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Saint Lucia, Economy and Government

Legislative power, East Caribbean dollar, House of Assembly, British monarch, important crop

The economy of Saint Lucia is largely dependent on agriculture. Bananas are the most important crop and principal export; other products include coconuts and mangoes. About 118,400 metric tons of fruit were harvested in 2001. The manufacturing sector produces cardboard boxes, electric parts, apparel, plastics, and beverages. Tourism is important and has been steadily expanding since the late 1960s. The island has a good network of 1,210 km (752 mi) of roads linking all towns and villages. Two airports also serve the island. The national currency is the East Caribbean dollar (2.70 E.C. dollars equal U.S.$1; 2000 average). The government budget in 1992 included $121 million in revenue and $127 million in expenditure. The gross domestic product, which measures the total value of goods and services produced in the country, was $707.1 million in 2000.

Executive power is nominally vested in the British monarch, who is represented by a governor-general. Actual executive power is wielded by a cabinet, consisting of a prime minister and other ministers who are appointed by the prime minister. Legislative power is held by a parliament. The 17 members of its lower house, the House of Assembly, are elected by general suffrage; the 11 members of the Senate are appointed by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister, the leader of the opposition, and others.

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