Jamaica - Market OverviewJamaica - Market Overview
· The United States remains Jamaica's main trading partner, accounting for almost 40% of the nation’s total trade. Jamaica's other major trading partners include the Netherlands, Canada. Colombia, China, Japan, and Trinidad and Tobago.
· Jamaica is attractive to U.S. exports due to its: (1) geographic proximity and access to shipping lanes; (2) relatively large English-speaking market; (3) strong commercial and cultural affinity to North America; (4) improving business climate as reflected in the World Bank 2018 Doing Business Report; and, (5) stable democracy.
· Jamaica has demonstrated bipartisan commitment to macroecnomic discipline since engaging in International Monetary Fund (IMF) guided economic reform programs starting in 2013, in an effort to reduce its unsustainable debt.
· Through the IMF programs, Jamaica restructured its domestic debt and undertook an ambitious legislative agenda to enact significant structural reforms. These included the elimination of sector-specific tax incentives and waivers, and improving the business climate. Through December 2017, Jamaica successfully passed all IMF program reviews and improved 24 spots to 70th in World Bank’s Doing Business report from 2014 to 2018.
· In addition, the country’s macro-economic indicators have improved since 2013: inflation moderated to a record low of 5.2% for 2017; the Net International Reserves jumped to US$3.2 billion at end 2017, up from US$1 billion at end December 2013; and, the current account deficit improved from 12.8% of GDP at March 2013 to around 2% at end 2016, the lowest result in almost two decades.
· Jamaica’s economy has grown less than 1% per year for four decades, and recent economic reforms have not yet generated the expected levels of economic growth.
· Bilateral relations between Jamaica and the United States are positive.Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
Jamaica Trade Development and Promotion