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Market Overview of Jamaica

Bilateral relations between Jamaica and the United States are generally good. The United States remains Jamaica's main trading partner, accounting for almost 40 percent of the nation’s total trade. Jamaica's other major trading partners include China, Japan, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica is attractive to U.S. exports due to its: geographic proximity and access to shipping lanes; relatively large English-speaking market; strong commercial and cultural affinity to North America; improving business climate as reflected in the World Bank 2016 Doing Business Report; and, stable democracy.

Market Opportunities

The quality and reliability of U.S. goods and services has encouraged Jamaican businesses and consumers to purchase from the United States. Jamaica has excellent air, sea, and underwater communications cable links with the United States and the rest of the world.

Agricultural products, pharmaceuticals/chemicals, and machinery and transportation equipment remain important areas of demand in Jamaica. Opportunities also exist for products associated with hotel and housing construction, the tourism sector, logistics, mining, and business process outsourcing (BPO).

Market Entry Strategy

Agents and distributors are commonly used as the conduit to enter the Jamaican market, but the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service also assists U.S. firms in their search for prospective partners. The U.S. Department of Commerce no longer has a presence in Jamaica but serves the region out of its office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Much of the trade between Jamaica and the United States is the result of longstanding business relationships. While business can be conducted over the internet or telephone, Jamaicans are more comfortable with face-to-face meetings when negotiating business arrangements. Relationship marketing is also prevalent with distributors generally interested in visiting their suppliers to conduct due diligence. Exclusive arrangements, credit terms, and franchising arrangements are common business practices.

Leading Sector for U.S. Exports and Investments

  • Agricultural Sector
  • Chemicals and Related Products
  • Machinery and Transportation Equipment
  • Mineral, Lubricants and Related Materials

Read the complete Country Commercial Guide for Jamaica, an excellent starting point to find everything you need to know about doing business overseas.


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