JAMPRO, in partnership with Outsourcing authority Nearshore Americas, is hosting an investment promotion mission to encourage more investment in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. The mission, being hosted October 19-21, 2017, seeks to introduce investors to the current business opportunities available in Jamaica for the BPO sector.
Senior BPO and Contact Centre decision makers are participating in the three-day mission where they are being immersed in the Jamaican outsourcing sector. The delegates are meeting stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, and conducting site visits at BPO spaces ready for investment. Local BPO companies also share their experiences in the industry, to further encourage the development and investment discourse around this growing sector. IBEX Global, Itelbpo Smart Solutions and VXI Jamaica have also partnered on the initiative.
Managing Director of Nearshore Americas, Kirk Laughlin, said that the Nearshore mission was due to international investors’ confidence in Jamaica, “Jamaica is attractive to international BPO investors for a number of reasons, but probably the two biggest assets are proximity to the US mainland and English-language capabilities. When you examine other options in the Nearshore region, Jamaica has some significant advantages which an increasing number of influencers -both within the country and outside – are more fully realizing,” He said.
Mr. Laughlin said that the Nearshore team wanted investors in the industry to experience Jamaica’s growth and success on the ground. He explained, “The delegates are expecting to really grasp the quality of the country’s workforce, see first hand the support from organizations like JAMPRO, and gain an understanding of what differentiates Jamaica from other options.”
Deliberating on the future of the BPO industry, Mr. Laughlin said that the Knowledge Services market was closely tied to the advancement of technology. He concluded that Jamaica could continue with its rapid growth if the country maintained its progression in talent development and technology, “The market itself is shifting towards more complexity in terms of utilization of new platforms like artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Laughlin explained, “While these trends continue to impact global BPO, it is crucial for countries like Jamaica to continue to learn about these market dynamics and develop flexible policies that adapt to market demands.”
As the Agency executes its strategy to create more jobs in the BPO sector, JAMPRO President Diane Edwards said the mission was one of the largest hosted by JAMPRO. She said the rise in interest signified that Jamaica’s profile internationally as a BPO destination was growing and that the surge experienced by the sector both locally and internationally will continue. She said, “The sector is expanding internationally and most of our big players in Jamaica are also expanding. This mission gives us the opportunity to promote the country on home soil and give investors a chance to discover first hand the key advantages of the Jamaican talent pool. Jamaica has all the ingredients to become the nearshore centre of the future, if we continue to upskill our labour force to ensure they are equipped to tackle next generation BPO operations that are enabled by artificial intelligence.”
Edwards explained that JAMPRO was not only attracting investors, but also working in partnership with the National BPO Coordinator, the Ministry of Education, the Business Process Industry Association (BPIAJ), the HEART Trust NTA, the Factories Corporation of Jamaica, and others, to ensure that the ecosystem for investments was fully developed. “When investors decide that they want to bring their BPO operations to Jamaica, they sometimes want to start operations in as a little as three months. We have to be prepared to meet the demand. We (JAMPRO) have to demonstrate that the atmosphere for sustainable investment is here, and we are working diligently with our partners to achieve this,” She noted.
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