It is a great privilege for me to highlight the strong economic ties between Jamaica and the United States.
Our countries share a mutually beneficial commercial relationship. According to trade statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the two-way trade of goods between Jamaica and the United States was valued at US$2.5 billion dollars in 2011. The United States had a US$1.3 billion surplus in the trade of goods with Jamaica in 2011. During the same period, the Embassy estimates that Jamaica generated a US$1 billion surplus in tourism revenue that originated from the United States. According to Jamaica Tourist Board statistics, 1.2 million United States citizens annually pay stopover visits to Jamaica. Furthermore, about one million travelers annually embark in the United States on cruises which stop in Jamaica.
Beyond commerce, the people of our countries work closely together towards the economic development of Jamaica. Bank of Jamaica statistics show that Jamaica received US$1.2 billion in remittances from sources in the United States during 2011. The United States Agency for International Development provided US$30 million of foreign development assistance to Jamaica during FY2011. The United States Peace Corps on average fields 60-70 volunteers in communities across Jamaica on projects that improve living standards throughout the country.
The United States Embassy in Kingston is fully committed to supporting vibrant business ties between Jamaica and the United States. The Embassy’s Political/Economic section has an active outreach program that provides Jamaican business people with information about trade programs sponsored by the United States Government. Each year the Embassy produces a Country Commercial Guide which provides business people an overview of the Jamaican market. Under the auspices of a partnership program with the United States Department of Commerce, the Embassy actively facilitates business matchmaking between firms in Jamaica and the United States. Over the years the Embassy has worked with the Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC), the lead investment agency within the United States Government, to facilitate over a total of US$750 million in U.S. investment into Jamaica.
By joining together we can further expand upon the strong economic relationship between Jamaica and the United States. The vast cultural, financial, geographic and logistical connections that bind our nations also ease the ability to conduct business. Together we share a variety of complementary advantages that make it lucrative to engage in trade, investment and joint partnerships between our countries. There are countless opportunities for business people from Jamaica and the United States to come together, create employment, and generate profits – let’s tap these opportunities, together!