Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, says the Government is placing focus on creating more space for the expansion of information technology (ICT), noting that the sector offers excellent prospects for job creation in the short-term.
“We, as a Government, feel convinced that not only should the existing facilities be expanded. but we should also embark on a massive construction programme to build new facilities to be able to attract the level of participants that would want to come and invest in Jamaica,” he stated.
The Minister was addressing the Montego Bay Free Zone client awards ceremony held on Friday (Dec.17).
He informed that the Government is preparing to construct 100,000 square feet of new factory space at Naggo Head, St. Catherine, and “in addition, we have an Informatics Park at Caymanas, where we intend to construct another 200,000 square feet, to attract investors.”
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda (left), presents the trophy for highest employment growth to President of Global Gateway Solutions Inc., Jacqueline Sutherland, while the company’s chairman, Mark Jones, shares the moment. Occasion was the Montego Bay Free Zone clients awards ceremony held on Friday (Dec. 17) in the Montego Bay Free Port.
The Minister, in the meantime, commended call centre operation Global Gateway Solutions Inc., located in the free Zone, which won the trophy for the highest percentage growth in employment for 2010.
The company, formed in 2007, grew significantly from 35 agents at the start of the year to 500 plus full-time employees in December.
“I want to commend you. That level of growth .in the region of some 500 per cent in a year is exactly symbolic of the kinds of expectations we have for the entire sector, and if you can do it, we feel confident that those who are much larger now can continue to grow at that rate,” Minister Samuda said.
He pointed out that his Ministry and the ICT sector were encouraged by the hard work and commitment of Global Solutions, noting that the level of growth “is what is needed in the industry to move the country’s economy forward”.
“We have a little country here that is full of challenges, but if we take the kind of positive approach that you have taken and the kind of commitment displayed by the workers . then we can grow and achieve. From all indications, you are on the right path and with your excellent team, you are looking forward to even greater expansion over the next year,” Minister Samuda noted.
In accepting the award, Chairman of Global Solutions, Mark Jones said that the challenge of providing new jobs in the ICT sector is “an eminently accomplishable goal” that his company was going to approach with great optimism.
“These are the kinds of jobs for the future.the challenge, Mr. Minister, is well taken,” he said.
Mr. Jones also expressed appreciation for all the support from the Government and the Free Port authorities.
Global Gateway Solutions is a full-service call-centre and business process outsourcer, operating from two facilities in the Montego Bay Freeport with a total of 20,000 square feet. It provides customer service, collection, tele-sales and back office services primarily to North America clients.