Foreign policy and defense
St. Lucia is a nation in North America. Its capital city is Castries. Saint Lucia is a strong advocate for closer cooperation in the Caribbean. The country is a member of the regional cooperation organization Caricom (Caribbean Community). Saint Lucia became a member of Caricom’s common market for goods, services, people and capital (CSME) in 2006. In January 2007, Saint Lucia introduced Caricom’s common passport, which can be used both for international and intra-Community travel.
In the smaller organization OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States), Saint Lucia cooperates militarily, economically and politically with the other eastern Caribbean countries. The OECS states have a single currency and central bank and were transformed in 2011 into an economic union. There is also an ambition to gradually form a political union.
- Countryaah: Overview of business holidays and various national observances in St. Lucia for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
China and Taiwan are competing for influence over a number of small Caribbean islands, including Saint Lucia. The two East Asian states are attracting aid, investment and increased trade. During the left-liberal SLP government in 1997-2006, Saint Lucia had diplomatic relations with China, but since the conservative party UWP won the government power, diplomatic relations with Taiwan were restored. China thus severed its relations with Saint Lucia. In 2011, the new SLP government chose something unexpected to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The situation became uncertain when the newly-appointed UWP government in 2016 signed an agreement with a China-based company to build the extensive Pearl of the Caribbean tourism complex to attract Chinese visitors to the island.
Saint Lucia has long since established good relations with the United States and the old colonial power of Great Britain. They are among the country’s largest trading partners and have helped Saint Lucia and the other OECS countries establish regional security policy cooperation (Regional Security System).
Saint Lucia signed the Petrocaribe agreement in 2005, which means that the country can buy Venezuelan oil on favorable terms. The following year, the conservative UWP won government power and the implementation of the agreement stopped. In 2013, the Petrocaribe agreement was reinstated by the SLP government. That same year, Saint Lucia became a member of the left-wing regional bloc Alba.
The biggest security policy problem in the Caribbean is the drug smuggling from South America through the Caribbean to the US and Europe. In an effort to stop this, Saint Lucia is cooperating with US forces that have the right to board suspected smuggling vessels on the country’s territorial waters. The United States and the United Kingdom also provide military training.
The defense consists of a small semi-military force that is part of the country’s police force and a coast guard.