Economy October 9, 2023 | 10:10 am

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Jamaica looks to the Dominican Republic as a model of economic success

Santo Domingo.- Jamaica’s financial and business community has turned its gaze toward the Dominican Republic, viewing it as a prime example of achieving ambitious development goals. Jeffrey Hall, Vice President and Executive Director of the investment holding company PanJam Investment highlighted this perspective during his address at the 2023 Business Conference of the Institute of Public Accountants of Jamaica.

Hall underscored the significance of considering the Dominican Republic as a model for economic growth. While Jamaica has moved beyond its label of an “economy in crisis,” it now confronts a new challenge: the pursuit of sustainable growth. He drew attention to the Dominican Republic’s remarkable strides in its economy, particularly in recent years, where the nation has concentrated its efforts on services, tourism, and expanding its financial sector.

As the CEO of PanJam Investment, a major investment firm listed on the stock exchange, Hall pointed out that the Dominican Republic, despite facing similar challenges, has achieved impressive economic growth over recent decades. He noted, “The Dominican Republic is an example we can study and follow. They are a democracy, have no oil, and periodically face hurricanes but have made remarkable economic progress.”

Hall explained that 20 years ago, the Dominican Republic’s GDP per capita was 32% lower than that of Jamaica. Today, it has surpassed Jamaica, with a per capita GDP of $8,732 compared to Jamaica’s $5,400. This signifies that the Dominican Republic is 61% wealthier, consumes 32% more energy per capita, has over twice as many cars per capita, recently launched a new subway system in their city, and boasts a longer life expectancy.

Furthermore, the Dominican Republic has experienced substantial growth in its gross domestic product compared to Jamaica. Hall referenced 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 attain high-income status.

Hall emphasized that foreign direct investment (FDI) has been the key driving force behind the Dominican Republic’s growth, significantly surpassing 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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