The economy of Jamaica is heavily reliant on services, accounting for 70% of the country's GDP. Jamaica has natural resources and a climate conducive to agriculture and tourism. The discovery of bauxite in the 1940s and the subsequent establishment of the bauxite-alumina industry shifted Jamaica's economy from sugar, and bananas.
Weakness in the financial sector, speculation, and lower levels of investment erode confidence in the productive sector. The government continues its efforts to raise new sovereign debt in local and international financial markets in order to meet its U.S. dollar debt obligations, to mop up liquidity to maintain the exchange rate and to help fund the current budget deficit.
The Jamaican government's economic policies encourage foreign investment in areas that earn or save foreign exchange, generate employment, and use local raw materials. The government also provides a wide range of incentives to investors.
Free trade zones have stimulated investment in g