Capital: Kingston
Population: 2.950.210 (2015 est.)
Official Language: English
Inflation: 7,1% (2014 est.)
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $24.1 billion (2014 est.)
GDP (official Exchange rate): ($13.79 billion (2014 est.)
GDP per Capita: $8,600(2014 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15.3% (2014 est.)
Total Employed Labour force: 1.311 Millions
Total Unemployed Labour Force: 200.583 (2014 est.)
Major Imports Mineral  fuels;  machinery  &  transport  equipment; food; chemicals; manufactured goods
Major Exports  Crude materials; mineral fuels; food
Jamaica’s main import trading partners (2015) United States; Venezuela; Trinidad and Tobago; China; Mexico; Brazil; Japan; Canada, United Kingdom, Turkey
Key Productive Sectors: Mining; Tourism;    Agriculture; Agro–processing;  Creative Industries; Manufacturing; Financial Services
Jamaica’s main export trading partners (2011) United States; Canada; Russian ; U.A.E; Latvia; Netherlands; UK; Slovenia; Slovakia ; Italy; Republic of Georgia; Germany
Government Type Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy
Governor General His Excellency Michaelle Jean
Prime Minister The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-­‐Miller
Opposition Leader The Honourable Andrew Holness

 

Economy

 Jamaica  operates  as  a  mixed  free-­‐market  economy  with  both  state  and  private  sector  participation  in productive enterprise. The economy recorded GDP of US$13.7 billion in 2010 with the main sectors of the   economy   being   Tourism,   Agriculture   and   Agro-­‐processing,   Mining,   Manufacturing,   Creative Industries and Financial Services. The Services industries account for over 70 per cent of GDP.

The economy is driven by foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign exchange earned through exports and remittances. Jamaica received an estimated US$201 million in FDIs in 2010. The most dynamic sectors in term of foreign direct investment (FDI) have been tourism, ICT and mining. The Jamaican Diaspora also contributes significantly to the economy through remittances, which amounted to over US$1.7 billion in 2009. Jamaica also boasts a developed tourism industry and continues to enjoy record levels of tourist arrivals.

Jamaica  is  also  the  largest  English  –speaking  Caribbean  island,  and  boast  the  distinct  qualities  of  a vibrant emerging market with enormous possibilities for trade and inward investment. Its comparative advantages  that  attract  strategic  investors  and  tourist  include  natural  beauty,  geographical  location (only one hour and twenty minutes by air from Miami), time zone, English-­‐speaking skilled labour force, strong   financial  services  sector,  the   world’s  seventh-­‐largest  natural  habour  and   mineral  resource endowments,   as   well   as   a   spirit   of   enterprise   and   well-­‐established   traditions   of   democracy   and accountability.

Culture

Accurately represented by its motto, “Out of Many one People”, Jamaica has a dynamic mix of different ethnicities,  which  has  contributed  to  the  country’s  unique  culture.  The  people  are  mostly  of  black (African)  descent  (91.6%),  However,  the  population  also  consists  of  East  Indians  (0.9%),  whites  (0.2%) Chinese  (0.2%),and  mixed  race  (6.2%).  Renowned  for  its  popular  music-­‐reggae-­‐the  country  has  also gained international recognition through sports, dance and other cultural activities

Education

The Literacy rate in Jamaica is 87.9%. The educational structure in the country is largely based on that of Great Britain. Children begin infant school at age three (3) and move on to the primary level at around age six (6). Primary school begins at grade 1 and ends at grade six (6), while high school ends at grade eleven (11), with an option of what is considered sixth form for two years after which they may opt to attend university. It must be noted though that some schools do not have the option of sixth form and student can either chose to attend another sixth form of go on to what is called a community college.

According  to  the  Economic  and  Social  Survey  of  Jamaica  (ESSJ-­‐2010),  output  of  tertiary  institutions totalled  13,244  (71.6  per  cent  female).The  report  also  identified  that  there  are  199  secondary/high schools; 84 vocational, technical and agricultural high schools; 116 community and business colleges; 5 teachers’ colleges; and 8 universities.

Labour Standards

Core labour standards are generally respected in Jamaica; and the country has ratified all 8 core ILO Labour Conventions.

Media Houses

 There are over 50 media houses in Jamaica, ranging from larger television and radio stations to small cable stations that have local Jamaican programming. The media houses listed below are considered to be the more prominent of these.

Targeted Sectors for Investment

 ICT/BPO;

Tourism; Manufacturing; Energy;

Agro-­‐processing/Agri-­‐business; Creative Industries;

Mining.

Targeted Sectors for Export

Service Sectors: Tourism;

ICT (BPO) services; Creative Industries; Professional services

International Financial services

Business services Merchandise Sectors:

Fresh        /       Processed foods Beverages

Nutraceuticals (primarily nutraceutical ingredients, and spa and aromatherapy products) Minerals (excluding bauxite)

Art and Craft

Bilateral Investment Agreements /International Investment Agreements signed:

 Jamaica has investment treaties with the United States (Feb. 1994, which came into force in March 1997), Argentina (Feb. 1994), France (Jan. 1993), Italy (Sept. 1993), Germany (Sept. 1992),   Netherlands

(Apr. 1991), Switzerland (Dec. 1990), the United Kingdom (Jan. 1987), China (1998), Cuba (May 1997),

Egypt (Feb. 1999), Indonesia (Feb. 1999), Zimbabwe (Feb. 1999) South Korea (2003),  Spain (2002) Nigeria (2002) and Kuwait (2013)

Double Taxation Agreements signed

 Jamaica has signed and ratified double taxation agreements with the U.S., Canada, CARICOM, China, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom.

Regional trade Agreements

 Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas -­‐   CSME

Free     Trade     Area     Agreement      -­‐     CARICOM      /     Dominican     Rep. (CARIFORUM) FTA Agreement -­‐  CARICOM /   Colombia

FTA Agreement -­‐  CARICOM / Venezuela

EC-­‐CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (also speaks to investment) WTO (Marrakesh Treaty)