Minister Koya projects up to 50,000 potential jobs in ICT sector
Visit to Mindpearl Fiji operations in Valelevu helps illustrate possibilities
Fiji has the potential of creating employment for 40,000 to 50,000 people in the ICT industry in future. This was highlighted by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, yesterday during his visit to the Mindpearl Fiji premises in Valelevu. He was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali.
Mr Koya said: “But it’s a process that has to be undertaken and we are certainly gearing ourselves up to those kinds of numbers if we can. Not only call centres but educational institutions are also are a part of their thoughts.” He said people in ICT industry think about the quality that has been offered.
“You go to have a quality that’s been offered,” he said. “We will not be able to compete with price in terms of India and the Philippines etc but it is the quality that is offered in Fiji is unsurpassed, probably one of the best in the world.” Mr Koya stressed that quality matters a lot. “We are still at stages where we looking at and also the companies that are here also are looking at expansion,” he said. Mr Koya said the visiting companies saw it’s a wonderful place to be.
“They are looking at expansion but it’s a while before you actually get to that,” he said.
Mr Koya reiterated the infrastructure has to support.
“Especially in terms of the education, people graduating out of school and universities etc to do these things so it’s all coordinated effort on behalf of government to see that it actually happens,” he said. He said Fiji is open to business for anybody. “It’s about creating the right necessary conducive environment,” he said. “The words have been said before that we have a fantastic robust infrastructure when it comes to these things.” According to Mr Koya, it’s a very important thing for them, as they are trying to expand the economic base in Fiji.
“This is one of the areas that are really crucial to us especially when we have got quite a young workforce that comes out every year,” he said. “We certainly want them to stay here and there are certainly great places to work. Mr Koya went further to highlight Fiji has a great name overseas.
Mindpearl (Fiji) general manager, Ingo Schulz, said the Minister came around to look at their companies operation. “We recently had a BPO mission to Fiji which is designed to attract large companies who want to outsource or actually were interested in creating their own course and Fiji was part of this mission,” he said. “We had some delegates passing through and it’s just a follow up from that BPO mission.”
Key Government project
Mr Koya stated how one of the key government projects that had been prioritised in the 2016- 2017 Budget announced by the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum would be the establishment of a manufacturing and services zone in the Western Division. He said this would be primarily done to extend the economic base in Fiji but also to create new pillars of growth in the western economy.
Mr Koya said ICT is one sector they had prioritised.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya with Mindpearl (Fiji) general manager, Ingo Schulz, during a tour of Mindpearl premises in Valelevu yesterday.
Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali.