The economy is largely based on agriculture (bananas, cocoa, and other tropical products are exported) and tourism. Saint Lucia has moved to attract foreign investment to its offshore banking industry, and has diversified its industrial base to include light manufacturing, the assembly of electronic components, and oil refining and transshipment. The United States and France are the main trading partners.
The country is a parliamentary democracy governed under the constitution of 1979. There is a bicameral Parliament, with an 11-seat Senate and a 17-seat House of Assembly; the government is headed by the prime minister. The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by a governor-general, is the head of state. Administratively, the country is divided into 11 districts called quarters; the central portion of the island is a forest reserve.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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