JIS News

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  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, has welcomed an initial investment of approximately $14 million in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.
  • He says this will spur expansion in an area that is already experiencing tremendous growth.
  • The State Minister was speaking on October 15, at the signing of a partnership agreement between Columbus Business Solutions (CBS), which trades as Flow, and the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), for the establishment of a business incubator in the Montego Bay Freezone.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, has welcomed an initial investment of approximately $14 million in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.

He says this will spur expansion in an area that is already experiencing tremendous growth.

The State Minister was speaking on October 15, at the signing of a partnership agreement between Columbus Business Solutions (CBS), which trades as Flow, and the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ), for the establishment of a business incubator in the Montego Bay Freezone. The function was held at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall, St. James.

The incubator, which is slated to become fully operational by December 2014, is designed to fast-track the entry of new BPO companies, while facilitating expansion for current investors operating in the freezone.

The initiative is expected to trigger growth, enhance market access, and spur new jobs in information communication technology (ICT).

Mr. Robinson said the investment will make the ICT industry more dynamic and innovative.  He said he is pleased with the expansion that is taking place in the BPO sector, which is experiencing double digit growth at this time.

Under the contract, CBS will install workstation solutions such as screens and a combination of physical and soft phones. It will also provide a suite of services including virtual desktops and managed Wi-Fi; security and networking; host PBX for incubator users and the BPIAJ Secretariat; and provide fibre-direct connectivity.

Additionally, the telecommunications firm will be providing digital signage, data backup at its centre in Curacao, and reduced bundled rates to users of the facility.

The investment involves a one-off cost of $13,494,000 (US$120,000), with $8,436,750 (US$75,000) in recurring annual expenditure.

Newly appointed head of CBS, Sean Latty, said the partnership recognises the importance of the BPO industry to Jamaica’s national development.  He said his company is committed to providing solutions to attract new entrants to the local market.

BPO is a fast-growing sector that the Government has identified as a major avenue for job creation and investment. JAMPRO has indicated that the sector could create 15,000 new jobs over the next five years.

President of the BPIAJ, Yoni Epstein, informed that there are approximately 40 BPO companies operating in Jamaica, accounting for approximately 14,000 jobs.

“We believe that this is a small portion of what the industry is capable of and the partnership with CBS will ease one of the challenges that has stifled the sector’s growth,” he said.

BPO services target offshore or nearshore back-office operations such as accounting, human resource management, and customer service, including call-centre operations.