Jamaica - Economic sectors

Jamaica's economic sectors reflect the small size of the country, which places real limits on the availability of natural resources, population, and domestic markets. During the late 1990s, Jamaica's economy suffered from a variety of setbacks that hampered the growth of its goods-producing sectors—all of which experienced declines, with the exception of agriculture. The economy is

still reeling from the crisis experienced in the financial sector in 1996, although the government's intervention to stabilize the banking system led to a growth of 4.8 percent in the services sector in 1999. Increasing political violence also held back growth in the tourist industry. Jamaica's economy relies heavily on trade with other countries, so changes in the preferential trade regimes it enjoyed with the United States and the European Union, combined with an overvalued currency, has significantly shrunk its export market.

Recognizing these obstacles, Jamaica has targeted certain economic sectors to fuel the economy's growth.

Jamaica's 15-year plan called the National Industrial Policy, adopted in 1996, identified tourism, shipping and port services, apparel, agricultural processing, minerals, bauxite, and alumina as industries to target for export growth and expansion. The World Trade Organization (WTO) highlighted the services sector, especially tourism, as critical to Jamaica's development.

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