Beyond its vibrant culture and natural beauty, Jamaica’s value lays in its business-friendly environment, educated and trained workforce, stable democracy, solid infrastructure and strategic location.
Ideally located in the centre of the Caribbean, Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the region and the third largest overall. Abundantly endowed with natural resources such as rich mineral deposits of bauxite, high quality limestone and marble, the country covers a total area of 10,991 sq. km (4,244 sq. miles).
The island’s strategic location is further reinforced by the fact that it is within a four-hour flight radius of over half a billion of the world’s population across the Western Hemisphere.
Situated at the nexus of the major air and sea routes into the Caribbean Basin, Jamaica provides transnational corporations (TNCs) with a solid investment base for their Caribbean operations, which will allow them to seamlessly tap into the North and South American markets as well as the rest of the world.
In the capital city of Kingston, which is set against the backdrop of the majestic Blue Mountains, investors will discover a cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture that is globally connected and perfectly primed for business.
It is home to the world’s seventh largest natural harbour – Kingston Harbour – which enjoys significant maritime traffic due to its ease of access to the Panama Canal shipping lanes. Leveraging its port and logistics capacity, proximity to key markets, and its prime location, has positioned Jamaica to grow into a major multi-modal logistics hub in the region, particularly given recent investments that have enabled the country to host post-Panamax vessels.
With its prime location providing excellent investment and trade opportunities and numerous incentives for international companies doing business with Jamaica, the Jamaican government focuses on five (5) key sectors, which have great projects for investments:
- Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – Jamaica leads as the Caribbean’s ideal location for BPO investment. There are currently over 50 companies that offer BPO services in the country, and among these firms are global industry players such as Conduent (formerly Xerox), Teleperformance, Vistaprint, Hinduja Global Solutions and Sutherland Global Services (SGS) as well as home-grown entities such as ItelBPO.
- Tourism – Jamaica’s brand as a leading tourist destination provides the perfect setting for investment, boasting global hotel brands from across the world. The breathtakingly beautiful scenery, world-class accommodations and attractions, rich culture and signature warm hospitality of the people, combine to give Jamaica an irresistible appeal. In 2017, Jamaica attracted more than 4 million tourists to the island.
Logistics – With the expansion of the Panama Canal, Jamaica is poised to benefit from new and innovative commercial ventures as it seeks to position itself to join Rotterdam, Dubai and Singapore as the fourth node in the international logistics chain. Jamaica has seen considerable investment in logistics in the past two years, including the divestment of the Kingston Container Terminal in 2016 to CMA CGM, the third-largest shipping line in the world. The country’s location in proximity to major East-West shipping lanes and direct connections to all regional ports means Jamaica’s Logistics Hub will satisfy the demand for global-standard logistics capacity serving the Eastern Seaboard of the US.
- Agriculture– Jamaica is an ideal location for agricultural and/or agribusiness-related investment. The expansive local market bolstered by millions of visiting tourists annually, the increasing demand for high quality Jamaican produce overseas, a network of trade agreements and the country’s proximity to key export markets gives investors the opportunity to earn high returns on their investment in the country.
- Manufacturing– With Jamaica being located at the hub of air and sea routes in the Caribbean, the country is ideally placed for export-oriented, niche manufacturing and assembly operations. Under the Jamaica Logistics Hub initiative, there will significant opportunities for business interests to be integrated into the global supply chain, particularly in keeping with the natural resources of the country.
These sectors hold very profitable prospects, especially with duty free incentives on the importation of goods and products, income tax credits and other lucrative benefits for doing business in Jamaica. The country has a newly minted Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regime to encourage the creation of productive zones that have special concessions for investors.
Improving the business atmosphere of a burgeoning economy
To create the environment for these investment opportunities to flourish, Jamaica has been working to improve its economic indicators and fiscal responsibility.
The country continues to make strides to improve its ease of doing business and overall competitiveness. Jamaica is now 3rd in Latin America and the Caribbean for reforms implemented over the past 15 years, with 25 reforms implemented, following Mexico and Colombia. In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report released in 2017, Jamaica ranked 2nd after Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, while the country maintained its spot at 6th in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Inflation has also been trending downwards, ending 2017 at an estimate 5.2%; while unemployment continues to decline with increase in projects and businesses, to 9.6% as at January 2018.
The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is another success story from the Jamaican economy. Its performance has been strong, with both the main market and junior market indices performing tremendously well. The main index has grown in the past three years and is projected to continue its performance as the economy stabilizes and private capital flourishes.
This combination of fiscal responsibility, improvement of the public sector, proper planning and an enabling business environment, has been key to Jamaica achieving breakthrough moments in the island’s economy. The country will continue on this path to further its economic growth.
Jamaica’s bridge to The World
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica’s trade and investment promotion agency, assists clients with finding the best match for their trade and investment interests, assists potential investors with cementing their presence in the Jamaican market and provides support for investors to achieve their Jamaican investment and trade goals. The Agency works with clients from all regions in the world, and has a customised approach to each sector, utilising its network of Government business facilitators to meet all the needs of an investor.
JAMPRO is also committed to working closely with Jamaica’s local businesses to make them more competitive and export-ready. The Agency provides practical support, expert advice, and access to technical assistance that will enable these companies to expand their operations into new and existing global markets and provide the best products and services to export from Jamaica to your home.
As Jamaica moves forward, JAMPRO will continue to develop key relationships and partnerships, not only in the region, but the world. We stand ready to partner with you on your business journey and help to you make it a success.