Jamaica: Over US$900M in earnings, 46,000 jobs from global services sector

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Chairman, HEART/NSTA Trust, Professor Alvin Wint and Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill, during the Global Services Association of Jamaica's (GSAJ) Outsource2Jamaica Glance 22 forum on Tuesday, May 17. [Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson]

By Douglas McIntosh

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Earnings generated by Jamaica’s Global Services Sector (GSS), is estimated to have more than doubled over the last six years, climbing from US$400 million in 2016 to US$900 million.

This was disclosed by minister of industry, investment and commerce, Senator Aubyn Hill, who said that employment within the sector jumped from 17,000 direct employees operating in 30 companies in 2015, to approximately 46,000 individuals attached to 95 domestic and international firms in 2021.

“Global Services is the fastest-growing employment creator in Jamaica. This sector has made a major and important contribution to reducing Jamaica’s unemployment rate to the lowest level in our recorded history… 6.2 percent, which is close to full employment,” Senator Hill said.

He was speaking during the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ) Outsource2Jamaica Glance 2022 forum, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday, May 17.

Senator Hill, who said Jamaica is recording extraordinary GSS growth, indicated that outsourcing companies currently occupy more than 2.2 million square feet of space, including 200,000 square feet of new construction completed in 2021.

The minister said that in addition to the recently opened Portmore Informatics Park, which was developed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) in St Catherine, another BPO firm, Itel, is slated to open its newest location in Kingston later this month, offering 90,000 square feet of space. Itel is expected to contribute a projected US$60 million to Jamaica’s economy.

“Together, these entities will provide employment for 3,500 Jamaicans. IBEX, another global services provider, expects that by the end of 2022, it will employ 9,000 people in their facilities across the island,” the Minister added.

While noting that Kingston and Montego Bay remain the main locations for establishing business process outsourcing (BPO) centres, Senator Hill said “there’s growing interest in other parishes such as Manchester, St Elizabeth, St. Ann, St Mary, and Hanover”.

“On behalf of the government of Jamaica, I use this opportunity to express my appreciation to the investors who have injected capital and other resources into this sector and… partnered with us as we focus on increasing employment, exports, and foreign exchange,” Senator Hill said.

He maintained that Jamaica’s attractiveness as an investment destination, consequent on the country’s nearshore location, robust telecommunications infrastructure, competitive labour costs, and cultural and language affinities with North America, is “already established”.

“Our expectation is that with Jamaica’s current strong economic performance, even more investors will be drawn to the island,” Senator Hill said.

Related: Jamaica Positioning For Growth In BPO

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