with direct connectivity to several major North American gateways and the United Kingdom. Saint Lucia’s location in the Atlantic Time Zone as well as its fairly neutral-accented English speaking population makes it an attractive destination for the provision of near shore Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and contact centre services to North American markets.
The introduction in 2015 of a domestic internet exchange point (SLIX) is an added attraction to potential investors. SLIX facilitates the exchange of domestic internet traffic and eliminates the need for expensive international transit providers. The SLIX ensures that internet traffic generated in Saint Lucia and destined for customers on island will remain in country, rather than endure lengthy, expensive and sometimes insecure international routes. The SLIX will also lead to high speed data transfers, reduced latency, improved routing efficiency, improved bandwidth and reduced third party costs.
The current fibre optic ring around the island provides incomparable uptime, sufficient redundancy and dedicated internet access. Additionally, the excellent bandwidth capability allows service providers to offer an array of telecommunications services. The telecommunications network features:
Saint Lucia possesses a vibrant, dynamic, English speaking labour force that can be easily trained to meet the employment needs of businesses. This is supported by an inclusive primary, secondary and tertiary education school system. Saint Lucia also has access to a regional pool of skilled labour through the Caribbean Community Single Market & Economy (CSME) and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union arrangements. Work permits are not required for various categories of skills moving within the region and none are required at all for movement of persons throughout the sub region.
The Government of Saint Lucia has demonstrated through several initiatives its support for renewable energy. These initiatives include the revision of the Electricity Supply Act, the establishment of the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC), setting a target of 35% renewable energy by the year 2020, joining the Carbon War Room 10 island challenge and significantly advancing the geothermal energy exploration and development process. The proactive approach provides an encouraging framework for an investor wishing to invest in renewable energy, albeit currently only through announced Requests for Proposals (RFP).
Saint Lucia will soon see the official opening of two state of the art hospitals – the redeveloped St. Jude’s Hospital in the south and the New Owen King EU National Hospital in the north of the island. These new state of the art medical facilities will be centres of excellence for health and medical care providing quality, efficient and accessible health care services.
A number of initiatives are underway to make Saint Lucia more efficient and competitive including:
Investment Promotion & Fulfillment Officer
…any investor who’s looking to grow and invest, a Saint Lucian market is absolutely perfect ...
I would definitely encourage an investor to consider investing in Saint Lucia primarily because again opportunities exist because we are a young developing nation.”
To any potential investor, I would tell them Saint Lucia is a happening place. We have warm weather, we have a great pool of talented people and government is leading the charge to invite everybody in...
One of the things that has been quite impressive and I’m particularly pleased with is the ease and accessibility of support from Invest Saint Lucia and the Government of Saint Lucia …