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Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has commended owners of Vistaprint Jamaica Limited, micro business products and services provider, for investing US$23 million in their new customer service centre in Montego Bay.

The establishment, located in Barnett Tech Park, near Catherine Hall, employs some 720 persons. It was officially opened on September 28 by the Minister.

"We laud Vistaprint for the confidence it has displayed in our nation and people and commend the job you have done, not just by creating jobs, but creating high quality jobs that enable our people to make a decent living. You (Vistaprint) can rely on hardworking high quality Jamaicans to make this a world class location," Minister Paulwell said.

He explained that the country’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) success was not accidental or due to luck, but resulted from policies embraced by administrations over time, that have seen the full implementation of ICT initiatives aimed at radically transforming Jamaica.

"I remain firm in my belief that Jamaican workers, when given the right tools and the right opportunities, can and will outperform any workers anywhere in the world.  We have seen, through our policies, creating opportunities and providing the tools in the ten years since we took the first major step, which was to dismantle the Cable and Wireless monopoly, that the effect of competition in the sector has been remarkable," he said.

"Breaking that monopoly allowed Jamaicans to attract the massive investments of private sector, in developing our infrastructure and has laid the foundation for the industry that we celebrate today," the Minister added.

Mr. Paulwell said that earlier this year new legislation was promulgated in Parliament, to do away with the final vestige of monopoly in Jamaica’s tele- communication’s landscape, “when we removed the exclusive Cable and Wireless provision in the Montego Bay Free Zone."

He informed that currently there are some 13,000 persons directly employed in the Free Zone and approximately 26 companies in operation, and that over the next four years, the Ministry would be "aggressively" pursuing new goals for the industry, which would see a substantially greater number of persons employed and being involved through micro work, e-Lancing, crowd sourcing and related activities.

The Minister pointed out that the country has a high tech infrastructure, which rivals and exceeds many developed nations, forming the bedrock on which companies like Vistaprint operate. 

Mr. Paulwell led a team on a guided tour of the 92,000 square feet state-of the-art facility, after cutting the ribbon to signal its official opening.