KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is looking to further expand the local business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
Portfolio Minister, Aubyn Hill, said the sector remains a vital asset to Jamaica’s labour force.
“It is a sector which the ministry has special interest in expanding; BPO is vital to us. We have to find new areas and new ways to employ our people, and the skills business, the knowledge business is where we are going to have to expand,” he informed.
Hill was addressing the official opening of the 76 Red Hills Road (RHR) Business Centre in Kingston on Wednesday.
Currently, he said, it is estimated that the BPO sector contributes approximately $136 billion to the Jamaican economy annually, noting that this is equivalent to about six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually.
Hill emphasised that training and upskilling of citizens is critical to creating a fit-for-purpose workforce to respond to the demands of the modern labour market.
“This Jamaica Business Ministry aims to change significantly how we do business. We must, therefore, continue to educate our people. We are looking to ensure that we train more,” he emphasised.
The Lee family is the owner and operator of Lee’s Food Fair, Lee’s Family Pharmacy, The Boulevard Super Centre, and the newly approved Special Economic Zone (SEZ) 76 RHR Business Centre.
It is approximately 140,400 square feet and includes 97,200 square feet of BPO facilities, which will yield roughly 1,800 direct jobs with additional indirect employment.
There is also a plaza strip of 43,170 square feet on site, comprising fast-food restaurants, and retail and merchant shops.
In offering congratulations to the Lee Family on this new addition to its chain of businesses, Hill lauded them for their contributions to national development.
“This initiative is a significant investment within the Red Hills Road community and within the context of the Special Economic Zones and the business process outsourcing [sectors]. This investment is an approved SEZ development business centre and is an important addition to Jamaica’s economic growth efforts,” he said.