Economy, Banking and Foreign Trade
Chief sources, Bank of Jamaica, major imports, unit of currency, bauxite
The unit of currency is the dollar, consisting of 100 cents (42.70 dollars equal U.S.$1; 2000 average). The Bank of Jamaica, established in 1960, is the central bank and bank of issue. Several commercial banks are also in operation.
Among the chief exports are alumina, bauxite, sugar, rum, clothing, and coffee, and all exports were valued at $1.3 billion in 2000. Leading purchasers are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, and France. Food and animal products, chemicals, textiles, machinery, and petroleum are major imports; the value of all imports amounted to $3.2 billion. Chief sources are the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Venezuela, Mexico, and France.
Tourism is vital to the economy and provides a large portion of foreign-exchange earnings. In 2000, 1.3 million people visited the island, contributing $1,333 million to the economy.
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