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Transforming Jamaica's Economic Competitiveness

Transforming Jamaica's Economic Competitiveness

Dr. William Lawrence & Mr. Kamau Chionesu
Faculty of Social Sciences
Mona School of Business and Management
Doing Business at Home and Abroad

Jamaica needs to achieve substantial economic growth for realizing its Vision 2030 to become the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business. This requires stronger global competitiveness in respect of growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Global Competitiveness Report 2018-2019, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranks Jamaica at position number 79 out of the 140 participant countries.The Report identifies market size as a major constraint and recommends more exports as thesolution. This study therefore looked at the extent to which the growth of three traditional export-producing sectors (Agriculture, Mining, and Manufacturing) impacted real GDP growth over the period 1982 to 2017 in Jamaica.

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The results from stepwise regression show that manufacturing and mining together accounted for 63% of total GDP growth. However, both sectors have declined since 1982. Agriculture did not have a significant impact on GDP growthover the period.

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These findings imply that a review of government policies and private business strategies is needed to turnaround the absolute contributions of traditional sectors to total GDP while the countryexplores new opportunities. This research provides a method for stress-testing and measuring the impact of each economic sector on GDP growth and by extension Jamaica’s global competitiveness.

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