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  • Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chair, Richard Byles, says the growth target set by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) is achievable.
  • Mr. Byles cited Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as one sector that can contribute significantly to achieving the target, noting that “it is something that we have to get serious about.”
  • Mr. Byles emphasised the need for “absolute” public and private sector focus on and commitment to the sector, and suggested the development of a BPO tech park.

Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chair, Richard Byles, says the growth target set by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) is achievable.

EGC Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, said he is aiming to put Jamaica in a position to achieve annual growth of five per cent over the next four years.

Addressing the EPOC’s monthly press briefing at Sagicor Life, New Kingston, on June 9, Mr. Byles said that once basic economic conditions remain positive, business confidence is high, and debt payments continue, ‘we have a chance of achieving the target.’

He said he supports the thrust by the EGC to bring investors into the country and to encourage Jamaicans at home and abroad to invest more.

Mr. Byles cited Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as one sector that can contribute significantly to achieving the target, noting that ‘it is something that we have to get serious about.’

He said that a BPO operation can be established in 100,000 square feet of office space within 12 to 18 months, at a minimum cost of approximately J$1.25 million (US$10,000).

He also noted the sector’s capacity for significant job creation, pointing out that employment can be generated for up to three persons at one workstation in an entity that operates shifts.

Mr. Byles emphasised the need for ‘absolute’ public and private sector focus on, and commitment to the sector and suggested the development of a BPO tech park.

“It is that kind of national effort that I think we need to make a breakthrough and be able to employ substantial numbers of people and add to our gross domestic product (GDP),” he added.