St. Lucia is expecting to receive US$1.5 billion in foreign direct investments over the next two years, with the country’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet estimating the economy to grow more than 2% in 2017.
Chastanet is hopeful that his economic policies are yielding dividends, reports St. Lucia News Online, citing the prime minister’s comment on Watch Radio NYC.
During his speech, the prime minister revealed plans to cut tax rates in order to curb tax evasion and stimulate economic growth.
“If you have a lower tax rate people are more willing to pay it,” he told the radio. “And then people will have more money in their pockets so will spend more. Businesses then hire more people, bring more things in, and even the construction sector starts taking off.”
Effects of his economic policies are not visible yet, with Chastanet assuring that it would take three more years for people to feel the changes.
“We are seeing economic growth projections of 2% or higher; we’re on track for that,” he said. “We have over US$1.5 billion of foreign direct investment that’s committed to come to St. Lucia over the next two years.”
The Caribbean country has recently expanded Hewanorra International Airport to cope with the growing number of tourists, besides devising a plan to spruce up the capital city of Castries and rebuild infrastructure in six villages.
Chastanet says he has also ‘successfully borrowed’ millions of dollars in loans to build new roads and re-asphalt feeder roads in countryside.
St. Lucia is one of the few Caribbean countries with low unemployment. According to the prime minister, the rate has now dropped to a mere 6%.