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Jamaica positioned as major BPO destination, says JAMPRO

Friday, October 20, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Vice-President for Investment Promotion at JAMPRO, Claude Duncan, says Jamaica has positioned itself as a major business process outsourcing (BPO) destination, attracting several of the major players in the global industry.

Of the top-20 BPO companies in the world, approximately nine of them have set up locations in Jamaica.

Duncan said that the BPO sector has been growing over the years and is poised for further expansion.

“In the last four years, we have grown from 17,000 jobs to 25,000 jobs in the BPO sector and... we are going to grow another 5,000 this year,” he pointed out.

The range of services being provided include finance and accounting, debt collection, tech support, graphic design, claims and payroll processing, and human resource recruitment.

Duncan was speaking at an investment promotion briefing at JAMPRO's Trafalgar Road offices in Kingston yesterday.

The briefing formed part of an investment mission from October 19 to 21 to introduce potential overseas investors to the opportunities available in the island for BPO investment.

The mission is being hosted by JAMPRO in partnership with United States-based outsourcing authority Nearshore Americas, IBEX Global, VXI Jamaica and IntelBPO Solutions.

Senior BPO and contact centre decision makers are participating in the three-day mission, where they will be immersed in the Jamaican outsourcing sector.

They will meet stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, and conduct site visits at BPO spaces ready for investment.

Duncan, in his presentation, pointed to the many advantages that make Jamaica attractive for BPO investment.

He noted, for example, that the country is a stable, democratic environment with a sound macroeconomy, and a liberal, welcoming business climate.

“There are actually no restrictions around foreign ownership of assets. (We) have an investment-friendly Government... there are no foreign exchange controls and there is no restriction about repatriation of profits,” he pointed out.

Duncan said Jamaica's geographical proximity to the major markets in the western hemisphere makes it ideal for offshore business.

The third-largest English-speaking population in the Americas, following the United States and Canada, Jamaica boasts a talented, dedicated and cost-effective workforce.

“As a people, we are competitive and driven to win... We are also culturally aligned and very exposed to the North American culture,” Duncan noted.

He said the country also has a robust telecommunications infrastructure, with four subsea fibre cables connecting Jamaica to the rest of the world and redundant fibre rings both on and off the island.
He noted that the Government has been building out the sector through the provision of free Internet hot spots at various community access points across the island, which has increased Internet access to Jamaicans.

BPO involves the contracting of a specific business task to a third-party service provider.

BPO services target offshore or near-shore back-office operations such as finance and accounting, human resource management, debt collection, medical and insurance claims processing, legal services and customer service, including call centre operations.

The sector represents a viable source of employment for young Jamaicans, particularly those at the tertiary level and recent graduates.

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