The Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) is retrofitting more than 63,000 square feet of space at the Montego Bay Free Zone for outsourcing and other operations.
Making the announcement on Thursday, February 28, at a breakfast forum in Montego Bay, State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, said the move is part of continued efforts by the Government to capitalise on the growth of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry and attract more businesses.
She stated that the sector is on a growth path and will be delivering some 10,000 jobs over the next three years.
The State Minister said that ICT plays a crucial role in the Jamaican economy as an employment creator, and the development of the industry is an important part of the National Development Plan.
“Under Vision 2030, the aim is to develop an advanced ICT industry capable of achieving sustained global competitiveness, driven by private sector investment,” she noted.She stated that the Government has also been working on legislation and other measures to protect the industry, including the Data Protection Act, amendments to the Electronics Transactions Act and the Cybercrimes Act and the establishment of a single regulator for the ICT sector.
“This will help to maintain the high level of security, which is critical to maintaining the confidence of both consumers and providers,” Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams said.
In his contribution, State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said there is high demand for ICT services in Jamaica.
State Minister Robinson pledged that the Government “will do whatever is required to ensure that the sector gets the support”.
“Going back 10 years… Jamaica is a proven location for the best in the world. We have more companies looking to come here than we have space,” he said.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Davon Crump, said that the ICT industry has become very important to the economic survival of the west.
“We want to see our ICT industry develop into a model of international acclaim of which we can boast and claim it to be our success,” he said.
The breakfast forum, held at Sandals Montego Bay, was organised by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ). The group was formed late last year to ensure the proper representation of operations in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)/ICT sector, and promote and enhance investment in an industry, which has become a major employer.