Jamaica Seeks to Emulate the Economic Success of the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Jamaica’s financial and business community is looking towards the Dominican Republic as a prime example of achieving ambitious development goals. Jeffrey Hall, Vice Chairman and CEO of PanJam Investment, highlighted this perspective during his speech at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica’s 2023 Business Conference.

Hall emphasized the importance of considering the Dominican Republic as a model for economic growth. While Jamaica has overcome its “crisis economy” label, it now faces a new challenge: pursuing sustainable growth. Hall drew attention to the Dominican Republic’s significant economic progress, particularly in recent years with a focus on services, tourism, and expanding the financial sector.

As CEO of PanJam Investment, a major publicly traded investment firm, Hall noted that despite facing similar challenges, the Dominican Republic has achieved impressive economic growth in recent decades. He highlighted that “the Dominican Republic is an example that we can study and follow. They are a democracy, they have no oil, and periodically face hurricanes, but they have made notable economic progress.”

Hall explained that 20 years ago, the Dominican Republic’s GDP per capita was 32% lower than Jamaica’s. Today, it has surpassed Jamaica with a GDP per capita of $8,732 compared to Jamaica’s $5,400. This means that the Dominican Republic is 61% richer, consumes 32% more energy per capita, has more than double the number of cars per capita, recently launched a new metro system in its city, and has a longer life expectancy.

Furthermore, the Dominican Republic has experienced substantial GDP growth compared to Jamaica. Hall referred to studies from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, suggesting that the Dominican Republic could become an advanced economy in the next four decades and eventually achieve high-income status.

Hall emphasized that foreign direct investment (FDI) has been the key driver of the Dominican Republic’s growth, far exceeding the FDI received by Jamaica. He argued that Jamaica should focus on sectors with comparative advantages such as tourism, logistics, and financial services to attract foreign investment and stimulate its economy.

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