Country Strategically Poised to Tap into Global ICT Sector – Samuda


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has said that Jamaica is strategically poised to tap into the lucrative benefits accruing from developments in the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.
Opening the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate at Gordon House, today (May 11), the Minister noted that Jamaica, and in particular, Montego Bay, is a “blue-chip ICT investment destination.”
“The ICT world is lining up to do business in Montego Bay, and they are doing so, not out of sentiment or because they love our white sand beaches and beautiful sunshine. They are coming to invest in Jamaica, because they recognise that we have the necessary policies and regulations, as well as the institutional capacity to ensure the growth and development of one of the fastest growing sectors in the world,” Mr. Samuda said.
He pointed out that the Government’s strategy for attracting investments in the ICT sector is “paying off.”
The Minister noted that over the past two and a half years, the government’s strategy for attracting ICT investments involved focusing on linkages, that is, the spin-off employment opportunities from ICT investment, “looking at how Jamaican builders, telecom companies, lawyers, real estate companies can benefit from the sector.”
He explained that critical to the strategy has been the work of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which last year, facilitated 18 contracts with a value of nearly $800 million worth of linkages in the ICT sector.
“This means that existing ICT companies initiated new contracts worth US$9 million, putting money directly into the hands of local Jamaicans. This is quite apart from the people they employ,” the Minister pointed out.
He noted that JAMPRO also executed a strategy of employing market brokers (industry experts), based in key ICT target markets, such as the USA, Canada and India, to sell Jamaica’s services and broker hard currency deals.
Other initiatives entailed refocusing on capacity building in the local business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, by working directly with existing call centre operators to expand the number of seats and agents they employ.
“We worked actively with existing operators, for example, helping them to find new real estate to expand or dispose of computers. We also reviewed competitor countries and our policy environment to ensure our competitive place, whilst becoming more attractive as a location for ICT investments,” he said.

JIS Social