Economic and Social Development in Post-Independence Jamaica and Barbados Essay
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Jamaica and Barbados have socially and economically advanced since their independences. Each country has been able to economically sustain itself without the assistance of Britain, which used to govern the two as territories. But despite the two countries’ self-regulation and reliance, both of the nations are quite poor, and are considered third world countries. Jamaican and Barbadian History Both of the two nations were originally colonized by Great Britain (after being discovered by the Spanish) under the mercantilism policy, which encouraged European colonization of other areas.
This was because the policy showed that a nation’s prosperity could be determined by its adequacy in trade, and exports were far more valuable than imports under the policy. So European nations that could not produce particular products on their own would colonize other areas that could, so they could use the goods, and export them to other nations that did not have the means to acquire those particular goods on their own. So many of the Caribbean islands that Britain colonized were exploited because of their warm climates, which allowed them to grow certain crops, such as sugar.
This crop was one of the main reasons that Britain had colonized such territories as Jamaica and Barbados. Jamaica’s Independence and its Economic Enterprises Thereafter It was in 1962 that the United Kingdom’s parliament granted Jamaica its independence, after which the nation ceased to be regulated by its European founder. After its independence, the Jamaican government arose, and began sponsoring employment opportunities, though many jobs arose in the private sector.
Sugar and bananas were the original crops grown in Jamaica, and exported to locations worldwide, and the cultivation of these crops serves as a major source of employment on the island. The nation’s tropical climate makes it a suitable location for the growing of these crops, which cannot be grown in the United States or Europe, so some of the sugar and bananas in those areas come from Jamaica. Jamaican Exports and Recent Economic Problems Jamaica also has a natural supply of bauxite, which is a source of aluminum ore, and is therefore a valuable product, which employs many people as miners.
But recently, the economic status of the island has been declining. Periods of unfavorable weather have led to a sharp decrease in the production of sugar cane and bananas over the last decade, and inflation has been plaguing the island. The recent lack of favorable agricultural activity has been so extreme that the nation has been forced to import products that, if conditions were better, Jamaica could produce itself. But lately, coffee has been another profitable crop that can be grown around the island’s blue mountains area, when sugar and bananas cannot, and it serves as a primary export, and source of national income.
Other Industries in Jamaica Jamaica also has an industry concerned with the rearing of domestic animals, and a dairy industry. But that has also been declining, and the nation has actually been importing milk, butter, and cheese from elsewhere. Other smaller cash crops of the island include citrus fruits, such as oranges, and cocoa, but the industries concerned with those crops are considerably smaller than that of the sugar sector. Mining employs a small number of citizens, as does fishing, and foresting, as loggers are able to export lumber to countries that do not have access to the same tropical woods.
Also in Jamaica is the manufacturing industry, which usually accounts for just under 20% of the nation’s GDP annually. Tourism has also proved to be a profitable market for the nation, and it serves as a social and economic boost for the nation, but since the turn of the century, tourism has been slower in Jamaica. Barbados’ Independence and Its Trade History Barbados achieved its independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, after which the nation began governing and regulating itself.
Since that time, sugar cane has proved to be the greatest contribution to the nation’s employment, and it serves as Barbados’ most significant export. In 1961, five years before the country’s independence from great Britain, Barbados opened the Deep Water Harbour port, located in Bridgetown, which serves as the nation’s main port, and allows large container ships and freighters to export sugar and manufactured products Barbados’ Manufacturing Sector Although sugar was for some time the main source of income for the nation, recently, manufacturing and tourism has been increasing in Barbados.
The manufacturing sector began in the 1980s, and continued to be a profitable investment in the country into the 1990s, as certain companies exploited the nation’s cheap labor to save money on manufacturing in the United States and Europe. The United States has proved to be the main trade partner of Barbados, which also relies on certain imports from the United States. “The United States remained Barbados’ leading trade partner in 1987 with transactions valued at $189 million ($128 million in U. S. exports and $61 million in U. S. imports),” an article for Business America, entitled Barbados: economy relies on U. S. for products, investment – Business Outlook Abroad reported of the trade status in 1988.
“Moreover, Barbados continued to welcome American investment in virtually all sectors of the economy. In addition to direct investors, in recent years Barbados has attracted a sizable number of American captive insurers, international business companies, and foreign sales corporations largely through a bilateral double taxation agreement. This means that at an earlier time, the economy of the nation was stabilized by foreign investments, and exports that served to preserve trade relations between the United States and Barbados. Trade Alliances and Foreign Investments And with Barbados’ good terms with the United States came the tourism industry. American, Canadian, and European tourists provide the nation with a stable tourism industry that serves as a main source of income on the nation.
Foreign interests in the nation that led to the tourism industry was somewhat of an atypical event for a Caribbean country, as most nations in the area have not been able to capitalize on the industry, or attract foreign investors in its markets as Barbados did. Major tourism projects, such as resorts and cruise adventures continue to benefit the nation’s tourism industry, and satisfied tourists keep the industry alive. Federal and Private Programs in Barbados Recently, government-regulated ventures in the nation have been turning into privatized corporations.
The government of the nation is not satisfied with the high unemployment rate, so it is trying to encourage small businesses to form, and stabilize themselves, because this should lead to the creation of jobs. But lately, nationally sponsored programs such as offshore banking enterprises, and foreign exchange moderation by Barbados have proved to be effective ways of earning the nation capital. Most manufacturing and sugar cane production, however, is done in the private sector, and is not federally regulated.
This allows small businesses and farmers to have steady employment, and the steady production of crops allows the nation to not only export the crops, but use them itself, which decreases Barbados’ reliance on imports from other nations. Both Jamaica and Barbados have been able to maintain themselves to some degree, economically and socially since their independences from Britain. The development of Jamaica, however, was much more typical for a West Indian nation than was the development of Barbados, because Jamaica was not able to draw foreign investors and establish particularly coordinated trade patterns like Barbados was.
In this aspect, Barbados was much more successful than were most West Indian nations, as it was able to maintain exports even when economic times were difficult. The Jamaican economy has been experiencing more problems than that of Barbados, and inflation in Jamaica is causing serious problems. Barbados, however, unlike most Caribbean nations, has been able to rebound, and it has a very high rate of tourism, which provides the nation with a steady rate of foreign income.