The population of Jamaica in 2015 was estimated to be around 2.9 million people, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean. The majority of Jamaican citizens identify as Christian, with sizeable minorities of Rastafari and other religious people also present. The Jamaican economy is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, with the sector accounting for roughly one-third of the country’s GDP. Other exports include bauxite and sugar. Jamaica has strong trade ties with its Caribbean neighbours, particularly Cuba and Haiti, as well as other countries worldwide. In terms of politics, Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a multi-party system. In 2015 Portia Simpson-Miller was the Prime Minister after winning reelection in 2011. In foreign relations, Jamaica is a member of both the United Nations and Commonwealth and is actively involved in international affairs such as peacekeeping operations. Relations with its Caribbean neighbours have been mostly positive but tensions remain between Jamaica and some countries over maritime disputes. See ehealthfacts for Jamaica in the year of 2005.
Jamaica. In February, Parliament voted in favor of a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use. Holding will henceforth be considered a misdemeanor and not a crime. In addition, it was allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants, of which marijuana is made. Marijuana use for religious purposes, central to the rasta movement, was also legalized. Jamaica also plans to build a medical marijuana manufacturing industry and has taken steps to establish an authority to oversee legal cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
In August, an agreement was signed that gave Jamaica a US $ 130 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). According to COUNTRYAAH, Kingston is the capital of Jamaica which is located in North America. The loan will support the country’s economic reform program, which includes a strengthened and financially sustainable pension system.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for Jamaica country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
Following an evaluation of the ongoing restructuring program, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Jamaica had been granted special drawing rights equivalent to approximately US $ 930 million, which gives the country the right to obtain foreign currencies in its own currency to bridge liquidity shortages and strengthen its ability to pay.
During a visit to Jamaica, British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged development aid to the region of US $ 544 million. However, Cameron refused to meet claims for damages because of past slave trade.
History. – M. Manley’s government sought to reduce dependence on the United States and the preponderant role of North American capital in important sectors of the economy (such as the bauxite industry); new relations were established with the Caribbean countries (in particular with Cuba) and a policy of reforms and expansion of public spending was initiated, aimed at correcting the profound social imbalances. The December 1976 elections strengthened the People’s National Party (PNP), which won 48 of the 60 seats in the Chamber (according to the Constitution, the 21 seats in the Senate, appointed by the governor, are distributed in the proportion of 13 to 8 between the majority and the opposition elected to the Chamber), but in the following years Manley found himself in more and more difficulties due to the worsening of the economic and social situation.
The rise in oil prices, between 1973 and 1980, in fact aggravated the traditional deficit of the trade balance, increasing the indebtedness with foreign countries, while the contrasts with foreign investors and the local bourgeoisie accentuated the recessive tendencies, and the measures of austerities, required by international creditors, imposed additional social costs. The growth of political violence culminated in the serious incidents, with hundreds of deaths, which accompanied the election campaign of 1980; the October elections saw a clear victory for the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), which won 51 seats in the House.
The new government, chaired by JLP leader E. Seaga, radically changed foreign policy (break in diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1981, participation in the invasion of Grenada in 1983) and tried to use Washington’s support to revive investments foreigners and obtain a more favorable attitude of international creditors. In December 1983 Seaga called sudden early elections, leaving only four days for the choice of candidates and not updating, as expected, the electoral lists: the consequent boycott of the PNP led to the formation of an entirely Labor Chamber (a constitutional amendment in the Senate allowed the appointment of 8 independents instead of opposition representatives).
On the economic level, the Labor government conducted a policy of privatization, incentives for foreign investments, reductions in public spending and internal consumption, in an attempt to cope with the difficult situation of the external accounts.
Despite these measures, the international crisis of the 1980s caused a sharp increase in foreign debt (which more than doubled between 1980 and 1989), among the highest in America in terms of per capita ; the fall in world demand particularly affected the production of bauxite and alumina, which in 1988 accounted for about half the value of total exports, and traditional plantation crops, severely damaged also by a violent hurricane in September 1988, while a moderate growth it recorded the tourism sector, which became the main source of foreign currency (after the illegal drug industry). The social effects of depression (real GNP per capita decreased by more than 2% annually between 1980 and 1988) and Seaga’s austerity policy continued to fuel tensions and conflicts; the phenomena of widespread violence and crime, also connected with drug trafficking, were also accompanied by episodes of corruption within the government structure.
In February 1989, later than the normal expiry of the legislature, the elections were held: the victory of the PNP, which obtained 45 seats in the Chamber, brought Manley back to the head of the government, who modified his line of foreign policy in a moderate sense and established good relations with the United States (meetings with Bush in March 1989 and 1990) and with other partners in the meantime, trying to revive trade relations with Caribbean countries. Substantial continuity with the Labor administration was also maintained in economic policy; austerity measures were agreed with the International Monetary Fund, but the economic and social situation remained difficult. Forced to resign for health reasons (March 1992), Manley was replaced at the head of the PNP and the government by PJ Patterson, who continued his policy.