Stakeholders in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)/ Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector have joined forces to establish the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ).
The association, which has been formed with the support of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), was officially launched on September 20 at JAMPRO's Trafalgar Road offices in New Kingston.
BPOinvolves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions (or processes) to a third-party service provider. BPO is typically categorised into back officeoutsourcing, which includes internal business functions such as human resources, finance, accounting, and front officeoutsourcing and customer-related services such as contact centre services.
Chairman of the BPIAJ Steering Committee, Yoni Epstein said the launch marked a milestone in the growth and development of the BPO and ICT industry in Jamaica.
"We are showing the world that we are taking the necessary steps to become the leader in the near shore (sourcing) destination,” he said.
He informed that players in the industry felt it was necessary to form the association "to share best practices; experiences; ideas on how to influence growth; and come together as a unified sector to lobby as an industry, rather than individuals".
"The association will be working with JAMPRO and the Government to achieve what is necessary to grow the sector so we can create more jobs, which is number one on the Government’s list, and achieve the development needed to see this industry truly (fulfill) its potential," he stated.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, welcomed the initiative, noting that it will foster the growth of the BPO sector in Jamaica and is "a tangible demonstration of our resolve to transform our economy through worthwhile ICT investments."
He further noted that tactically, the BPIAJ will help to bolster the country’s profile in the global investment community, as investors are attracted to structure, coherence and organisation.
"By organising yourselves, you have not only enhanced Jamaica's reputation in the world, you are bringing even greater definition and structural integrity to ensure that we build a BPO industry that will be a global benchmark," he said.
"I am very confident that the BPIAJ will bring the requisite thought, leadership and collaboration to ensure that we build an industry that we will be proud of, and that will marvel the world," the Minister added.
State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson said the formation of the association is a significant development in the growth of the industry, which provides the "greatest opportunity for us for job creation, for economic growth".
"I think (it) will assist the government in driving the sector …I think working with an association with players, who have a vested interest in the sector, will assist us in ensuring that we remain world class," he added.
In her remarks, President of JAMPRO, Sancia Bennett Templer, said the agency has placed significant importance in promoting the BPO sector to international and local investors in recent years.
She said the establishment of the association, which is in keeping with international best practices, is crucial to the continued development of the sector that is rapidly becoming one of the largest global industries.
Spending in the BPO sector was estimated at $680 billion last year, increasing by almost 50 percent in four years. Based on International Data Corporation, the growth trajectory for the global industry puts it at a trillion dollars within the next two years.