The manufacturing industry mainly deals with the processing of bauxite (for aluminum) and agricultural products. Other important products that are manufactured are building materials and chemical products.
Through favorable trade agreements with the United States in the 1980s, Jamaica’s textile, electronics and computer industries expanded. A considerable part of the production took place within the duty-free and tax-free zones set up to attract foreign capital. However, during the 1990s, companies in these industries faced increased competition from Mexico and Central America, and in the 2000s, China with its low wages became an even bigger competitor.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Jamaica. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
The UK does not pay damages
During a visit to Jamaica, British Prime Minister David Cameron dismisses any thoughts that Britain should pay damages for the slave trade and calls on the Caribbean states to “move on”. Activists have made claims for damages.
Barack Obama visits Jamaica
US President Barack Obama comes to the Bahamas to participate in a meeting with the Caribbean partner Caricom. First he visits the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
Cannabis is legalized
Parliament adopts a bill which means that the possession of small quantities of marijuana for own use becomes legal. The government presented the bill in January, after presenting plans for decriminalization in the summer of 2014.
The government wants to legalize cannabis
The government is preparing a new law to decriminalize marijuana for religious and medical use. Holding small quantities for private use should be regarded as a misdemeanor and not a crime. This should reduce the number, especially young people, who end up in the criminal record.
Defamation is decriminalized
Parliament adopts a new law that involves decriminalization of criminal offenses. The journalist organization Press Association of Jamaica praises the law, not least the fact that it will be judges and not juries that will decide damages issues.
7,000 public jobs disappear
The government announces that about 7,000 services will disappear in the public sector in 2013 and 2014. The cuts are a condition for the four-year loan that the government managed to negotiate from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Trade unions are warning of rising unemployment, but Prime Minister Simpson Miller said in a televised speech that if the country’s large government debt is not reduced, “Jamaica will face a bleak future”.
Lowered murder rate
The number of murders in Jamaica in 2012 was the lowest in nine years, according to official statistics. 1,087 people were murdered, which is still an “unacceptably high” number, according to Peter Bunting, Minister of National Security.
50 years of independence for Jamaica
Jamaica celebrates 50 years of independence from the former colonial power of Great Britain, which ruled Jamaica for 307 years.
PNP wins in local elections
The PNP government wins big in local elections and gains control of 12 of the country’s 13 districts.
New Prime Minister promises Republic
The country’s new Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says in her installation speech that she intends to transform Jamaica into a republic.