The government is implementing a US$160 million Public Sector Modernisation Programme to speed up trade, resulting in the turnaround time for opening a business being reduced to 3 days. Recent tax measures and the establishment of Special Economic Zones are incentives to stimulate business and economic activity. Ease of trading has improved with the Trade Information Portal and the Electronic Single Window for Trade.
Robust trade and investment infrastructure
Jamaica boasts an impressive telecommunications system, road network, and air and sea connectivity. Jamaica is also home to the Kingston Harbour, the 7th largest natural harbour in the world. Goods and services can thus easily be transported throughout the island to consumers at minimal cost.
Facilitating government policy
Jamaica has a robust and stable democratic system. The Jamaican government encourages the participation of international business, paving the way for UK exporters. The Jamaican economy has also been bolstered since the government has exceeded all the structural benchmarks prescribed by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 3 year programme.
Top five UK goods exported to Jamaica , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023
|Goods||Value (£ million )|
|Other miscellaneous manufactures (intermediate)||13.0|
|Other manufactures (intermediate)||12.6|
|Specialised machinery (capital)||3.9|
|Medicinal & pharmaceutical products||3.4|
Total import value (into the UK from Jamaica) and export value (from the UK into Jamaica) over time
|Year||Imports (£ million )||Exports (£ million )||Total trade (£ million )|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Jamaica.
Jamaica: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Jamaica offers opportunities for UK firms in various sectors, propelled by government and the private sector. Sectors include energy (especially renewable), education, logistics, healthcare and medical tourism, management consulting services, infrastructure, creative, agri-business and Information and communications technology (ICT).
Steady demand for pharmaceuticals
Jamaica imported US$2.8 million in pharmaceuticals from the UK in 2017, with UK brands such as GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca continuing to thrive. In 2017, there were over 495 pharmacies and over 2.7 million items were prescribed from pharmacies at public health facilities. There is increased access to drugs to address cardiovascular and respiratory system health, non-communicable diseases and other conditions.
Increased demand for healthcare technology innovation
In an effort to overcome challenges within the healthcare sector, the government is investing in innovative healthcare solutions making greater use of technology. This thrust has generated interest among various private sector stakeholders, leading to the proposal of telemedicine solutions for both the public healthcare system and private providers.
Significant attention to improving infrastructure
The MoHW is actively pursuing projects geared towards strengthening primary care facilities. This includes the modernisation of care centres and support services through the upgrading of existing facilities and establishing new sites.
Opportunities for exporters
The government is paying special attention to the modernisation and digital transformation of government business. This increased interest in technology driven solutions creates numerous opportunities for UK technology firms. The tabling of the Data Protection Policy Bill and development of a National Cyber crime policy highlights the growth of Jamaica’s cyber platform.
Demand for remote working technology
In light of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on movement, there is a noted increase in demand for technology and tech enabled solutions to ensuring the productivity of staff working remotely. Increased use of this technology and a rise in cyber-attacks have also created increased demand for cyber security solutions.
Ambitious renewable energy targets and greater focus on clean growth
Jamaica’s energy policy envisages that 30% of its energy will be from renewables by 2030, including by attracting US$7.3 billion of investment in the electricity sector by 2037. By 2025, the country should have output of 320 megawatts (MW) of solar and/or wind, 120 MW of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 74 MW of hydro, waste to energy and/or biomass, and is open for investment in the sector.
Abundant renewable energy sources
The diversity of renewable resources gives the country the potential and opportunity for the development of renewable energy. These resources include wind, biomass, mini-hydro, photovoltaic and solar energy. In addition, the potential for the conversion of waste to energy, ocean thermal technologies and bio-fuels is being explored. UK firms continue to explore the renewable energy market including through projects in solar and waste to energy, among others.