Jamaica Fiwi Roots

Jamaica Trade, Commerce and Industry

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494 and settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century and seized by England in 1655 who established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica withdrew from the Federation in 1961 and gained full independence in 1962.

Main Exports

The main commodities exported from Jamaica are Bauxite (& Alumina), a clayey rock that is the chief commercial ore of aluminum consisting largely of hydrated alumina ($592M), Mineral fuels including refined oil ($233.9M), Beverages, spirits, vinegar ($112.8M), Vegetables ($36.6M ), Coffee, tea, spices ($33.6M), Sugar, sugar confectionery ($18.6M)... [ 2017 estimates ]

Main Industries

The tourism industry is the top foreign exchange earner and contributes about 30% of GDP. The country also relies on its natural resources, primarily bauxite,. The discovery of bauxite in the 1940s and the subsequent establishment of the bauxite-alumina industry shifted Jamaica's economy from sugar and bananas.

Main Trading Partners


Jamaica exports to United States worth US$498, (41.47%). Canada worth US$145, (12.09%). Netherlands worth US$124, (10.35%). Russian Federation worth US$71, (5.87%). United Kingdom worth US$50, (4.15%) ... [ 2016 estimates ]


United States worth US$1,881M (39.46%). Trinidad and Tobago worth US$347M, (7.27%). China worth US$311M, (6.53%). Japan worth US$300M, (6.30%). Mexico worth US$197M, (4.12%). ... [ 2016 estimates ]