KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 19, CMC – The Jamaica government says it is exploring possible revision of sections of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act, to enable stakeholders to keep pace with the fast-growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.
“As this sector has rapidly evolved, we realize that there are opportunities to revise sections of this Act. These will be pursued with great haste as this Government seeks to assert its commitment to the efficient development of these specialized zones,” said Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr. Horace Chang.
Addressing the official opening of Concentrix Global, at the Montego Bay Freezone in St. James over the weekend, Chang said the Andrew Holness administration acknowledges the industry’s substantive value in relation to job creation, training and economic development and, in this regard, established the National BPO Task Force to focus on providing as much support as possible to the sector’s new entrants.
He said that the industry’s rapid development is a “significant indicator” of the Jamaican workforce’s readiness to offer world class services to an international market.
Chang said that the BPO accounts for more than 22,000 new jobs and that it is “poised, by the end of 2018, to increase that number by at least 5,000.”
But he noted that achieving this requires government’s collaboration and coordination with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that “we have the appropriate manpower and that we can produce them in the numbers required.
“We will be working closely with the training and education institutions to ensure that we can continue to grow and expand (the industry) in a smooth and efficient way,” he said.
Chang said mushrooming BPO enterprises have been positively impacting economic activity, particularly in Montego Bay and that through the Port Authority of Jamaica, several thousand square feet of purpose-built space is being made available to developers in the Montego Bay Free Zone.
“This government recognizes that we must meet the demands of this fast-paced industry by providing structured support and tenancy space to investors willing to engage our young graduates and professionals,” Chang stated.