As the Agency aims to create more jobs and investments in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) hosted the “Real Estate BPO Forum” Wednesday (August 23), to promote development of commercial space for BPO and encourage local investment into the sector.
The forum, which featured a keynote address from international BPO site selection specialist John Pappas, explored the benefits of investing in the BPO sector, and the need for the development of property and talent to meet the demand of international investors who are interested in starting operations in Jamaica. The seminar also featured presentations from the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Authority, The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and Jamaica’s National BPO Coordinator, Roger Williams.
Presenter Jeff Pappas, Executive Vice President of Site Selection and Brokerage at ESRP, has finalized the selection of Jamaica for many BPO investment projects. He informed those in attendance of Jamaica’s position as a Nearshore BPO destination, and explained to investors what BPO companies are looking for when they are evaluating a location for investment.
Mr. Pappas noted that it was critical for BPO space and projects to be long term, as it will allow Jamaicans to support their families and increase their earning potential. With regards to developing real estate to attract BPO projects to Jamaica, Pappas said, “Business and how we work is changing, therefore work environments and real estate have to keep pace. Flexibility, telecommuting; these things matter to potential employees and BPO companies when they evaluate a space. If you will build it, they [investors] will come.”
JAMPRO Vice President of Investment Promotion Claude Duncan noted that for Jamaica to meet the sector’s rapid expansion, the country must have enough commercial space and talent to accommodate companies that are interested in hiring at least 500 persons, with the potential to expand to thousands, and multiple locations. “As interest grows, we need to create the atmosphere that will encourage large investments and expansions in the BPO sector. Investors want to do long term projects in Jamaica and we have to meet the demand to ensure that we create those much-needed jobs.
He said, “The Minister Chang-led National IT-BPO Task Force is focused on addressing these issues, and JAMPRO and the Heart Trust NTA have a goal of addressing challenges related to developing BPO space and talent to boost the industry. We believe that with these interventions, we will be able to develop the ecosystem necessary to create sustainable growth in the sector.”