Exports of Jamaica increased 17.6 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, according to an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report which said that sales from Latin America and the Caribbean to overseas markets were the highest in six years.
The stronger expansion for Jamaica was due to increased exports of raw materials (excluding fuel) and machinery and transportation equipment, the Bank said.
Jamaica's exports to the United States, its main partner, grew 11 per cent. China was responsible for an additional 20 per cent as exports to that destination tripled. The European Union and the regional market (in particular Venezuela and Barbados) contributed, each with 10 per cent. Meanwhile, sales to the Caribbean, Canada, and Japan declined.
In 2017, Caribbean exports grew an estimated 5.3 per cent. The increase was observed in all the countries of the subregion, except Trinidad and Tobago, where foreign sales contracted 7.0 per cent, and Barbados and Haiti, where they remained constant. Suriname, The Bahamas, and Guyana registered notable expansions of 45.4 per cent, 39.2 per cent and 25.6 per cent, respectively, while Belize and Jamaica exhibited more moderate rates of 10.9 per cent and 9.0 per cent, respectively.