Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has congratulated telecommunications company Digicel, for its bold investment in downtown Kingston and the role it continues to play as a full service Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provider in Jamaica.
She said the decision by the company to establish its state-of-the-art headquarters downtown, “clearly demonstrates that Digicel has caught both the vision of the redevelopment of downtown Kingston and positioning Jamaica as the ICT hub in the region.”
She was speaking on Tuesday, March 19, at the official opening of Digicel’s regional headquarters located at 14 Ocean Boulevard.
The Prime Minister thanked the company for its demonstration of confidence in Jamaica. She noted that Digicel’s entry into the Jamaican marketplace in 2001, demonstrated that the decision to liberalise the telecommunications industry was a correct one.
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Pointing out that Jamaica has made significant strides since liberalisation of the sector, Mrs. Simpson Miller said there has been improved service to Jamaicans and the country has been positioned as an active participant in the global economy and the information society. She said Jamaica has achieved an increase in tele-density in excess of 120 per cent.
In the meantime, Chairman of the Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien, said the company is proud to call Jamaica home and thanked the local community for its warm welcome. He described the decision to locate the company’s headquarters downtown as a “win win” for Digicel and the City of Kingston.
Mr. O’Brien said the company looked at many other locations in Kingston “but we wanted to make sure that something good and lasting would come from the City of Kingston.”
“In looking where we are now I am incredibly positive about Jamaica. In my mind, Jamaica has an incredibly bright future and everybody has to beat the drum to bring foreign direct investments in the country,” the Digicel Chairman said.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, also saluted the entrepreneurial vision of the Digicel team and its role in leading the way for urban renewal in downtown Kingston.
“Let’s give God thanks for this new headquarters, which serves as a beacon of Digicel’s faith in Jamaica and their commitment to Jamaica. Let us best celebrate this act of faith by Government and private sector alike, to fulfill the dream of renewal of downtown Kingston, the dream of an international financial centre downtown, and the dream of a renewed and vibrant business district for Kingston and Jamaica,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Digicel building, situated along the waterfront, houses over 1,300 employees and is said to be the greenest office building in the Caribbean. It boasts the largest touch screen in the region, and has an executive briefing centre offering the latest solutions for businesses, including high definition video conferencing.
It was officially opened by Mrs. Simpson Miller, Mr. O’Brien and young Brandon Thompson, who attends the STEP Centre, sponsored by the Digicel Foundation, which provides therapy, education and parenting for children with disabilities.
By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporter