Ho­race Chang to meet with BPO stake­hold­ers to­day

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Mark Ti­tus Gleaner Writer

WEST­ERN BU­REAU: Dr Ho­race Chang, min­is­ter with­out port­fo­lio in the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Growth and Job Cre­ation, is slated to meet with busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO) stake­hold­ers in Mon­tego Bay to­day to dis­cuss mat­ters af­fect­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness and vi­a­bil­ity of the ICT-BPO in­dus­try.

“Yes, there is a lot of in­ter­est in Ja­maica and all we are do­ing is seek­ing to en­sure that all is in place for this to be sus­tain­able,” a stake­holder told The Gleaner yes­ter­day, in con­firm­ing the meet­ing. “This is separate and apart from our con­cerns with the tele­coms op­er­a­tors.”

The meet­ing, which is con­vened in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Busi­ness Process In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica (BPIAJ), comes on the heels of a re­cent let­ter BPIAJ Pres­i­dent Dr Guna Mup­puri sent to Dr An­drew Wheat­ley, the sci­ence, en­ergy and tech­nol­ogy min­is­ter, in which he com­plained about in­con­sis­ten­cies in tele­coms ser­vices to the sec­tor. The let­ter was copied to Daryl Vaz, min­is­ter with­out port­fo­lio in the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter.

HIGH­EST TELE­COMS COSTS

“De­spite the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the tele­coms sec­tor, Ja­maica’s tele­coms cost re­mains one of the high­est among coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean re­gion — over 40 per cent more than its com­pet­ing coun­ter­parts,” Dr Mup­puri stated in his let­ter, a copy of which The Gleaner was able to source.

“A ro­bust and re­li­able tele­com in­fra­struc­ture is crit­i­cal to the growth and ex­pan­sion of the BPO in­dus­try,” the let­ter con­tin­ued. “We sell Ja­maica as an ideal des­ti­na­tion of out­sourc­ing be­cause of the labour pool, the in­fra­struc­ture, the gov­ern­ment sup­port, and the in­cen­tives, [but] with is­sues such as these, it un­der­mines our strength be­cause the in­fra­struc­ture is shaky and the Gov­ern­ment is not hold­ing those re­spon­si­ble ac­count­able.”

Since that let­ter was dis­patched, sec­tor play­ers have had a meet­ing with Dr Wheat­ley and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from tele­coms providers FLOW and Dig­i­cel. Based on in­for­ma­tion gleaned from the meet­ing, it would ap­pear that an am­i­ca­ble so­lu­tion was ar­rived at, on the strength of as­sur­ances the BPO play­ers got from the tele­coms com­pa­nies.

It is be­lieved that to­day’s meet­ing with Dr Chang will ad­dress non-tele­coms is­sues that the BPO stake­hold­ers are un­happy with and wants to see ad­dressed.

CHANG

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