Percival James Patterson
(pronounced "PURR-sih-vull JAYMZ PAT-er-son")
"Jamaica is ready for the bold march into the new era of a borderless world economy."
With an area of 10,990 sq km (4,243 sq mi) and a population estimated at 2.7 million people in 2002, Jamaica is the third-largest of the Caribbean islands. It lies 145 km (90 mi) south of Cuba and 161 km (100 mi) west of Haiti.
European settlers imported African slaves to work on the sugar plantations on the islands of the Caribbean, including Jamaica. The descendants of these slaves comprised about 91% of the population in 2002. The remainder are descendants of Europeans, East Indians, Chinese, Syrians, and Lebanese. The official language is English although a local Jamaican dialect (patois) is widely spoken. The major religion is Christianity, with approximately 60% adhering to various Protestant sects, and 4% Roman Catholic.
The national currency is the Jamaican dollar. Jamaica's major exports include bauxite, alumina, sugar, bananas, processed foodstuffs, and garments. The country also has one of the largest tourist industries in the Caribbean.
Office of the Prime Minister
1 Devon Road
Kingston 10, Jamaica