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Jamaica Business Report

General information
Source: The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency
2,812,090 (July 2018 est.)
$26.06 billion (2017 est.)

The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which accounts for more than 70% of GDP. The country derives most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. Earnings from remittances and tourism each account for 14% and 20% of GDP, while bauxite/alumina exports have declined to less than 5% of GDP.

GDP growth rate
0.7% (2017 est.)

Jamaica's economy has grown on average less than 1% a year for the last three decades and many impediments remain to growth: a bloated public sector which crowds out spending on important projects; high crime and corruption; red-tape; and a high debt-to-GDP ratio.

GDP (PPP) per capita
$9,200 (2017 est.)

Jamaica has a serious crime problem. High unemployment exacerbates the crime problem, including gang violence fueled by advanced fee fraud (lottery scamming) and the drug trade.

Local currency
Jamaican dollar (JMD)

The currency has declined steadily, though smoothly, since 2010 (about 40%).

Financial stability (Public debt)
101% of GDP (2017 est.)

Jamaica has made steady progress in reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio from a high of almost 150% in 2012 to less than 110% in 2017, in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The current IMF Stand-By Agreement requires Jamaica to produce an annual primary surplus of 7%, in an attempt to reduce its debt burden below 60% by 2025.

4.4% (2017 est.)

Given the administration's goal, though difficult, of maintaining fiscal discipline to reduce the debt load while simultaneously implementing growth, Jamaica should not see an acceleration in inflation, quite the opposite.


English patois also spoken.

Corruption perception index (Source: Transparency International)

High level of corruption.

Duties and tax
Source: PwC World Tax Summaries 2017-2018
Higher or lower rates apply: for example, the provision of telephone services and handsets is subject a rate of 25%, while the rate imposed on hotels and other businesses in the tourism sector is 10%.
Corporate Tax
Regulated company: 33.33% Building society: 30% Life assurance companies: 25% Unregulated company: 25%
Customs duty is levied on the customs value of goods imported (WTO rules apply rules on customs valuation). The rates are specified by the Customs Tariff, having regard to the Common External Tariff agreed between Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.

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