President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Diane Edwards has said that the agency is working towards making Jamaica the best place in the Caribbean to do business.
This, she said, will be done through several pieces of legislation being worked on that will catapult the country into the top-10 of the Doing Business Report.
“We’re already number six in the world in starting a business because you can do it pretty much online, but we’re actually setting up a national business portal which will allow you to do a number of different applications. So, for instance, applying to this Special Economic Zone will all be online in about a year,” she said.
Speaking last Tuesday at a virtual Global Digital Services webinar, ‘Jamaica: a Resilient Location for Outsourcing’, hosted by JAMPRO and Ryan Strategic Advisory, Edwards said that the digitisation of the economy is also going to give a big boost to the technology sector.
She pointed out that JAMPRO has about 80 companies in its software cohorts and have already done international contracts and are looking for more opportunities to partner with global companies.
In the meantime, she said that the Global Services Association of Jamaica, whose establishment was fostered by JAMPRO, has played a key role in the industry’s ability to adapt to the new regulations in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The association, she said, collaborated with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and came up with protocols to make the business process outsourcing (BPO) operations seamless and allow continuity.
“So we really looked at the hygiene protocols and health protocols. The first thing was really to decide that the BPO industry is an essential industry, and I think that was critical,” Edwards said.
“We didn’t have a full lockdown in Jamaica, but we had a partial lockdown of most industries, so allowing the outsourcing industry to be an essential industry allowed people to continue to work and move around. And then we looked at how do we make workplaces more accessible and in a healthy way,” she added.
She pointed out that several measures were instituted, including allowing a number of the BPO workers to work from home, as well as many physical protocols that had to be implemented in the workplace.
Meanwhile, two of the leading BPO entities in the island say that the unity that has been displayed by players in the BPO sector and its collaboration with the Government during the pandemic has been one of the advantages for Jamaica and makes the country “special”.
Chief Executive Officer of itelBPO Solutions Yoni Epstein, says that they are similar in size to some of the competitors in Central America, “but when you look at the global scale, we’re still very small, but the unity was developed and we truly came together”.
Further, he said that the small size of the country and the access to the Government, which is pro-business, is also another factor that makes Jamaica a strong location for BPO as it was easy for the industry to work with the Government to put protocols in place to save lives and livelihoods.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner