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November 24, 2010
Investment and Outsourcing Opportunities in Contact Centre/BPO Operations in Jamaica
  • Honorable Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica Learn More
  • Sancia Bennett-Templer, President, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)  Learn More
  • Robert Kerr, Regional Manager, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)  Learn More
  • Don Gittens, Senior Consulting Officer, Knowledge Services, Jamaica Promotions Corporation
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  • Claude Duncan, Vice President of Investment Promotion, Jamaica Promotions Corporation
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  • Investment and Outsourcing Opportunities in Contact Centre/BPO Operations in Jamaica

    Jamaica is the largest English speaking Caribbean island with a population of 2.7 million and a labor force of 1.29 million. Its close proximity to Miami (one hour) and New York (3 hours) in the Eastern Time zone makes it extremely accessible.

    What differentiates Jamaica from other near shore/off shore destinations becomes obvious after any tour of Jamaica, is that the dedication and work ethic of Jamaicans far surpasses many other countries – the workforce is polished and professional with excellent communication skills.

    The heart of the industry is in Montego Bay; but there are also ICT centers in the capital Kingston and Portmore, the English-speaking Caribbean’s largest middle-income dormitory city (over 400,000 residents).

    Jamaica’s largest call center players are: Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) – now Xerox, Alliance One, West Corporation and Vista Print which services over 8 million customers per year, through 1,700 employees globally. In Jamaica, VistaPrint has 400 employees, 20% of which have at least an Associate degree. The workforce also includes employees with advanced skills in graphic design and copywriting. Its entire management team is Jamaican.

    Jamaica boasts an impressive English-speaking labor pool with a clear familiar accent and strong cultural affinity to North America. Productivity is high and attrition rates are low, averaging about 13% annually. The three largest universities turn out thousands of tertiary graduates annually.

    • Currently, 8.3% (103,000) of the workforce is university educated and 30.5% are high school graduates.
    • Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust, established in 1982, provides training both in the workplace (Enterprise-Based), as well as through their 28 formal technical vocational and education training (TVET) institutions and over 120 TVET special programmes (Institution Based).
    • Annual certification now exceeds 60,000 persons.
    • Wages in Jamaica for call center employees are approximately 40-60% lower than in the U.S. Consistent and rapid devaluation of the Jamaica dollar against the US dollar (despite international recession) has resulted in wage deflation for U.S. investors.

    This results in daily savings for companies especially on recurring fixed payroll expenses. The liberalization of the telecom industry in 2000 paved the way for more competitive rates in telecom costs. Today there are two major providers of landline services; Cable & Wireless (Lime) and Columbus Communications (Flow) and both offer competitive telecom rates ranging from US$ 4,500 upwards for T1 lines and US$ 35k for DS3 lines. There are 3 Providers of Mobile Services: Lime (C&W), Digicel and Claro, with Claro and Lime offering 3G services.

    The incentives available are:

    • Training Incentives: The HEART Trust/National Training Agency provides technical support and financing for a wide variety of employment training programmes through its island-wide network of institutions, on-the-job training and partnerships with community organizations. This is negotiated on a per project basis.
    • Freezone Incentive: All of the following benefits are granted on a long-term basis. 100% tax holiday on profits. Duty and tax exemptions on imported capital goods.
    • There are no restrictions applicable to the repatriation of foreign currency, or the operation of foreign currency accounts, given that Jamaica operates within a free market economy and has a liberalized foreign exchange system.

    These initial offerings show Jamaica as an attractive destination for your near shore operations and gives you the investor/outsourcer a clear competitive advantage.


    Jamaica is an excellent location for companies in the technology industry.

    In particular, this webinar would be beneficial for existing mid-tier BPO's and other potential nearshore investors and ICT outsourcers interested in examining the strengths of Jamaica as a business location of choice for contact centre/ BPO operations.


    Honorable Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica 

    The Hon. Karl Samuda is a businessman, farmer and a veteran politician.

    The Minister attended Ardenne High School and received tertiary education in Canada, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Ottawa. Steeped in the discipline of Business Administration, he returned to Jamaica and was employed to Alcan Jamaica Limited and Industrial Gases Limited before venturing into furniture manufacturing and later farming and real estate development.

    He also serves on the Electoral Commission, having previously served an eight-year stint as a member of the Electoral Advisory Committee.

    Minister Samuda is currently the General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party, Member of Parliament for St. Andrew, North Central since 1980 and has the distinction of representing both major political parties in that constituency. Having served as Minister of State in successive political administrations he was recently appointed Minister of the newly constituted Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

    The Minister has been described as a no-nonsense individual with a passion for hard work and an insatiable appetite for success.

    Minister Samuda is a proud family man with a beautiful wife and three sons.


    Sancia Bennett-Templer, President, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)

    Mrs. Sancia Bennett-Templer was appointed President of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation in August 2009.

    She also served as Deputy President of JTI, with primary responsibility for ensuring the effective operations of the organisation, steering the organisation towards a more focused, targeted approach to promotion.

    While still Deputy President at JAMPRO, Mrs. Templer was seconded to the Office of the Prime Minister where she served as Chief Technical Director for the Planning & Development Division. She also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Summit, a public-private sector partnership aimed at accelerating development through the implementation and coordination of strategic initiatives centred around key development themes.

    Before joining JAMPRO, Mrs. Bennett-Templer was Senior Vice President, Planning and Corporate Development at the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), where she was responsible for the commercial, marketing, corporate planning and information technology functions. Mrs. Bennett-Templer also has significant private sector experience, having served as General Manager and then Managing Director of International Shipping Limited.

    A graduate of the University of the West Indies and Plymouth Polytechnic in England, Mrs. Bennett-Templer holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies, a Master of Science in International Shipping and an Executive Masters in Business Administration.


    Robert Kerr, Regional Manager, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)

    Robert is a veteran participant in investment and export development initiatives as an employee of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) which is Jamaica’s main statutory investment and export promotion agency.


    His experience spans multicultural environments having lived for three years in South Korea and Hong Kong and participated in several trade and investment missions across Asia, UK and North America featuring Jamaican products and services. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) with a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Management Studies (Hons.). He then studied in Hong Hong for a brief stint before returning to UWI and completing a Master of Science (MSc.) degree in Economics with specializations in Financial and International Economics.


    He is currently Regional Manager of JAMPRO’s North American Regional Office based in Toronto, Canada. His main focus is on promoting exports from Jamaica and facilitating importers of Jamaican goods and services. He also promotes investment opportunities in Jamaica and works with potential investors across various sectors including Information Technology.


    Don Gittens, Senior Consulting Officer, Knowledge Services, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)

    Don A. Gittens is currently the Senior Consultant in the Investment Promotion Division, at Jamaica Trade & Invest/JAMPRO with responsibility for Knowledge Services (Information Communication and Technology).


    He was educated at the University of the West Indies gaining a bachelors degree in Management and at the State University of New York gaining a Master of Science in Telecommunications.


    Mr. Gittens possesses a wealth of knowledge in Business Development and Investment in the ICT sector and is a strong proponent of the utilization of ICT as a role to business efficiency and national economic development. Mr. Gittens is also a trained Project Manager and has worked on the implementation of the National Export Strategy, Caribbean Investment Forum, Euro Money and many other projects. He also possesses extensive knowledge of International and Regional Telecommunications Policy and Trade.


    He was a member of the National Task Force on ICT development for Vision 2030 Jamaica’s National Development Plan, a past Member of the Board of Directors, Central Information Technology Office (CITO) Office of the Prime Minister, Country Coordinator for Jamaica & Project Manager: International World Expo, Expo Zaragoza, Spain 2008 and a proud member of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Kingston.


    Claude Duncan, Vice President of Investment Promotion, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)

    Prior to his current role, Claude spent 19 years in the technology industry where he worked across multiple industries and technology domains. The most recent four years being spent with Lenovo where he had channel management responsibility for the Northern Caribbean and Puerto Rico which covered over 25 business partners.


    The first fifteen years were spent with IBM where he gained extensive experience in all phases of technology sales, strategy, planning and implementation. In his last role as Business Partner manager (Jamaica and Cayman) he had responsibility for the personal computers, servers, storage area networks, power solutions and supplies business lines. During his tenure he developed expertise in numerous areas and has delivered courses, briefings and seminars on various technologies to IBM internal staff and external customers. Additionally, he has been a regular presenter at the Jamaica Computer Society Conference and serves on a number of private sector committees.


    He holds a BSc. (Hons) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of the West Indies (St Augustine) and an Executive MBA from the University of New Orleans.


    Beyond its image as a tourist destination, Jamaica is a place to do business on a global scale. Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is that gateway which connects the world to Jamaica, enabling entrepreneurs from around the globe to tap into the wealth of trade and investment opportunities available in the country.

    Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) - Jamaica’s investment and export promotion agency - was established in 1988 to stimulate, facilitate, and promote the development of trade and industry, and export and investment activities in all sectors of the island’s economy. The agency drives this process through focus on a number of targeted sectors which include the creative industries (film, music and entertainment), manufacturing, tourism, agri-business, information and communication technology, mining, and professional services.

    For information about the recorded archive for this event contact Xtalks at (416) 977-6555 ext 371, or email register@xtalks.com

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