The Government is strengthening Jamaica’s capacity to attract higher value-added global services sector (GSS) investments, by improving the supporting legislative framework.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, said he is leading the charge to have “appropriate, business-friendly” legislation enacted.
This, he adds, is to ensure that local and foreign direct investments are managed within a framework of “fiscal prudence and transparency”, while welcoming “useful suggestions to make these relevant changes”.
The Minister was speaking during the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) Outsource2Jamaica Glance 2022 forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (May 17).
Senator Hill noted that creation of the Jamaica International Financial Services Association (JIFSA), signalled the Government’s commitment to the process of enhancing GSS investment.
Consequently, he said, the JIFSA is part of a multi-agency working group, which includes the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) and Financial Services Commission (FSC), in reviewing legislation and Bills.
This, the Minister added, is “to ensure that Jamaica is compliant with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regulations”.
“Regulations have also been drafted to accompany the Segregated Accounts Companies Bill, the Limited Liability Companies Bill, Partnership (General) Act, Partnership (Limited) Act, and Corporate and Trust Services Providers Act, as we work towards creating a robust framework for investors,” he further stated.
Senator Hill advised that portfolio agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which has overall responsibility for GSS development locally, continues to promote the country as the “leading Caribbean destination” for business knowledge and information technology outsourcing.
Additionally, he highlighted the work of sister agency, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), that oversees the country’s thrust to grow Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which house business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities.
“There are several projects which both agencies are actively pursuing, and when realised should make a marked increase in inward investments and improve Jamaica’s positioning in the value chain of the outsourcing industry,” the Minister advised.
Meanwhile, Senator Hill advised that more than 800 apprentices have, to date, been trained under the Global Services Sector Project being implemented by JAMPRO, far exceeding the 200 persons initially targeted.
The US$15-million five-year initiative, which is being financed with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) support, focuses on upskilling Jamaica’s workforce, particularly young people, to prepare them for jobs in the global services sector.
A major objective of the project is to provide the GSS with higher skilled workers for value-added jobs, thereby strengthening Jamaica’s capacity to attract investments and increase exports.
Senator Hill noted that the curriculum focuses on key areas such as leadership and management communication, digital marketing, critical and analytical thinking and software development.
“One of the successes of this project, to date, is the GSS Apprenticeship Programme, a 12-month on-the-job and off-the-job training programme to develop the supervisory management capacities of entry to mid-level professionals in the GSS,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Hill said growth in outsourcing globally is projected to continue for some time.
As such, he said, locally “we are creating a stable and fertile economic environment that will attract even more investors and provide a steady income for many more Jamaicans”.