12 Jul 2012

Is Jamaica a "better place" for ICT industry?

Jamaica has the largest English speaking population in the western hemisphere behind the United States and Canada totaling 2.7 million. The new Nearshore Americas E-report – BPO Jamaica– forecasts the additional capacity for Montego Bay’s BPO workforce to be between 3,000 to 5,000 while much less saturated Kingston (accounting for only 30 percent of Jamaica’s BPO workforce currently) is said to enjoy additional capacity possibility of ten 10,000. The relatively young population will retain two million working age people in the year 2020. According to the report the Jamaican government has strong support for ICT, a stable business climate, and a priority on improving data security.

Montego Bay where Jamaica’s largest free trade zone is located accounts for some 70 percent of Jamaica’s BPO employees in 30 different companies according to the report. BPO Jamaica identifies that “tourism is the industry’s largest competitor for employees, but also her symbiotic partner” because of the existing large talent pool in Montego Bay that is already trained in customer service. Kingston (Jamaica’s economic anchor) is cited in the report as the next major BPO hub in Jamaica on account of improved roads, telecommunications infrastructure, and government support.

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