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MONTEGO BAY – Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, is encouraging businesses in the private sector to help to create space for the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector.

He said that the government has made available some US$20 million for that purpose, and he would be seeking to access more money specifically for the development of space within that sector.

In emphasizing the feasibility of the venture, Minister Paulwell pointed out that Jamaica is well placed as the hub of the region in terms of access to the infrastructure for providing data services, and that fact should be used effectively.

Minister Paulwell was delivering the keynote address at a Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), Breakfast Forum, at the University of The West Indies, Western Jamaica campus, in Montego Bay, on June 14.

“I want to say to the Telecom’s (Telecommunication Companies), when we speak about this BPO or the ICT industry; we are not talking about providing services for Jamaica. With the technology now, you can reach every single spot on this globe, so the market is not Jamaica, the market is the globe,” he stated.

The Minister pointed out that the Jamaican voice market is very small, when one begins to think globally, adding that eventually, “voice will be a give-away.”

“But just imagine, if we were to create two million square feet of office space, establish plug and play facilities, telecoms in place, broad- band infrastructure in place and you fill those, can you imagine the business for the Telecom’s, and two million square feet is a drop in the bucket,” he emphasized.

He argued that many of the missed opportunities for the provision of space for the IT sector are still available because of Jamaica’s location and culture. He added that data services should be viewed by the telecommunications companies as their bread and butter for the future, not so much the voice market.

Minster Paulwell noted that said some amount of collaboration is necessary between the companies on how to penetrate the global marketplace. “I am preaching cooperation to enable us to access these opportunities,” he stated.

CONTACT: BRYAN MILLER
JIS REGIONAL OFFICE
MONTEGO BAY