Thu | Jan 24, 2019

PSOJ to tour BPO firms in Montego Bay on Thursday

Published:Wednesday | October 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has accepted an invitation from the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) for a familiarisation tour of several outsourcing firms operating in Montego Bay on Thursday.

PSOJ President Howard Mitchell is expected to be accompanied by members of his executive in what the BPIAJ says is its thrust to increase engagement and create a more inclusive relationship with other private-sector groups in Jamaica.

"We are consciously taking steps to establish new partnerships or deepen existing ones with other business sectors and the community in general," said Gloria Henry, president of the BPIAJ. "A meeting with the head of the PSOJ is advancing this agenda and will be used to increase visibility in the community and share our next-step plans for growth."

There are approximately 60 near-shore operations in Jamaica, employing 36,000 locals while amassing a wage bill of $42 billion annually, but this has not prevented a raft of criticisms regarding its value to the Jamaican economic growth agenda.

At a recent event held at the Usain Bolt Tracks & Record in Montego Bay, Dr Henry Mooney, the lead economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, said that while tourism and agriculture are expected to give a significant boost to the local economy, Jamaica's attitude in the global service sector, with its BPO offering, could be crucial for national development.

"It is a sector that competes with the world and operates in a global market ... BPO has the opportunity to operate in an infinite market and is not constraint by the Jamaican market," he said.

It is estimated that the BPO sector contributes US$450 million to the Jamaican economy annually.