Saint Lucia has been consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business in the English speaking Caribbean by the World Bank’s Annual “Ease of Doing Business” Survey, with a number 1 ranking from 2007 -2014. Saint Lucia has comparative advantages in the areas of regulation, starting a business, market access, incentives, transport infrastructure and quality of life. Saint Lucia has also done consistently well as one of the freest economies in the Caribbean, ranking second place with an index of 70% in the 2016 Economic Freedom Index.
Saint Lucia’s history as a trading nation and strategic location in the center of the Caribbean archipelago makes it an ideal location where it can service both the regional/ near shore markets of North America, South America and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states as well as the European market.
Saint Lucia has an abundance of bio-diversity related resources that are used in a variety of ways including in traditional and herbal medicines. The Government of Saint Lucia has recognized the contribution of its indigenous plant and animal species to human, social and economic development and therefore encourages investment in that area including in the development of homeopathic applications and nutraceutical products. Indeed, the top merchandise exporters in Saint Lucia have all in some way utilized this resource for developing their world class, award- winning offerings.
Saint Lucia has an efficient telecommunications system, reliable electricity and a stable water supply that is also affordable. Moreover, with modern air and sea port facilities, Saint Lucia’s interconnected structural elements provide a supportive framework for any manufacturing investment, including with fibre optics and wireless capabilities, 2G, GSM networks, GPRS and EDGE capabilities, Metro Ethernet and MPLS services and an electricity plant capacity of 78.4MW. There are also active initiatives towards attaining a 35% renewable energy (geothermal, solar, wind and waste to energy) solution by 2020 as well as major infrastructure upgrades designed to enhance travel and transportation access into and within the island. For a manufacturer, the refrigeration and warehousing facilities strategically located at the sea ports in the North and South of the island, in addition to two airports- an international airport in the south and a small commuter, regional airport in the north- make Saint Lucia an ideal manufacturing investment location.
Saint Lucia offers access to a regional market of over 14 million consumers. Trade agreements within the Caribbean Community Single Market & Economy (CSME) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union allow for duty free export to member countries. Bilateral Investment Treaties with Germany and the United Kingdom as well as market access to the European Union (EU) through the EU-ACP (African Caribbean and Pacific) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for products satisfying the rules of origin, as well as other free trade agreements (FTAs) within North and Central America, present valuable trading and export opportunities.
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 comprehensive primary, secondary and tertiary education school systems that create a solid foundation for learning and adaptability. Saint Lucia has access to a regional pool of skilled labour through the Caribbean Single Market and 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 including for all sub-regional OECS citizens.
Under the Fiscal Incentives Act, manufacturing enterprises are granted a waiver of import duties on imported plant, machinery, equipment, raw and packaging materials. A corporate income tax waiver for up to 15 years would also be granted to qualified applicants. Additionally, Saint Lucia does not have a capital gains tax, nor taxes on interest from bank deposits or on distribution of dividends.
The Special Development Areas Act is aimed at promoting the balanced spatial and economic development of the island. The legislation provides incentives to investors/developers for the establishment of certain types of businesses in specially designated areas that are endowed with the necessary infrastructure and amenities for business development. Saint Lucia’s Freezone area is enclosed and, for Customs purposes, is treated as lying outside the Customs territory of the island. Goods of foreign origin may be held pending eventual transshipment, re-exportation and, in some cases, importation into the local market, without payment of Customs duties. Unit types available include: whole warehouse; shared warehouse; open-air warehouse space; zone user office space and shared office space.
Invest Saint Lucia manages seven (7) industrial estates with over 20 factory shells ranging from approximately 5,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet that are available for lease and/or purchase.
Senior Investment Promotion and Fulfilment Officer
…so any company coming in, you do have a voice, you’re able to get your concerns out there.
In Saint Lucia …we found people…people are what we call the magic element that allows us to brew all the brands we brew here…with international quality.
Our experience in setting up on the island has been fabulous…pioneering a new market is not easy but with the help of the government and Invest Saint Lucia in particular, it’s been fantastic.