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The Jamaican Economy Encountered Challenges Economics Essay


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The Jamaican economy encountered challenges such as low growth especially in 2009 and 2010, increased inflation, interest rates, and unemployment. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is more than 120% and Jamaica's debt is ranked as the fourth highest in the world on a per capita basis. This is as a result of government having to bailout ailing sectors of the economy, in particular, the financial sector in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Growth in the Jamaican economy will be 1.0% in 2012 and is projected to be the same for 2013. Following the expiration of the $1.27 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by agreement in May 2012, some decline in GDP is likely. The Bank of Jamaica sought to reduce interest rates in order to stimulate investment by the private sector on the heels of the IMF agreement and the successful implementation of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX).

GDP Growth

The contraction of the Jamaican economy was estimated at 1.3% in 2010, an improvement from the decline of 3.0% the previous year. This was due to a decline in Mining and Quarrying, Manufacturing and Construction. The largest overall decline occurred in Indirect Financial Intermediation Services (9.5%), followed by Electricity, Gas and Water (4.3%) and Finance and Insurance (2.5%) and this reflected low domestic demand and low economic activity. However, for the fiscal year 2011/2012 the economy expanded by 1.5%, and this was as a result of an increase in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Electricity and Water Supply and Transport, and Hotels and Restaurants.

Furthermore, within the goods sector, agriculture, forestry and fishing was the only sector that experienced positive growth (2.2%), although it was far lower than the 12.1% recorded in 2009. Mining and Quarry declined by 4% in 2010. The contribution of Agriculture to GDP was just over 6%. Also, Manufacturing and Construction were down by 3.2% and 4.2 % respectively, but both sectors showed smaller declines than in 2009 and this may reflect an easing of the recessive conditions in the economy. Additionally, GDP is forecasted to grow to 1.0% in 2012/2013 as a result of Agriculture and Tourism as these are expected to grow somewhat in 2013

Debt to GDP

Jamaica has been burdened by heavy debt servicing costs due to both the size of its debt and very high interest rates. The economy has long suffered from low growth and high debt.

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) estimates the real GDP growth to be -3.1%, -1.4%, 1.5%, and 1% respectively for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The table below illustrates the general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP.

However, the public deficit which is otherwise referred to as the general government net lending/borrowing as a percentage of GDP indicates a percentage of -11% in 2009, -6.4% in 2010, -6.5% in 2011 and -8.3% in 2012.

Interest Rates

In the recent years statistics have shown a significant reduction in Jamaica's interest rates. This is due to the fact that the Government of Jamaica seeks to encourage and increase the economic and social development of the country. As a result, the Banks continues to provide affordable funding to feasible projects that facilitate growth and development in all areas of the economy.

According to the bank of Jamaica the open market interest rate at 2009 was 10.50%. This was down from 17% the previous year. In 2010 the rate was reduced even further to 7.50%. According to the same report, at the December 2011 the rate was 6.25%. This reducing rate over these recent years is due to the economic recession and by reducing the interest rate is a great way to provide money at cheap rate so that it will promote investment. Based on the fact that up to the last first quarter of this year the rate remains at 6.25, it is expected to remain low for the rest of this as to continue facilitate the economy to grow out of the recession.


The year-on-year inflation rate during October 2011 was 7.7%, however, the year-to-date inflation rate reflected only 5.1% which resulted in the sharpest price causing an increase occurring in housing and related expenses (11.6%) and clothing and footwear (7.1%). The expected year-end inflation rate for 2011 is 8%.

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) publication in the gleaner dated Friday, June 15, 2012 exposed that inflation for the June quarter is projected to be in the range of 3-5%, double the 1.5% to 2.5% initially forecasted by BOJ, and is directly attributable to the new and adjusted taxes falling under the new General Consumption Tax (GCT) regime announced during the Budget Debate.

It further stated that inflation is expected to slow down within subsequent quarters, reflecting a sharp return to normal levels as the inflationary impulses from the tax measures subside. Nonetheless, projections have been revised upward within a range of 10% to 12% for the fiscal year, compared with the bank's earlier projection of 6 to 8 percent.

Inflation for the last fiscal year was projected to be 7.3%, within the range forecast by the central bank. The last time Jamaica experienced double-digit inflation was in 2010 when it came in at 11.7%. BOJ further illustrates the forecast for the current year inflation is expected to lapse to the six to eight percent range for the fiscal year 2013-14.

Unemployment Rates

In an annual report by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, it illustrated that in the year 2009 the unemployment rate stood at 11.4%, this figure further increased in the year 2010 as it rose substantially to 12%, demonstrating a 0.6% shift in the amount of Jamaicans joining the unemployment line. Then in 2011 the figures had grown immensely to 12.8% displaying a fairly worrying trend as it climbed by 0.8%, in the eyes of many these figures would be considered as a very grim sign of what was to come. Now in the present year 2012 a quarterly report in April revealed a 14.3% climb in the unemployment rate, it is evident that the negative trend continues on its path. Whilst the year has not ended, the projection for the unemployment rate is currently 13.9% by January 2013. This stands to reason that due to the continuous contractions within the economy and an increased reduction in the country's GDP the unemployment figures continue to soar, if measures are not taken to effectively curb the issue.

Monetary Policy

Given the global financial climate the BOJ had publicized measures which it had planned to implement during the fiscal year 2011/2012. The measures were seen as an attempt to offset any future hindrances the country might face as a result of the world wide recession. These measures included:

A strict maintenance of the interest rate payable on its 30-day Certificate of Deposit at 6.25% throughout the March quarter.

Having the interest rates on overnight placements at a constant rate of .25%

Maintaining their cash reserves at a rate of 12%

Keeping their liquid reserve requirement at 26%

Within the fiscal year 2012 however some of these requirements were susceptible to change as the attention of the globe shifted to the European Union and its debt crisis.

Industry Analysis

Agricultural Sector Review

The Agricultural sector is an important part of the GDP which provides employment, foreign exchange earnings and a better standard of living for the people in Jamaica. However it has been reported that a number of challenges has resulted in a reduction of output and direct contribution to GDP over recent years up to 2008.

There has been a steady decline in the contribution of agriculture to GDP in Jamaica, from 9.2% in 1996 to 4.8% in 2008. Factors such as poor quality planting material and soil conditions, poor harvesting strategies and increasing occurrence of hurricanes and other disasters have contributed to the week agricultural performance. This allows for Jamaica to be greatly dependent on imported food. The sector also encounters other problems such as misuse of technologies, radial larceny, high cost of starting up and necessary research. This sector is very fragile to weather and other disastrous conditions.

However there has been a recovery of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the national economy from 2009. This is due to the new management, techniques and advance technology. During 2009 the agricultural sector recorded a 13% growth and also showed decline of 75% in fresh food imports. The Jamaican Agriculture sector value added contributed 6.18% to the GDP in 2009 according to the World Bank published in 2012. The sector still employs 18% of the Jamaican population.  In spite of the sector fairly small contribution to Jamaica´s GDP, the sector is accountable for an 18% (over 220, 000 of the 1,239,000 people employed) of the countries employed labour force (STATIN, 2011) and indirectly provides a source of livelihood for thousands of others. The agricultural sector value added contribution to GDP further rise by .11% to 6.29% in 2010. However there was a slight fall by .42% to 5.87% in 2011. It is strongly believed that this is because of the change in climate that affected Jamaica during this period.

Tourism Sector Review

Nature of Industry

Unlike other industries in Jamaica, tourism has long been a mainstay of the Jamaican economy. However, prior to 1890, the industry was not organized. Available infrastructure was inadequate and much needed services were unavailable. The industry at that time largely comprised a number of lodging houses and inns which numbered in excess of 1400 in 1830. However, with the passing of the Hotels Act of 1890, Hotels were opened in Kingston, Spanish Town, Moneague, Mandeville and Port Antonio.

Today, tourism is one of Jamaica's leading industries. More than three million visitors are welcomed to our shores each year. Some of the elements of the tourism product include: accommodation, transportation, attractions and tours, dining and entertainment inclusive of festivals and events, and the support services. As tourism flourishes, linkages with other industries continue to grow and this integration provides a stable basis for the industry and tangible benefits for the people of Jamaica.

Regulation of Industry

The tourism industry is regulated under the following acts:

Tourism Enhancement Act,

Jamaica Tourist Board Act

Hotel Incentives Act

Resort Cottages (Incentives) Act

Jamaica Tourist Board Law and Regulation

Hotel keeper's Liability Act

Tourist Shopping Regulation

Travel Agency Law and Regulation

River Rafting Regulation

Natural Resources Conservation (Permits and Licenses)

Role Labour plays in the Industry

The tourism board next contract according to National Development Plan is the policy making in the Industry as it continues to be guided by Vision 2030 Jamaica - National Development Plan and the Tourism Master Plan. Both plans attempts/seeks to stimulate interest in tourism and engender support for the industry. Vision 2030 Jamaica is our country's first long-term national development plan with an aim of enabling the Jamaican society to achieve a developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business".

Technological Developments

The importance of technological developments in the tourism industry is as such:

To trail industry performance and gather market intelligence so that new and emerging consumer trends are determined and strategies are modified accordingly.

To sustain a comprehensive tourism database to aid decision-making and policy formulation at both government and private sector levels.

To enhance/improve the organization's capabilities to exploit the Internet and related technologies as marketing channel.

Economic Impacts

The journal article entitled "The Economic Impacts of Tourism" written by David Harcombe, states that unlike some of its environmental and socio-cultural effects, tourisms economic impacts are mainly considered to be beneficial. These are:

The generation of foreign exchange,

The creation of new job and employment opportunities,

The stimulation of trade, income and entrepreneurship, especially in the service and small business sectors,

The provision of new infrastructure which is available for non-tourism use

Increased regional development , particularly in isolated areas

Greater tax revenues permitting greater government spending or reduced taxes on other activities, and

The operation of what is called the multiplier effect.

Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, Jamaica indicates the objective of the master plan is to return the industry to the rapid rates of growth achieved during the 1980's so that it outperforms the Caribbean average. The critical indicator for the economic contribution is visitor expenditure.

To spread the benefits from the tourism more widely, the following measures are envisaged:

Increasing the amount of agricultural produce supplied to the industry through alerting farmers and intermediaries of industry needs and assisting them to meet supply requirements;

Assisting the development of arts and crafts, improving merchandising and business management skills of vendor and helping them access finance;

Assisting the large number of self-employed and small business in the formal and informal sector who supply goods and services to the industry improve the livelihoods they earn from the industry by working with business support agencies targeting micro and small business;

Launching a programme to ensure that all existing and new attractions, scenic routes and circuits and themed trails provide opportunities for local people to sell goods and services to visitors.

Designing a logo that would identify all infrastructure and social services provided as a result of the funds and economic rationale provided by tourism.

Financial Considerations

The industry has grown significantly since then and today Brand Jamaica is known, recognized and loved all over the world. Below is a table illustrating the financials over a number of years according to the tourism board of Jamaica website.


Total Stopover


Total Cruise Arrivals

Total Visitor Arrivals


Visitor Expenditure




































SWOT Analysis of the Jamaica Tourism Sector


Diversity of natural attractions, topography, flora, fauna, and accommodation which provides the basis for expansion of sub sector.

Climate and Warmth/hospitality of people.

Jamaica is an English-speaking country.

Easily trained staff.

Cultural/historical heritage i.e. exotic cuisine, music, art, etc.

Regulatory framework for attractions including health, fire, safety and security.


Insufficient scheduled air service from some markets.

Lack of man-made attractions/ development of natural attractions.

Lack of enough large facilities to adequately host large meetings and conventions.

Need for improved attention to environmental protection and involvement of local communities in tourism development.


Possible for development of existing markets.

Growing world market for heritage tourism.

New infrastructure development/privatization.


High Crime Rate and visitor harassment.

Growth of competition.

Pollution of Environment.

Unsuitable development of attraction sites.

Damage to natural and cultural heritage resources by mining, agriculture and housing development.

Manufacturing Sector Review

The overall essence of manufacturing is the conversion of raw or unprocessed material into finished products used for or to assist in consumption. Mass conversion of raw materials, is seen as an important contributor towards growth in an economy. Many recognize the manufacturing industry as the productive/industrious powerhouse of an economy. As it relates to Jamaica, it is one of the core components which attributes to its economic standing. Its existence to Jamaica is vital as most economists would agree that the strength of an economy is its ability to produce.

The manufacturing sector of Jamaica in recent times has been hard hit as a result of various factors, ranging from increasing cost in production to high interest rates. These negative factors have hard pressed the industry to a great extent making it difficult for the industry as a whole to be able to compete on a global scale.

Although these factors may negatively impact the industry we have seen some improvement in the industries. Jamaican companies, though few, have made significant impacts on the global market. This goes to illustrate how resilient the sector can be; granted proper facilities and funding are provided.

Statistical Analysis

The manufacturing sector grew by 1.4% during 2011 and contributed 8.6% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Total GDP increased to $739.2 million up from $646.7 million in 2010. This was as a result of increased earnings from traditional and non-traditional manufactured exports due to increased external demand. The increase in demand was as a result of growth in the Mining and Agriculture sector which positively impacted the demand for manufactured goods. In regard to the supply side, its increase was as a result of favourable weather conditions which resulted in increased production mainly in the food, beverage and tobacco sub-sector.

Also, the performance of the manufacturing industry conveyed in the Producer Price Index (PPI) showed an increase of 8.9% compared to a 6.1% in 2010. The positive movement in the PPI resulted from higher cost of fuel on local manufacturing operations with the highest movements in the following:

Refined petroleum products which increased by 32.0%

Wood, wood products and furniture increased by 7.5%

Food, beverage and tobacco which increased by 7.1%

Paper and paper products which increased by 10.7%

Regulatory Bodies

According to the Industry Division of the government of Jamaica, the manufacturing sector is made up of a broad spectrum of companies, which are categorized in to various segments. The segments include agro-processing, construction, and food processing, these listed are only a minor portion of the industry's overall make up. The body in charge of regulating such a wide spread portfolio is the Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce. The Industry divisions primary aim is boosting small business development and to facilitate further development of the manufacturing sector.

There are many other regulatory agencies that exist to ensure that the industry operates in an effective and efficient manner. One other such agency is the Bureau of Standards Jamaica. Established by the Standards Act of 1969, the Bureau was formulated to promote and encourage standardization in relation to, commodities, processes, and practices. However over the years its role has expanded to include the provision of services in relation to conformity assessment and metrology. The Bureau is responsible for facilitating the timely development, promulgation, promotion and implementation of national and regional standards for goods, services, processes and practices. (Bureau of Standards Jamaica, 2008)

The Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) was established in 1947 as a limited liability company to promote the development of the manufacturing sector and increase its contribution to the socio-economic welfare of the country by creating jobs and improving the standard of living of all. The core function of the JMA is to promote the development of the manufacturing industry in Jamaica. They achieve this by, encouraging and assisting members in the use of the efficient and modern production methods and the maintenance of excellent product quality and proper standards of safety. They also assist in making representation to government about legislation and regulations that affect the manufacturing sector. Their key role is acting as a liaison between the membership and government ministries and agencies.

Competitive Structure of the Manufacturing Industry:

In a global economy it has become extremely difficult for manufacturing firms across the global spectrum. This is no different for Jamaican manufacturing firms as they face similar conditions. With high interest rates and rising production, it makes difficult for a firm to maintain a competitive stance. According to Porters theory there are five key factors which drive competitiveness in an industry.

Threat of new Entrants: Globalization has contributed to an increase in the number of foreign entities being able to gain access to the domestic markets, resulting in a high level of competition being experienced by the existing local firms.

Threats of substitute products or services: There is an increasing demand for some cheaper alternative goods and services, as a result the companies who are able to provide such commodities at a reduce cost have an edge as it relates to their competitors. Being in a global market many firms have the advantage of cheapened labour and reduced production cost, thus this makes them more efficient and effective in their delivery of particular goods and services. The local industry has been plagued by the fast growing rate of substitute goods gaining entry within the local sphere.

Bargaining Power Buyers: Consumers are essential in building a thriving industry, their continued consumption or use of the product or service contributes towards growth in an industry. In terms of the local manufacturing industry, the growth at times has been very minimal as consumers have now found solace in the fact that they no longer, have to be dependent on locally produced goods, they now are granted with options and are not shy about them. High manufacturing cost have made it difficult for cheap domestic goods to be provided to the buyers, which makes them shy away from localized produce, to more cost efficient products.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers: Suppliers provide the necessary material that aid in the period. Provision of such material has attached to it a cost, many of which make it difficult for some in the industry to conduct business as they may be unable to service these charge. The fact of the matter is that if supplies are shortened then factories or companies will not be able to meet the demands of their customers, thus the relationship between company and supplier is very important. From understanding the importance of the relationship it is now understood that the supplier has some level of control in the way the industry operates.

Rivalry amongst existing competitors: The manufacturing industry is relatively large, whilst at the same time it's segmented. Whilst one category may be highly competitive another might be dominated by a single player e.g. the cement industry is dominated by Caribbean Cement Company Limited, unlike the food or beverages sector which is dominated by many large and powerful companies such as Grace Limited, Lascelles Limited, Wray and Nephew Limited and so on. It would be a fair assumption to state that there is a low-medium level of competition in the local manufacturing industry as it regard to the cement sector.

Economic Forces and its Impact on the Manufacturing Industry:

The manufacturing industry has greatly been affected by global melt down which occurred a few years ago. Spikes in the price of raw materials made conducting business difficult, as maintaining a profitable company while dealing with increased production cost proved a hard task to manage. Continuous civil on rest in the Arab nations greatly increased the cost of oil, pegging many local manufacturing firms into financial difficulty, as not only did they have to deal with increases in the supply of raw materials but also, there were significant increases in the cost of energy, which lead to numerous firms being closed down.

Increasing interest rates have been an issue for many in the industry, as the cost of capital was too great. Many firms within the industry needed to make much needed upgrades to their plant facilities, which could only be funded via the use of loans and so forth. The result; many firms had to differ any planned upgrades to their facilities or scrapped certain projects all together.

In a competitive global economy, the industry faces many difficulties stemming from agreements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and also agreements made with CARICOM as it relates to trade in the region These agreements have opened up a window of opportunity for new entrants to make way into the domestic market, which subsequently lead to a reduction in the market share held by most firms.

Industry Comparison

Doing an overview of all three industries it is shown that they all have strengths and weaknesses with various economic factors. Advanced in Technology, social influences and a competitive market is found in the Agricultural, Tourism and Manufacturing industry, and these factors affect the industries in a variety of ways which can cause a positive outcome or vice versa.

In Jamaica's Manufacturing Sector advance technology is used to produce raw material and other goods in great amount and on a timely basis, and also ensure that the quality of the goods produce is of high standard. Technology has not only been implemented in the manufacturing industry but also in the agricultural and tourism sector to increase time efficiency, product quality and improve services to consumers. The competitive market of the tourism and manufacturing sector is very high; this is as a result of new entrant in the markets and threat of product or service substitution from competitors, this is however good for consumers as the constant competition will decrease the prices of products, which will result in a higher demand of goods from consumers. Nevertheless throughout all this all three industries are affected by the social influences of the economy that is crime, increased cost of energy, less access to affordable credit and the economic recession.

In order to highlight the top industry in Jamaica, a few questions were answered to take under the consideration of variables. They are as follows:

What are the industry's dominant economic traits?

What are the forces of change in the industry and what impact will they have?

Who is likely to make competitive moves next?

How attractive is the industry in terms of its prospects for above average profitability?

What are the industry's dominant economic traits?

The dominant economic trait of the tourism industry is that it has larger market potential when compared with the other industries as three million visitors' visit the island per year, there is a variety of product and services offered though entertainment, art, recreational and educational purposes. The agricultural industry employ over 18% of the countries labour force and provide a source of livelihood for thousands more who depend on it indirectly. While the manufacturing industry employs over 60,000 employees, they produce a wide mixture of products and as such this sector is diverse and has the opportunity to expand its companies in various sectors such as transport, chemical, construction, beverages and so on.

What are the forces of change in the industry and what impact will they have?

Throughout the economic outlook for Jamaica it was shown that for the projected year of 2013 - 2016 interest rates will increase and so will inflation, as such for companies within each industry to gain a profit or a break-even throughout these years companies will need to find creative ways to generate constant growth through demand. A force that can constantly generate change in an industry is technology; therefore companies must ensure that they are up to date on the latest technological change in order to be on top off their sector. All three industries have adopted the technological change however because technological change occurs often some of these industries such as the agricultural and manufacturing industry have a wide technological gap, and should this gap be closed or rather minimise theses industries would become more profitable in the foreseeable future.

Who is likely to make competitive moves next?

The industries that are in a current position to make a competitive move, though investment from potential investors are the tourism industry and the manufacturing industry through the adaptation of technological change.

How attractive is the industry in terms of its prospects for above average profitability?

The tourism industry is very attractive in terms of its prospects for above average profitability, through the investment of technological change, potential investors and market advertising the tourism industry can achieve above average profitability. This is also possible for the manufacturing industry as well, with technology, investors, efficient labour and government aid. The agricultural industry can be profitable if the citizen of the country supports the "Eat what we grow" campaign by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the import of products from abroad is reduce significantly and export increase.

Throughout this comparison it was shown that of all the three industries introduced to us, that is the tourism industry, agricultural industry and the manufacturing industry two of the three industries showed more potential of begin profitable in the projected time of 2013-2016, and these were the tourism industry and the manufacturing industry. Of these two industries we choose to look at the manufacturing industry which produces a wide mixture of goods. Throughout the research it was shown that the manufacturing industry of Jamaica decline in 1972-1980 along with the economic conditions of that time, this was not for long however as the sector recovered significantly and contributed 20% to GDP in 1982. However, since then the Jamaican manufacturing sector has decline, and many analyst have lost faith in the sector, with Vision 2030 the government hopes to restore that faith and help the economy to grow.

A SWOT analyse was done of the manufacturing industry to determine the internal environment that is the strength and weakness of the sector and also the external environment that is the opportunities and threats.


Access to high Jamaican raw material such as cement, limestone and agricultural products.

The sector maintains a strong supply relationship internationally.

World-class enterprises in several manufacturing sub sectors and industries (including food processing and beverage industries, paint, plastic containers).

The sector is capable to make high quality product

The sector has access to many facilities and as such can focus on different business niches.

There is access to a large labour force


The sector does not use environmentally friendly technology or chemical and if they do it is limited.

The quality of the product and the supply of raw material is inconsistent

Funding for expansion of facilities is low or not available

Lack of venture capital and incentives

Technological process and systems or outdated

Employees lack motivation

Insufficient product development


The sector can expand on the potential for local raw material.

The sector can exploit the demand for more environmentally friendly products.

Raise productivity though competition techniques

Increase joint efforts with other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and telecommunication and so on.


The manufacturing sector is affected by the increasing crime rate of the country.

The country economic stability can affect the industry.

International trade practices by international competitors such as dumping, subsidies and tariff barriers on the local market.

Brunt of international laws as potential barriers to trade

Increased demand for raw materials in other developing countries (e.g. China) leading to upward pressure on prices and supply shortages.

Company Analysis: Qualitative Analysis

Overview of the Company

Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL) is the sole manufacturer of cement in Jamaica. CCCL was conceptualized in 1921, and incorporated in 1947 under the Factories Act. In 1999, the TCL Group, owners of two other cement productions facilitates in the English speaking Caribbean located in Trinidad (Trinidad Cement limited) and Barbados (Arawak Cement Company limited), acquired and became the majority shareholder of CCCL. The TCL group currently operates manufacturing plants and other facilitates in other parts of the Caribbean. Caribbean Cement Company Limited was officially open January 28, 1952 and production started February 8, 1952.

The company's primary activity is the manufacture and sale of ordinary Portland cement and Portland Pozzolan cement. Carib Cement subscribes to the requirements if ISO 9001:2008 standard for quality management systems, ISO 14001:2004 standard for environmental management systems and all other relevant legal and regulatory requirements.

The management approach of CCCL includes their manufacturing systems being flexible and reliable. They are productivity and costs competitive and offer an outstanding product and services that are second to none. CCCL is a traditional cement plant where both clinker and cement are produced on the same site.

Economic and Industry Influences

The manufacturing industry is categorized as being cyclical, which suggest that it is susceptible to any change in the business cycle. As a part of the industry CCCL is now open to such changes, in recent times declines in the business cycle have greatly impacted the company, whether it ranges from high cost in productions to rising exchange rates, it has been made difficult to conduct business. In 2010 there was a significant fall in the in the demand for cement, as a result of increased competition and also an increase in their prices due to the high cost of production. Carib Cement Ltd is highly dependent on the local construction industry, construction is used as another means of assessing an economy, and little construction took place as a result of inflated prices. In the year 2011 the economy began to experience some positive growth, resulting in a slight increase in domestic sales for the company.

It is evident that the economy has a profound effect on the company, but in an effort to combat this CCCL had secured an agreement between themselves and Venezuela where they would trade cement for oil. Such a move would greatly improve their financial standing. The agreement is set for 2013 and with the recent victory of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; the deal is set to be on schedule.

Structural Influences

In 2011 the company recently announced that if were to build their own coal power plant that could save an estimated $3b annually. It's now 2012 and to date there has been no further mention of such a facility. Had it been constructed, there could have been a boost in the amount of cement it could be able to produce. Technology is a major issue for many manufacturing firms, it's seen as a means of enhancing productivity and creating products of the highest quality. Apart from a relatively newly constructed Kiln, there has been no further announcement of technological rehabilitation towards its aging facilities. A competitive edge means that a company needs to conduct structural changes in order to enhance its position in the local and global market place. Through the enhancement of its facilities it also provides the ability for the firm to now be able to diversify its manufacturing process.

Political interferences have also impacted the operations of the facility, with the liberalization of the domestic market; it has made it increasingly difficult for the firm to function in such a highly competitive global market given its financial constraints. With the recent announcement of Cement Company Jamaica, this further increases the level of competition faced by the already ailing company.

Firm's Competitive Strategies

Caribbean Cement Company limited is currently the only producer of cement in the island, which makes it a monopoly. Though having monopoly status CCCL has had issues arising from overseas producers who are trying to take over its market share. As a means of combating these foreign entities CCCL has procured an agreement with Venezuela to trade oil for cement, such a move would see an increase in the companies' competitiveness. Furthermore the company has made some advances in improving its facilities. Implementing more technological equipment may boost their productivity thus enhancing their profitability.

SWOT Analysis


Sole manufacture of cement in Jamaica.

Relatively low prices

Ability to be profitable

CCCL has a good reputation

Vibrant industry and professional associations


Relies only on construction jobs to make a profit.

Lack of adequate health and safety standards and enforcement of same

Low levels of research and development.

Lack of compliance with and enforcement of environmental standards.

Higher financing and transportation cost.


CCCL can expand its market international which provides a vast amount of opportunity for the industry.

Continued demand for housing and construction.

Development projects.


Weak demand for cement products due the Economic conditions/downturns.

Competition within the market

Natural Disasters (seasonal hurricanes)

Reduction in the number of construction jobs.

Limited growth within the economy.

Higher levels of tax.

Favorable Attributes of the Firm

According to Peter Lynch, there are five favorable attributes of the firm:

1. Firms product is not faddish - the Caribbean Cement Company Limited in some aspect is not consider faddish, however in the aspect of the CCCL plus where addition of a particular ingredient called Pozzolan, is considered fashionable as it makes it different from the regular cement.

2. Company has competitive advantage over its rival - Caribbean cement has a great competitive advantage in Jamaica being that it is the monopoly producer in the Jamaican market.

3. Industry or product has potential for market stability - Caribbean cement has the potential for market stability being that it's the only producer in Jamaica and that there is always need for cement for construction and other purposes

4. Firms can benefit from cast reduction - Caribbean cement can surely benefit from cost reduction as this could mean increase in revenue. It is now benefiting from the new CCCL plus with the addition of Pozzolan to the ingredients has increased efficiency and thereby lower operating costs.

5. Firms are buying back its own shares or managers (insiders) are buying - the firm encourages its employees and managers to purchase shares in the company and also, it is allowed for the firm to purchase or otherwise deal in its own shares.

Overview of Product

Tired and proven for over fifty (50) years Caribbean Cement is an exceptional product of high quality and is ideally suited for Jamaican conditions/climate. It is a vital component for the construction industry and due to its manufacturing and distribution it provides a vast among of opportunity for employment. There are various products and services that Caribbean Cement Company produce/offer.

Carib Cement - Type I a general used cement product and is a Normal Portland Cement. This type of cement is used all over the world but are sometimes taken for granted, however it is the a high-technology, quality assured, manufactured product, made to strict and carefully controlled international standards. Type I Cement is a predetermined and carefully proportioned chemical combination of calcium, silicon, iron and aluminum.

Carib Cement Plus, the Portland Pozzolan Cement is a technological breakthrough in the production process that has resulted in a new and improved product. This product is ideal for all your building applications, concrete making, block-making and virtually everything else. Carib Cement Plus will cause you to have concrete with a higher late strength and more durability, thus resulting in a better and stronger finished product. However, adding Pozzolan to the production process will not only improve the properties but, also improve the efficiency in production thus lowering our operating costs. Over time, this will result in savings.

Carib Cement Plus has three (3) distinct features such as, Higher Late Strength: Due to the presence of Pozzolan, concrete made with Carib Cement Plus will continue to gain strength at a greater rate than previously achievable. This will result in higher than normal late strengths. Lower Heat of Hydration: Depending on the amount of concrete being poured, users should see a reduction in the amount of heat generated during the hydration process. Greater Resistance to Alkali Attack and greater resistance to Chloride Penetration: This property makes Carib Cement Plus ideal for this tropical market and suitable for structures erected near the sea. Concrete made with Carib Cement Plus offers greater protection to reinforced steel from Chloride attack.

The Availability of Carib Cement Plus is to satisfy the dynamic demands of customers. There are regular 94lb (42.5kg) bags, Jumbo bags (1500kg) and bulk loading facilities.

Services Offered

Caribbean Cement limited offers direct delivery services to the following parishes: 


St. James



St. Ann

CCCL offers technical support services to commercial concrete producers and block makers. They have a world class laboratory which assists concrete producers and block manufacturers with cube testing and with problem solving. They also provide mobile silos to users of bulk cement on a temporary basis to facilitate increased storage of product for their construction project.

Berthing/Pier Facilitates - Caribbean Cement limited has three piers for the offloading and loading of materials related to its business such as Cement Pier Specifications, Coal Pier Specifications and Gypsum Pier Specifications. They offer its piers for the berthing of ships visiting the Port of Kingston, Jamaica.

Porter's Five Forces

Threats of new entrants - at this current moment Caribbean cement is the only Jamaican cement producing company. However there could be a threat if a company decides to enter to enter the market. It would very difficult for a company to enter and be strong and sustainable at this time as it will require enormous capital investment and very effective and efficient operation to competitive with the existing producer. Such tasks may pose a challenge to any potential new entrant and therefore there is low substantial threat at this time.

Bargaining Powers of Suppliers - Caribbean Cement has as a subsidiary company Jamaica Gypsum and Quarries Limited (JGQ), which supplies the company with the gypsum used in the manufacture of its cement. The raw materials used in the manufacturing are mined ten miles from the plant in Portland. Being that it is a subsidiary of Caribbean cement; the bargaining power is rather low.

Bargaining Powers of Buyers - in Jamaica it is hard to have bargaining power on Caribbean cement due to the fact that there is no single buyer of the cement in Jamaica. Buyers vary from single individuals to companies and construction industries. However, if they unite and purchase on a large scale they would have a stronger purchasing power.

Availability of Substitutes - The Jamaican market has no direct substitutes for Cement in Jamaica

Rivalry Among Competitors - Caribbean Cement is the monopoly producer of Cement in Jamaica. Therefore it has no rivalry locally but regionally it has to compete for market share with other cement producers in the Caribbean.

Boston (BCG) Matrix

The Boston Matrix Model is a two dimensional matrix, used in the organizing of a business strategy of large organization, which differentiates those business units within their organizations that generate cash and those that use it. (Financial Dictionary, 2003) it is used to observe a company's planning model which highlights the company's business units classified according to four categories such as cash cow, question mark, stars and dogs. Boston matrix also provides a useful way of screening the opportunities open to you and helps you think about where you can best allocate resources to maximize profit for future prospect.

Cash cow indicates that a company has high market shares or a relatively low growth. Dogs have low market share and low growth. Therefore, it will not generate nor will it consume a large fraction of funds. Question marks, on the other hand, grows rapidly and consumes large amount of funds. However, due to its low market share it will generate a small fraction of funds. Stars generate large amount of funds due to its strong/high market share and consumes a lot of funds due to high growth rates.

Caribbean Cement Company Limited can be classified as stars because it has strong/high market shares and consumes a lot of funds due to high growth rate. This is because Caribbean Cement Company Limited is the only and sole manufacture of cement in Jamaica. It has relatively low prices which cause a relatively high growth rate. As such it allows the company to maximize its profit.

Description: BCG_Matrix

Quantitative Analysis

Financial Statements Ratio

Liquidity Ratio






to 1 (x:1)

Current Ratio




Quick Ratio




Asset Management Ratio







Total Asset Turnover




*Days Sale Outstanding(Days)




*Days Sale In Inventory(Days)




Debt Management Ratio



Total Debt Ratio




Debt to Equity








Profitability Ratio



Gross Profit Margin




Return On Asset




Return On Equity




Basic Earning Power




Ratio Analysis and Conclusion

Liquidity Ratio

CCCL current ratio for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 are 0.76, 0.82 and 0.84 respectively. Current ratio indicates how well a company can meet its short-term obligations. The benchmark for such a ratio is 2; any ratio below indicates that the company is having liquidity problems. The ratio indicates that in the event of CCCL is becoming insolvent; they would have been unable to meet its short-term obligations. However, the company has the potential to increase its solvency due to the slight increase over the years.

Quick ratio indicates that the company is quickly converting receivables to cash, and is easily able to cover their financial obligations. The benchmark is 1. The ratios indicate that quick assets would not sufficiently meet the company's liabilities although there was a slight increase over the years.

Asset Management Ratio

Debt Management Ratio

This ratio indicates how a company uses debt to finance and meet its obligations. The leverage ratio shown in the table above indicates an increase over the three year period. It is stated that when the leverage ratio decrease a company is in a good financial standing in utilizing its debt. A increase in this ratio therefore means that the company is using debt aggressively to finance growth which could result in volatile earnings.

Profitability Ratio

Profitability ratio evaluates the capacity of a company to create earnings in relation to sales, assets and equity. In other words the profitability ratio indicates how the profitability of a company is being managed.

The Gross Profit Margin is one way of measuring the financial health of a company. The profit margin for Caribbean Cement Limited was -0.25 in 2010 and -0.31 in 2011 and 2012. This ratio showed that expenses increase due to the rise of materials and labour cost.

The Return on Assets ratio looks at the way in which a company manage its investment in assets and uses it to create or rather generate more profit. As shown in the table above the return on asset ratio has shown a decline from the year 2010 (-0.17) to 2011 (-0.30) where the ratio remains consistent in the following year 2012. An analysis of the ratio shows that the company is not using their resources or assets efficiently or in an effective manner to generate earnings.

The return on equity ratio is perhaps the most important profitability ratio to all investors and potential investors, this ratio measures the return on the equity that each investor has put into the company. In reference to the above table, it shows a decline over the period -0.34 to -6.39 in the year 2010 and 2011 respectively. However in the year 2012 there was a drastic decline from -6.39 in 2011 to -39.00. Throughout the financial analyses it was shown that total shareholders' equity decline over these three year period showing a lack of enthusiasm among investors. However, to finance the company more debt-to-equity was utilized

As a result of the indicated ratios it can be concluded that CCCL profitability is being adequately manage, due to the continuous down ward trend.

There has been a slight decrease in inventory turnover from 2010 to 2011 which is favorable for the company with regards to how long they take to turn over their inventory into sales. Additionally, the company has been recording losses between 2010 to 2012 which is conveyed in their gross profit margin. Furthermore, Carib Cement's equity base has been reducing, and the directors and senior managers hold a significant amount of the company's equity.



Income Statement















Total Revenues




Cost of goods sold - REPORTED




SG&A and Other - REPORTED




Operating loss - EBIT




Interest expense




No operating income / (loss) - REPORTED




Pretax income - EBT








Equity in income of affiliates, after tax (enter as +)




Minority interest expense, after tax (enter as - )




Net Income




Common dividends







Pro Forma EBITDA Reconciliation








Depreciation & amortization




Impairment loss











Pro Forma Basic EPS Reconciliation




Preferred dividends




Net income for basic EPS




Basic shares outstanding




Basic EPS







Balance Sheet








Cash and equivalents (inc. investment securities)




Accounts receivable & Prepaid expenses








Deferred income taxes




Other current assets




Equity in affiliates
















Other non-current assets




Total Assets







Accounts payable and accruals




Taxes payable




Other current liabilities (non-debt)




Current portion of long-term debt




Short term debt (Revolving credit facility)




Long term debt




Convertible debt




Deferred income taxes




Other non-current liabilities




Total Liabilities







Minority interest




Convertible Preferred Stock




Common Stock and APIC




Treasury stock (contra account)




Comprehensive (accumulated) loss




Other equity account




Retained earnings




Total Shareholders' Equity







Total Liabilities + Shareholders' Equity




Balance check




Liquidity Ratios

Cash Flow Ratio = Operating Cash Flow

Current Liabilities

Current Ratio = Current Assets

Current Liabilities

Quick Ratio = (Current Assets - Inventory)

Current Liabilities

Asset Management Ratios

Total Asset Turnover = Sales

(Average) Total Assets

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) = Accounts Receivable

Average sales per day

Days sales in Inventory = Inventory

Average sales per day

Debt Management Ratios

Total Debt Ratio = Total Assets - Total Equity = Total Debt

Total Assets Total Assets

Debt to Equity Ratio = Total Debt

Total Equity

Leverage Ratio = Total Assets

Total Equity

Profitability Ratios

Gross Profit Margin = Gross Profit

Net Sales

Net Profit Ratio = Net Income after Tax

Net Sales

Return on Total Assets (ROA) = NI

(Ave) Total Assets

Return on Common Equity (ROE) = Net Income after Tax

(Average) Total Equity

Basic Earning Power Ratio = Earnings before Interest & Tax

(BEP) Total Assets

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