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Jamaica’s ICT Sector Today’s Jamaica Means Business. Janine Josephs Manager – Knowledge Services Jamaica Trade and Invest (JAMPRO) June 2008. CONTACT: Janine Josephs  Manager  Knowledge Services  Head Office, 18 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I. 

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janine josephs manager knowledge services jamaica trade and invest jampro june 2008

Jamaica’s ICT Sector

Today’s Jamaica Means Business

Janine Josephs Manager – Knowledge Services Jamaica Trade and Invest (JAMPRO) June 2008


Janine Josephs


 Knowledge Services

 Head Office, 18 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I. 

 Tel: +1 876-978-7755, 978-3337 Ext: 2208

 Fax: +1 876-946-0090,  

 E-mail: jjosephs@jti.org.jm

 Website:  http://www.jamaicatradeandinvest.org

 Cellular: 876-579-9642

why jamaica overview
Why Jamaica? - Overview
  • Highly educated and available workforce
  • Dedicated workers with low attrition rates
  • English speaking population; cultural affinity with the United States
  • Competitive business costs
  • World class telecommunications infrastructure & competitive telecom costs
  • EST time zone convenient for doing business in the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Located just over an hour from Miami, 3 hours from New York, located next to the world’s biggest market for outsourcing services
  • Well developed recreational facilities for work-life balance
  • Government commitment to developing the IT sector including special Free Zone and training incentives
  • Track record of investment by Fortune 500 BPO and Call Centre operators
  • High performance in BPO, especially F&A BPO, and Debt Collection
why jamaica
Why Jamaica?






jamaica fast facts


Jamaica – Fast Facts
  • In 2002 (census), Jamaica’s population stood at 2.624 million people, with an annual growth rate of 0.5% (2007 c. 2,750,000)
  • Jamaica is 4,411 square miles in size (a bit smaller than Connecticut) and lies 550 miles south of Miami
  • Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean island and the largest English-speaking Caribbean island
  • Kingston is Jamaica’s capital city and the major commercial, port center
  • Jamaica occupies a strategic location between the Jamaica Channel and the Cayman Trench—the main sea lanes for the Panama Canal
attractiveness of jamaica for us based offshoring market from exchange rate perspective
Attractiveness of Jamaica for US-based offshoring market from exchange rate perspective

Percentage Change in exchange rates against US Dollar

(Base: July 01, 2005)


  • Data Range: July 01 2005 to April 30 2008
  • Indian Rupee has appreciated about 16% since July 2006
  • Filipino Peso has appreciated about 25% in the last 34 months
  • Jamaican Dollar has depreciated by 21% since July 2005
  • Strengthening Indian Rupee and Filipino Peso against the US Dollar has added to increased costs in these countries driving down margins
  • Jamaica is increasingly becoming more attractive to setup offshoring centers for US clients:
    • exchange rate advantage
    • continued upward wage pressure in India and the Philippines
    • proximity to client locations

Philippine Peso

India Rupee

Jamaica Dollar

Source: Wall Street Journal, oanda.com, US Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.10; Tympana analysis

jamaica foreign exchange inflation rates
Jamaica – Foreign Exchange & Inflation Rates
  • Foreign Exchange Rate over a 10 year period
  • Rate of Inflation over a 10 year period

Source: Bank of Jamaica

Source: Bank of Jamaica website, www.boj.org.jm

unemployment rate
Unemployment Rate
  • Rate of Unemployment over a three year period

Source: The Statistical Institute of Jamaica

real gdp growth

Source: ESSJ Survey - Planning Institute of Jamaica

jamaica political stability
Jamaica - Political Stability
  • From the Economist Intelligence Unit:

Source: May 14, 2008, Economist

Intelligence Unit, The Economist

competitiveness indices
Competitiveness Indices
  • Global Competitiveness Report (2006)
    • 24th (out of 117) for cost of production inputs/natural resources
    • 25th (out of 110) for port infrastructure quality
  • World Investment Report (WIR 2006)
    • 21st (out of 141) as an Inward Investment Location;
    • Classified as an over-performing FDI location
  • E-Government – In 2005
    • Jamaica was ranked 59th of 191 UN countries for government e-readiness. The country remains the leader in the Caribbean in this area.
  • Business Competitiveness Index (2007)
    • 53rd of 116 countries for ease of doing business
    • 54th for sophistication of company operations and quality of national business environment
hurricane season in jamaica
Hurricane Season in Jamaica
  • The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins officially in June and ends in November. However, this does not mean that these storms are a regular occurrence.
  • It is important to observe that Jamaica has been very fortunate as the island seldom gets hit directly. The last direct hit was Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. So while the recent storms, in particular Hurricane Dean in August 2007, have created damage and flooding island-wide we have been able to recover and get back to business quite quickly.
  • 70% of the island's electricity services were restored just one week after Hurricane Dean which was the third most intense storm in history since the start of record taking in the 1850's.
crime in jamaica
Crime in Jamaica
  • Jamaica is in close proximity to the USA. Our hubs and ports are very important to countries that ship goods and move people throughout the Caribbean and Latin American Region. Because of our prime location, our fair island is a transshipment point for the trafficking of illegal drugs and guns for which we are often in the news. This results in gang violence, turf wars in the inner cities (no different from most major metropolitan cities). IMPORTANT NOTE: such incidences are divorced from the resort towns including Montego Bay
  • The resort towns are not in close proximity to the city of Kingston, which gained a nightmare image due to the violence which erupted during Michael Manley's turbulent administration in the 1970s. Not to imply that Kingston is not a safe place to travel but rather like everywhere else you simply must take precautions.
  • Kingston has it good and bad areas. You'll be surprised at how safe and friendly Kingston is. Drug-related organized crime is a frightening reality, but it is a reality that affects poor Jamaicans rather than tourists, expatriates or most normal Jamaicans going about their everyday business . It's restricted to isolated (identifiable) ghetto areas; elsewhere, the vast majority of locals and visitors experience no crime or violence during their lifetime.
what s right with jamaica
What’s Right With Jamaica

What's right with Jamaicapublished: Wednesday | June 11, 2008


Jamaicans are an extraordinarily creative and talented people. We have produced more world-class individuals than any country this size has a right to.

We have excelled in the arts and are a cultural superpower having given birth not only to reggae, but also ska, dub, and dancehall, which was the basis for hip hop and reggaeton.

We have just recently produced Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, the world's two fastest men. And these are only the latest in a long line of outstanding male and female athletes.

International renown

But more important than the great individuals of international renown is a force in Jamaica that mostly goes unnoticed, the 'Third Sector'.

The private sector and the state are well defined and produce economic and social wealth but there is a third sector, based on the voluntary contributions of hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans. The significant expenditure of individual time and resources to improve our communities and ultimately our country is so commonplace that it is taken for granted.

There are more active service clubs, citizens' associations, community groups, 'friends' of public institutions and so on than any country that I can think of. This force is one of the factors that explains why community life continues to flourish ……

Contributed by Wayne Chen, chief executive officer of Super Plus Food Stores.

The Networked Readiness Index 2006-2007World Economic Forum(ranked 45 out of 122 economies,1-7 scale score)
the networked readiness index 2006 2007 world economic forum 3rd in latin america caribbean
The Networked Readiness Index 2006-2007World Economic Forum3rd in Latin America & Caribbean
jamaica relative competitive advantages world economic forum 2007 ranks 45 out of 122 economies
Jamaica: Relative Competitive Advantages: World Economic Forum 2007 (Ranks 45 out of 122 economies)
telecommunications infrastructure

Since 2000 the deregulation of the telecommunication industry in Jamaica has created substantial improvement in quality and cost competitiveness of service

Telecommunications Infrastructure
  • Highly reliable telecom infrastructure and world class communications
  • Modern telephone, facsimile and Internet facilities keep clients in touch with associates overseas. International direct dialing links subscribers to the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean and there are operator connections to all major international cities.
  • The Fibralink submarine cable network provides enhanced delivery of business and broadband traffic.
  • Linked to the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) submarine cable in the Dominican Republic; the link to ARCOS-1 provides seamless connectivity to the US, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America
  • Jamaica Digiport International in the Montego Bay Free Zone provides a telecommunication infrastructure that features state of the art satellite earth stations with support technology to facilitate satellite links and digital switching to carrier networks in North America and Europe.
flow jamaica
Flow Jamaica
  • Columbus Networks, parent company of Flow Jamaica, has completed cable installation on the first phase of an undersea fiber optic express route that connects Colombia with Florida.
  • The first-phase undersea cable segment links Cartagena, Colombia and Morant Point, Jamaica. The second phase of the cable connects Jamaica to Florida in Boca Raton. The principal operator of the ARCOS undersea network, Columbus Networks expects to complete the second leg of the express route in July 2008.
  • The express route will provide customers in Colombia with the most direct route, and increased performance and the lowest latency data and IP connection to the USA, adding data traffic diversity, redundancy, and improved network reliability.
  • Bandwidth speeds range from 64 kbps – 1536 kbps (T1), 2048 kbps (E1), DS3 and STM1
  • Flow High-Speed VLAN Service – capacities range from 1 Mb to 1 Gb
  • Provides a clear channel, point to point connection between offices in Jamaica and the NAP of the Americas in Miami and can extend the connectivity to New York - a guaranteed bandwidth TDM solution
  • Provides a world class facility for collocation needs, which sits directly on the fibre backbone to ensure reliable on-line access for all equipment

ARCOS Undersea Network

Image courtesy of Flow Jamaica

cable wireless jamaica limited
Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited
  • Another major telecomms operator, Cable & Wireless Jamaica, Ltd., recently established a Network Operating Center (NOC).
  • NOC monitors their fixed line, mobile and broadband networks, and their global interconnections from one location
  • NOC will detect, report and record any faults in any of their Caribbean networks, enabling the team to diagnose and resolve issues
  • Looking to move toward an all-IP Next Generation Network infrastructure throughout its worldwide operations
Jamaica is investing for the future: ICT-driven development : Technology Parks Caymanas Economic Free Zone (CEFZ)

When completed, the Caymanas Economic Free Zone will also be the Caribbean region’s first Science and Industrial Park and regional hub for industrial research

and development. in the Caribbean region, the zone will be the premier institution for research and development facilities that are critical for diversifying the current

base and facilitating industrial expansion. The Park will establish a platform for a knowledge driven economy through the creation of viable industries and the

creation of job opportunities for highly skilled citizens of Jamaica and is expected to stimulate regional development and industrialization.

The CEFZ will be zoned and designated as follows:

a. The ICT Zone

i. Software development

ii. Telecommunications/Co-Location sites

iii. Logistics

iv. Bio-Technology

v. Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs)

vi. IT/Security Consultancy (NOC)


Part of the Portmore community

Portmore: Largest middle-income dormitory city in the English-speaking Caribbean with over 700,000 residents, many tertiary educated
  • Educational Institutions
    • Greater Portmore High School
    • Portmore Community College
    • Portmore HEART Academy
portmore free zone
Portmore Free Zone
  • The standard office module at the Portmore Informatics Park comprises of a two storey building of approximately 4,654 sq. meters(50,000 sq. ft.) gross with each floor being 2,230 sq. meters (24,000 sq. ft.) laid out on 1.8m x 1.8m (20 ft. x 20 ft.) square grids with minimum floor to ceiling height of 1.4m (15 ft.)
  • The Portmore Free Zone, is located in Portmore, the country's fastest growing township, with a young, well-educated and computer literate, English-speaking population.
  • The Portmore Informatics Park provides cost-effective and top quality information processing facilities
montego bay free zone centre of offshore call centre industry in jamaica
Montego Bay Free Zone: Centre of Offshore Call Centre Industry in Jamaica
  • Montego Bay has a highly developed financial services sector offering on-line banking facilities, and foreign companies may operate their corporate accounts at any of these institutions. Facilities include electronic banking, correspondent bank services, bank wire and communications, credit reference services, letters of credit, as well as local and international credit card transactions.
  • The city's many schools, tertiary institutions and human resource development agencies assure the investor of ready access to qualified graduates with the skills required for the competitive marketplace.
  • The Montego Bay Free Zone's Client Relations Division will assist investors to establish contact with recruitment agencies and training institutions, where specific skills are required. For example, it works closely with the H.E.A.R.T Trust/National Training Agency in recruiting and providing basic training for workers entering companies in the ICT Zone.
project profile the barnett tech park
Project Profile – The Barnett Tech Park
  • Type: Development lands
  • Description – The Barnett Tech Park is a concept for a private sector ICT Free Zone located on 100 acres in Montego Bay, St. James. The project has the potential to create approximately 3,000,000 sq. ft. of production and office space which will be developed in phases. Also being considered in the development plan are the following amenities: Banking and ATM facility, First Aid Center with pharmacy, Supermarket and Post Office, Central security post, Day care center and Dedicated training center. Plans are in place to incorporate a central transport centre in order to minimize the parking needed and to maximize the available production area.
  • The project seeks to expand the ICT industry in a consolidated area so that the necessary services are provided to make Montego Bay the undisputed ICT hub for the Caribbean Region. .
  • Estimated Investment Cost – USD$270 Million Time Frame for Completion – 2010Status
  • Environmental and Planning Approvals being sought
  • Incentives
    • Duty free on capital imports
    • Free Zone Status
    • No GCT and Income Tax to the operating company


technology innovation center tic incubator facility linked to the university of technology
Technology Innovation Center (TIC): Incubator facility linked to the University of Technology
  • Located at the University of Technology Campus, the TIC is an incubator that provides support to start-up technology businesses. It also provides training, business, consultancy and information services to existing small and micro enterprises and institutional clients.
  • The TIC has 25 flexible offices averaging 25 sq. m. and 4 units suitable for light manufacturing.
  • The offices come fully furnished and air-conditioned and tenants have access to a conference room, computer laboratory and meeting rooms.
  • On-site services include a café and a business services unit.
  • At no extra charge, tenants will have on-going access to practical business advice and networking opportunities.
BPO Hot Spots will move from North to South: Canada >>> Latin America & Caribbean and Ireland/Eastern Europe > South Africa & Asia
making the right call business facilities magazine august 2006
Making the Right Call : Business Facilities Magazine (August 2006)
  • According to a recent report, the call center industry is in a period of growth, and there are plenty of prime locations in the U.S. and internationally for your call center to grow.
  • Two years ago, the World Bank named Jamaica among the top 10 countries for ease of regulations for doing business. This achievement highlighted the country’s continued efforts to create an environment that gives Jamaica a competitive edge in the global environment. Further punctuating this point, in 2005 the island recorded approximately $800 million in investments due largely to the economic reforms in place and the strategic initiatives being undertaken by the country’s trade and investment promotion agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), to ensure sustainable investments.
  • In recent years, the country has seen increased growth in several sectors including tourism, telecommunications, and infrastructure—in addition to the more traditional sectors of agriculture and natural resources. This positive growth has helped the country to meet the challenges of restructuring and opening the economy to international competition, as well as helping to enhance the island’s business sector. For example, the country’s information communication and technology (ICT) sector has witnessed some $700 million investment over the last four years.
making the right call business facilities magazine august 200644
Making the Right Call : Business Facilities Magazine (August 2006)
  • Due to an increasingly liberalized environment and with the entrance of companies providing broadband services, telecommunication rates in the country have fallen significantly. The cost of a T1 line from Jamaica to the U.S. has fallen from $21,795 per month in the year 2000 to $9,907 per month, making Jamaica significantly more cost competitive and attractive for investment in ICT-enabled & Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • Increased competition in the ICT-enabled & business process outsourcing (BPO) services sectors brought on by new business investment has helped keep Jamaica’s telecommunications infrastructure on the cutting edge while customer service improved. In fact, Jamaica is considered the outsourcing destination of choice for service providers looking to the Caribbean for an English speaking, near-shore destination.
  • The country is also a leading contact center destination, providing competitive capabilities and value and achieving 8,000 seats in customer contact, business process, and information technology outsourcing. Companies such as e-Services Group/SITEL Caribbean have had a tremendous impact on the development of the sector, employing some 2,100 persons and processing over 20 million transactions annually. Over the past three years, U.S. companies of note that have entered Jamaica include Fortune 500-ranked West Corporation and Verizon, as well as Vista Print.
offshore bpo key players
Offshore BPO Key Players

Offshore BPO Key Players

profile e services group international
Profile: e-Services Group International
  • Largest employer in the Jamaican information technology sector
  • Processes over 30 million transactions annually, has invested approximately US$5.3 million in expansion projects in the past two years and ended 2007 with a staff complement of 4,100
  • Provides customer care for health, life and pharmacy insurance companies, inbound member services and data entry/back office processing
  • Operations are spread across 120,000 square feet in three buildings at the Montego Bay Free Zone, 60,000 square feet at Naggo Head, St. Catherine, and 17,500 square feet in St. Lucia
e services group international jamaican success story
e-Services Group International:Jamaican Success Story
  • Within its first three years of operation, e-SGI, with locations in Montego Bay and St. Catherine, recorded 55 per cent growth and forecasts growth of up to 70 percent in the next few years, based on its existing lines of business.
  • The Group’s success in wooing Fortune 500 contracts to Jamaica, and keeping them here, speaks volumes of e-SGI’s all round quality and a growing international confidence in the country.
  • In August 2005, e-SGI inked a US$1.7-billion deal with financial institution Woodforest National Bank of Houston, Texas, to provide backroom office processing support for the Bank’s internal operations.
  • In January 2006, Xerox Corporation became the first document management company to receive certification from J.D. Power and Associates for excellence in customer service. And of course, Xerox’s customer care is in the hands of e-SGI.
  • In February 2006, e-SGI signed the biggest outsourcing contract in the English speaking Caribbean with Delta Airlines – the world’s second largest airline in terms of passengers carried. 
  • The success of e-SGI in the contact centre and BPO arena has earned it the accolade of placing Jamaica on the map as a country with a viable future in the industry.
business facilities magazine e services group international 2006
Business Facilities Magazine: e-services Group International (2006)
  • Jamaica’s ICT Sector Scores a Major Win
  • One of Jamaica’s largest employers will supply customer contact services to Delta Air Lines as a pilot program, with the potential for a large partnership between the two companies.
  • By Michelle Janowitz
  • The Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry is big business in Jamaica. In 2003, there were 13 call centers on the island employing some 5,000 agents, and by 2005 the agent population had risen to around 7,000. Datamonitor, a provider of online database and analysis services for key industry sectors, estimates the total agent population in Jamaica will reach approximately 12,000 by 2008, and will grow at a compound annual rate of 9.7%.
  • With 1,500 employees, Houston, TX-based e-Services Group Internationale (e-SGI)—a call center and back-office processing solutions company—is currently one of the largest employers in Jamaica. The company just announced that it is beginning a pilot program with Delta Air Lines, which will involve e-SGI providing Delta with customer contact services, including reservations for U.S.-based customers. Subject to a successful test period, the agreement has the potential for a hefty partnership between the two companies. e-SGI will manage the work for Delta from its existing facilities in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • “We are pleased to have Delta Air Lines join our other U.S. clients who require their customer service representatives to have both superior English speaking communication skills and the ability to resolve complex customer issues,” says Patrick Casserley, CEO of e-SGI. “We anticipate that with the success of the pilot our partnership will redefine the outsource sector in Jamaica, and we are putting all resources in place to ensure a successful agreement.”
  • For Delta, e-SGI’s “nearshore” position was a factor in its decision to try outsourcing to Jamaica. “We selected e-SGI based on their proven ability to deliver high-quality customer service at a significant cost savings, as well as their proximity to the U.S.,” says Steve Scheper, vice president of reservations for Delta Air Lines.”
profile affiliated computer services acs
Profile: Affiliated Computer Services (ACS)
  • Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACS has 55,000 employees in nearly 100 countries.
  • Provides business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology solutions for international commercial and government clients
  • ACS identifies a stable geo-political climate, a large pool of skilled locals and good infrastructure as essential features when choosing a location for a profitable global business site.
  • ACS established a 45,000 square-foot facility in Montego Bay in August, 2001
  • Processes about 20,000 to 25,000 documents per day, and their call centre handles roughly 6000 calls daily
  • Extensively diversified their services and doubled both their staff and their impressive clientele
affiliated computer services jamaican success story
Affiliated Computer Services:Jamaican Success Story
  • ACS made its entry into the Jamaican market through the stateside acquisition of a firm which owned CFL, a local data entry and processing company.
  • ACS Jamaica decided to build on CFL’s core business, and they are currently expanding their operations in the island.
  • ACS Jamaica’s four-year performance has been nothing short of impressive. The company embarked on a growth path that yielded significant dividends.
  • In 2001, 85 per cent of ACS Jamaica’s service market was predominantly data entry and processing, with the remaining 15 per cent being credit reporting.
  • In 2002, Jamaica became ACS’s first location in the Caribbean to do the offshore finance and accounts and payroll processing for US Fortune 500 companies. 
  • The company, which started with 750 employees in 2001, and today employs just under 1400, is the second largest ICT employer in Montego Bay, and works closely with various educational institutions to recruit and train workers.
  • Buoyed by its success to date, and confident of the viability of Jamaica as a location for bigger and better things, ACS has announced plans to establish a 65,000 square-foot facility in Montego Bay.
  • Lyn Langford, Operations Manager says, “We’ve been very successful here and that success is largely due to the people. I’ll say, ninety-five per cent of our customers choose to do business with us after they’ve met the Jamaican people.”
business facilities magazine acs 2008
Business Facilities Magazine: ACS (2008)
  • Economic Transformation in the Islands
  • The Caribbean island nations of Barbados and Jamaica are in the midst of transitioning their economies to rely on higher-value activities.
  • By Karim Khan
  • One example of a U.S. company doing business in Jamaica is Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS), headquartered in Dallas, TX. With nearly 55,000 employees in close to 100 countries, this Fortune 500 firm provides business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology services to commercial and government clients. ACS entered the Jamaican market in 2001 through a strategic acquisition; today it operates a 45,000-square-foot document processing (up to 25,000 documents per day) and call center (about 6,000 calls per day) facility in Montego Bay. ACS in Jamaica has gone from offering only data entry services to offering finance, administration, and payroll benefits processing. The company has increased its workforce in Montego Bay from 750 to 1,400, and is building a new 65,000-square-foot facility to accommodate future growth.
  • ACS cites the country’s political stability, large pool of skilled local workers, and good infrastructure as the key factors in its long term investment decision.
  • Contrary to the popular perception of Jamaica as an island best suited for relaxation, Langford says that “the dedication and work ethic of Jamaicans far surpasses that of workers in any other country.”
acs to open second outsourcing center in jamaica
ACS To Open Second Outsourcing Center In Jamaica
  • January 12, 2007 -
  • Affiliated Computer Services said Friday that it is poised to expand its presence in Jamaica with the construction of a 65,000-square-foot Montego Bay outsourcing center to provide near-shore services to customers in the U.S.
  • ACS will hire about 600 local employees to staff the facility, which will be used to provide business process outsourcing services in areas such as health care, financial services, insurance, manufacturing, and education.
  • An ACS spokesman said Jamaica is becoming an increasingly popular outsourcing destination for customers not comfortable with the time and distance challenges presented by India, the world's most popular country for offshore computer and business services. "We can fly customers to and from Jamaica in a day if we need to," says the spokesman.
  • The facility will be ACS's second in Jamaica. The company already operates a 1,300-employee outsourcing center on the island nation, which is located less than 200 miles off the coast of Florida. "ACS's growth and success here highlight Jamaica as an attractive location for global business growth," said Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica's minister for industry, technology, energy and commerce, in a statement.

About 600 local employees will staff the facility, which will provide near-shore business process outsourcing services to U.S. customers.

national asset recovery services celebrates fifth anniversary of jamaica contact center
National Asset Recovery Services Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Jamaica Contact Center
  • The contact center of the St. Louis-based business process outsource firm now has more than 675 employees.
  • Press Release
  • June 12, 2008
  • This week marks the fifth anniversary of National Asset Recovery Services Inc.'s Montego Bay, Jamaica contact center. “NARS Jamaica celebrates this milestone during the 15th anniversary year of the Company,” said NARS President Christopher H. Buehrle. “As we celebrate, I reflect back on the pivotal moment in 2003 when I first visited Jamaica. I was immediately struck by the integrity and quality of the Jamaican workforce and knew that Montego Bay would be the perfect location to begin NARS’ near shore operations initiative, by which all future NARS near shore operations would grow. I am proud of the work we do in Jamaica and I am proud of the employees that have been with us since inception as well as those that have recently joined our ranks. We all share this milestone as a testament to the NARS work ethic and vision. We also thank each of our highly valued client partners for their efforts in working side by side with us over the past five years to make our first near shore location a mutually beneficial success, exceeding all expectations,” Buehrle continued.
  • Since 2003, the NARS Jamaica contact center has grown from 400 employees to over 675 employees, contributing to NARS’ total workforce of over 3,000 domestic and international employees.
  • NARS is a Saint Louis, Missouri based Business Process Outsource (BPO) Company that has grown from its origins as a collections company into a professional and performance driven call center outsourcing firm. NARS provides solutions for the entire customer lifecycle, including customer acquisition, activation, service, retention and recovery. With years of experience making customer contact calls combined with our state-of-the-art telephony, reporting, and collections systems, NARS has the expertise and infrastructure in place to provide exceptional, cost-effective BPO solutions for its client partners.
profile tympana limited
Profile: Tympana Limited
  • Tympana Vision: To be a premier near-shore company delivering cost-effective contact center solutions with best-in-class performance
  • Since kicking-off in Fall 2005, Tympana has grown to over 100 FTE and plans to double in the next six months
  • Current site of 5000 sq. ft. is at the Montego Bay Free Zone in Jamaica; Tympana has immediate access to additional site capacity of about 20,000 sq. ft.
  • Tympana is funded by individual investors in the U.S., the Caribbean & the European Union with extensive background and expertise in – financial services, healthcare management, insurance, technology and business process outsourcing, and supply chain logistics.

Tympana site at Montego Bay Free Zone, Jamaica

profile digicel
Profile: Digicel
  • Digicel - the Irish based company that chose Jamaica just five years ago as its home - has no regrets because since its entry into Jamaica in 2001, it has become the fastest growing wireless telecom operator in the Caribbean
  • With a total regional investment of US$1.2-B, Digicel is now the Digicel Group, with over 20 regional subsidiaries and it is the fastest growing wireless telecommunications operator in the Caribbean.
  • With the introduction of Digicel to Jamaica’s telecommunication landscape, mobile penetration rates rose from four per cent in 2001 (Digicel’s launch year) to 86% in 2006 – making it one of the most highly penetrated countries in the world and driving a grassroots level ICT development across Jamaica.
don t just take our word for it
Don’t just take our word for it…
  • "I can leave our St. Louis headquarters in the morning and be sitting in my Montego Bay office by noon. That convenience coupled with a first rate facility and state of the art telecommunications has our customers very excited"
    • Christopher H. Buehrle, president of National Asset Recovery Services, the St. Louis-based receivables management firm.
listen to what
Listen to what…
  • “Jamaica is the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean; it’s in a desirable time zone that facilitates US businesses on both the east and west coast; and the Jamaican workforce is extremely valuable,”
  • “the dedication and work ethic of Jamaicans far surpasses that of workers in any other country”
    • Lyn Langford, Operations Manager, Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., which has 55,000 employees in nearly 100 countries
your colleagues
Your colleagues…
  • “the ease of communication between the agent and caller results in a comfortable consumer experience.”
    • Patrick Casserly, CEO of E-Services Group International
  • “We think so highly of Jamaica as an investment location that we decided in 2003 to locate our Caribbean headquarters in Kingston, having evaluated a number of regional locations, including Miami. This was the right decision for our Group and we have benefited hugely from centering all our Group corporate activities in Jamaica,”
    • Dennis O’Brien, Founder of Digicel
are saying
Are saying…
  • “I could not recommend a better place for any foreign investor than Jamaica, given its key location as a crossing point between North America and South America. And we have been welcomed with open arms by the Government and by Jamaica Trade & Invest (JAMPRO) - the island’s promotion agency, in helping us establish our mobile phone company,”
  • “Not only did Digicel receive a true Jamaican welcome with our best resources (both human and otherwise) made available to the company, but Jamaica has been the successful launch pad for Digicel’s regional expansion.”
  • “I would strongly recommend any foreign investor to look at Jamaica and what it has to offer as an investment location.”
    • Dennis O’Brien, Founder of Digicel
incentives for offshore ict investors63
Incentives for Offshore ICT investors
  • Income Tax exemption on profits in perpetuity
  • Import duty exemption on capital equipment
  • No restriction on repatriation of foreign exchange
  • Employee training benefits from HEART (National Training Agency)
incentives for offshore ict investors64
Incentives for Offshore ICT investors
  • Single Entity Free Zone Status Exemption where the firm may benefit outside of the free zone area:
  • Tax Exemption There is a 100% tax holiday on profits in perpetuity for service companies that export 85% or more of their services
  • Customs Companies operating in the Zones are not subject to import licensing and customs procedures have been reduced to a minimum.
  • Duty Free Items All Free Zone companies are allowed to import the following items into the Free Zone free of customs, consumption and stamp duties.
    • Capital goods
    • Consumer goods
    • Raw material, components or articles for use in an approved activity.
    • Articles imported for the construction, alteration, reconstruction, extension or repair of premises in the Free Zone.
    • Articles for equipping premises including office equipment.
  • Repatriation of Profit There is no restriction applicable to the repatriation of foreign currency and Free Zone companies are permitted to operate foreign currency accounts, as Jamaica operates in a free market economy with a liberalized foreign exchange system.
  • Establish its own telecommunications infrastructure (independent of any provider)
incentives for offshore ict investors65
Incentives for Offshore ICT investors
  • Select Financial Incentives in Jamaica
  • - Export Industry Encouragement Act: Allows approved manufacturers to develop a product exclusively for export to non-CARICOM markets. In return, for 10 years, the manufacturer will receive income tax relief and exemption from customs duties and general consumption tax on imported raw materials and machinery.
  • - Export Free Zone Act: Allows for tax exemptions, duty-free import, repatriation of earnings, and minimized customs procedures for companies operating within specified export processing zones in the country or in Single Entity Free Zones. (Must export 85%> of services)
  • - Duty-free imports: Includes capital goods, raw materials, components or articles used in the manufacturing process, and specified articles for the construction, alteration, extension, repair or equipping of premises in the free zone.
labour force
  • Some Labour Market Statistics
  • Labour force: 1.255 million (2007 est.)
  • Labour force – by occupation:
    • agriculture: 17%
    • industry: 19%
    • services: 64%
  • Unemployment rate: 10.2% (2007 est.)
  • Highly skilled, educated and flexible labor force
      • In 2006, 14, 806 persons graduated from a tertiary institution
      • The number of persons graduating with tertiary degrees continues to increase every year
  • English-speaking, with a clear familiar accent
  • Cultural affinity with USA
age distribution in jamaica
Age Distribution in Jamaica

- Census data collected in 2006

population density per parish














Population Density (per parish)

Data collected in 2006

workforce skills level
Workforce & Skills Level
  • Labour Force Availability – real unemployment rates in excess of 11%; especially high among university graduates
university of the west indies uwi
University of the West Indies (UWI)
  • Oriens ex occidente lux :
  • A Light Rising from the West
  • The University of the West Indies is a dynamic, international institution serving the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean
university of technology u tech
University of Technology (U Tech)
  • Over 100 programmes offered at Certificate, Diploma & Degree levels with an emphasis on flexibility of approach, work-based learning, professional linkages.
northern caribbean university
Northern Caribbean University
  • The University is a private, four-year, co-educational, liberal-arts institution, offering a number of professional, pre-professional and vocational programmes. Its enrollment exceeds 4500 students from over 35 countries.
university college of the caribbean
University College of the Caribbean
  • Formerly named the Institute of Management Sciences, UCC is a comprehensive institution that offers a wide  range of programme offerings from certificates through Associate and Bachelor degrees and Masters degrees with its main focus being at the baccalaureate degree or certificate level in applied areas.
heart trust nta
  • Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust was established in 1982. 
  • Training is provided 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
caribbean institute of technology cit
Caribbean Institute of Technology (CIT)
  • The Caribbean Institute of Technology was started in February 1999 as a strategic vehicle of the Government of Jamaica to:
    • fuel the growth of Jamaica's Software industry by addressing the shortage of software developers and programmers;
    • to provide Caribbean citizens with world-class education and training as well as international certification.
high productivity low attrition cost competitive
High Productivity; Low attrition; Cost Competitive
  • High productivity of the Jamaican workforce: Jamaican Call Centres outperform locations in competing geographies (based on MNC internal benchmarking metrics and performance rankings)
  • Competitive wages - wages 40%-80% lower than USA
  • Low attrition rates relative to industry average
    • F&A 22%;
    • Data entry : 0%;
    • Overall 13%;

Estimated CC/BPO Wages (Gross, Pre-Tax, without Benefits)

  • Average hourly Call Centre wage - US$3.50 per hour (base level)
  • Average hourly BPO operator wage - US$ 4.50 per hour (entry level)
industry practices
Industry Practices
  • Typically agents are put on 1 year rotating contract
  • Paid fortnightly; contracts quoted monthly but calculated from hourly
  • Statutory costs
    • 15-17% on top of base for employers contribution to NIS, NHT, Education Tax, HEART
jamaican wages and taxes
Jamaican Wages and Taxes

Statutory Gross Wages, Deductions and Net Wages for Employees in Call Centres

- All monetary figures quoted in United States Dollars (USD).

cc bpo industry benefits
CC/BPO Industry Benefits
  • Essential benefits (statutory)
    • 10 days Vacation per annum after 110 days
    • Maternity Leave after 52 weeks; 8 weeks paid; up to four more unpaid
  • Optional benefit: Health Insurance per mth in J$ (ERUS$1:72)
jamaican labour law minimum wage and minimum benefits
Jamaican Labour Law: Minimum Wage and Minimum Benefits
  • The National Minimum Wage Law provides for a general minimum of JMD$3,700 per 40 – hour week (USD$50) - JMD$92.50 (USD$1.25) per hour over an eight hour day - with increases for overtime and public holidays.
  • Other Minimum Benefits
    • All workers are entitled to vacation leave, sick leave with pay, one rest day per week.
    • On termination or dismissal workers are entitled to pay in lieu of notice after working for 4 weeks and the pay scale increases with length of tenure. The law also provides for maternity leave and discrimination between sexes is prohibited.
list of some of the laws of jamaica pertaining to labour and employment
List of Some of the Laws of Jamaica pertaining to Labour and Employment
  • The Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payments) Act - This Act provides for the right to redundancy payments, minimum period of notice and conditions pertaining to the termination of a contract due to the death of an employer.
  • Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act - An Act to provide for the regulations of relations between employers and workers, to establish an Industrial Disputes Tribunal for the settlement of industrial disputes, to provide for boards of inquiry to enquire into industrial disputes and matters connected with labour relations or economic conditions.
  • The Minimum Wage Act - This Act relates to the protection of workers in relation to the payment of wages. It restricts the circumstances in which an employer may make deductions from wages.
  • The Employment (Equal Pay for Men and Women) Act - This Act prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex in respect of remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment.
  • The Maternity Leave Act- An Act providing for maternity leave and regulations pertaining to pay.
  • Holidays with Pay Act -This Act provides for holidays with pay, sick leave, sick benefit in any occupation, offences and regulations.

More information: Ministry of Justice Jamaica, http://www.moj.gov.jm/law