Imports$545.9 million (2011 est.)
Exports$198.6 million (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.6% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate20% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,800 (2011 est.)
National product real growth rate1.1% (2010 est.)
Internet users142,900 (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular179,300 (2009)
Population growth rate0.378% (2012 est.)
Population162,178 (July 2012 est.)
The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814.
Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops.
Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979....
The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries, with a surge in foreign direct investment in 2006, attributed to the construction of several tourism projects.
Although crops such as bananas, mangos, and avocados continue to be grown for export, tourism provides Saint Lucia's main source of income and the industry is the island's biggest employer.
Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange, although tourism sector revenues declined with the global economic downturn as US and European travel dropped in 2009....