According to allcitypopulation, Jamaica is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. It has a total area of 4,244 square miles and is the third largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba and Hispaniola. The terrain of Jamaica is mostly mountainous with a narrow coastal plain and rolling hills. The highest point in Jamaica is the Blue Mountain Peak at 7,402 feet. It has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather year-round. According to Petwithsupplies, the capital city of Jamaica is Kingston with a population of 584 600 (with suburbs, 2011 Census). Other major cities include Portmore with a population of 182,200, Spanish Town with a population of 162,000, Montego Bay with a population of 110,000 (2011 census).
Jamaica has a mixed economy with both private and public sectors playing an important role in its economic development. It relies heavily on services, which account for more than half of its GDP, while tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, remittances from Jamaicans abroad are also major contributors to the economy. Despite its small size, Jamaica’s economy ranks as one of the largest in the Caribbean region with a GDP per capita of US$7,898 (2019). The country’s main industries include tourism, bauxite/alumina production and processing, transportation equipment assembly and petroleum refining. Agriculture also remains an important sector for employment generation providing jobs for about 12% of the population. Major agricultural products produced include sugarcane, bananas, coffee beans, citrus fruits and vegetables such as yams and potatoes.
Foreign Trade of Jamaica
Jamaica is heavily reliant on foreign trade, with exports and imports accounting for about 70% of its GDP. The country’s main export commodities include bauxite/alumina, services (tourism), apparel, food and beverages, chemicals, and manufactured goods. Its main export partners are the United States (31.2%), Canada (11.9%), the Netherlands (7.3%) and the United Kingdom (6%). Jamaica’s main import commodities include manufactured goods, crude oil, food and beverages, machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals and fertilizers. Its major import partners are the United States (43%), Trinidad & Tobago (13%), Mexico (9%) and China (7%).
Jamaica has been pursuing a number of free trade agreements to further diversify its trading partners and increase access to new markets. It has signed a number of bilateral agreements with countries such as Mexico, Panama and Colombia as well as multilateral agreements including the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) which was established in 1968 to promote economic integration among Caribbean countries. Jamaica is also a member of the World Trade Organization since 1995.
The government has been taking steps to further liberalize trade by reducing tariffs on imported items as well as introducing tax exemptions for certain imports such as agricultural products in order to encourage foreign investment in Jamaica’s manufacturing sector. The country also participates in regional integration initiatives such as CARICOM which seeks to promote regional economic cooperation among Caribbean countries.
Major Trading Partners of Jamaica
Jamaica’s major trading partners are the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The US is Jamaica’s largest export partner accounting for 31.2% of total exports and its largest import partner accounting for 43% of total imports. Major exports to the US include apparel, bauxite/alumina and food and beverages while major imports include manufactured goods, crude oil and machinery.
Canada is Jamaica’s second largest export partner accounting for 11.9% of total exports and its fourth largest import partner with a 7% share of total imports. Major exports to Canada include apparel, bauxite/alumina and services (tourism) while major imports include chemicals, food and beverages, and machinery.
The Netherlands is Jamaica’s third largest export partner with a 7.3% share of total exports while it is not one of Jamaica’s top ten import partners. Major exports to the Netherlands include apparel, bauxite/alumina, chemicals and food and beverages.
The UK is Jamaica’s fourth largest export partner with a 6% share of total exports while it is not one of Jamaica’s top ten import partners. Major exports to the UK include apparel, bauxite/alumina, services (tourism) and manufactured goods.
In addition to these major trading partners, Jamaica has also signed bilateral agreements with countries such as Mexico, Panama and Colombia as well as multilateral agreements including Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) which was established in 1968 to promote economic integration among Caribbean countries.
Major Imports and Exports of Jamaica
Jamaica’s major imports are manufactured goods, crude oil and machinery. Manufactured goods account for the largest share of Jamaica’s imports, accounting for approximately 25.3% of total imports. This includes consumer goods such as electronics, clothing and footwear as well as industrial equipment and machinery. Crude oil accounts for approximately 19% of total imports while machinery accounts for around 16%.
Jamaica’s major exports are apparel, bauxite/alumina and food and beverages. Apparel accounts for the largest share of Jamaica’s exports at around 32.2% of total exports followed by bauxite/alumina at 17.7% and food and beverages at 11%. Apparel is a significant export industry in Jamaica with many clothing manufacturers producing garments for export to countries such as the US, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. Bauxite/alumina is also an important export item in Jamaica with the country being one of the world’s largest producers of alumina. Food and beverage exports include coffee, rum, sugar and spices which are exported to countries such as Canada, Japan and Germany.
In addition to these major exports, Jamaica also produces other agricultural products such as bananas which are exported to countries like the US, Canada and Japan. Services (tourism) is also a major export item in Jamaica with more than 4 million tourists visiting annually from countries such as the US, Canada, UK and Germany.