Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Holness: BPOs crucial to the digital economy

Published:Wednesday | June 16, 2021 | 12:06 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Gloria Henry
Gloria Henry
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), the umbrella organisation for the business process outsourcing sector, is expected to play a critical role in building out the country’s digital economy.

Holness, who declared open last week’s third staging of Outsourcing 2 Jamaica Conference Exhibition and Summi in Montego Bay, said that outside of tourism and remittance, the country’s global services sector represents one of the largest sources of foreign exchange inflows.

Currently, the more than 70 firms in the lucrative global service sector rake in more than US$600 million per annum in revenue.

“As Jamaica embarks on a digital economy, the Global Services Sector will play a key role in the nation’s digital transformation. This, with the deployment of digital tools and services that enable a fully transformed digital economy,” said Holness.

The prime minister said the partnership with the GSAJ to build out the country’s digital economy is in tandem with the Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan.

At the same time, he also said the services sector has rebounded from the pandemic and that Jamaica continues to enjoy pride of place in the global service sector.

“Even as we invite others to consider business opportunities in this established sector of Jamaica’s economy, Jamaica continues to be the most sought-after English-speaking location in this region and we continue to create and support opportunities for foreign investors seeking a nearshore solution,” said Holness.

“These measures have helped to secure the jobs of about 43,000 employees, maintain stability within the sector, and allow foreign exchange earnings. Thus, the sector has rebounded from temporary declines during 2020 to return to pre-COVID numbers,” added Holness.

CRITICAL GROWTH

Gloria Henry, president of the GSAJ, subsequently told The Gleaner that the sector is seeing critical organic growth valued at approximately US$70 million heading to Jamaica in short order, despite the impact of the global pandemic.

“We are seeing quite a buzz in international investors. Our survey that was done on March 31 showed the majority of our members have new projects in the pipeline, and some of those who reported projects have over US$70 million worth of projects lined up that will be coming into Jamaica,” said Henry.

The GSAJ boss further noted that the sector is also attracting new investors, which is a major positive.

“Just this week, I had a discussion with a financial institution that is looking to set up business in Jamaica, and that is amazing because we are seeing that, despite the pandemic, Jamaica is still the nearshore destination of choice for outsourcers,” said Henry.