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New National Strategy for Global Digital Services Sector in Jamaica

Strategy to Focus on Higher Value Jobs

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Jamaica’s Cabinet has approved the implementation of a new national strategy to develop the Global Digital Services (GDS) sector. This strategy will provide a blueprint for the expansion of the industry. In addition, it will support the development and diversification of Outsourcing in Jamaica.

Growing Global Digital Services Sector in JamaicaThe strategy will guide Jamaica as the island looks to increase exports of high-value digital services, attract investments, and exploit new industry trends and technological progress. It will help to reposition Jamaica as a destination for higher value digital services, encourage more employment along the outsourcing value chain, improve sector revenue generation, and support the growth of domestic entrepreneurship within the digital services space. The Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Global Digital Services Sector Task Force under the chairmanship to Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill.

Senator Aubyn Hill
Senator Aubyn Hill (file photo)

Senator the Honourable Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, explained, “This strategy represents a transition for Jamaica. Previously, our focus within the Global Services Sector (GSS) was to lay the groundwork to build the industry, promote the sector to investors, and implement policies and incentives to create a business-friendly ecosystem. Now with an expanded focus for the Global Digital Services Sector, we aim to continue our work, but our priorities have expanded to include the increase of the export of high-value mainly digital services. This, we believe, will help to increase significantly the employment of many more Jamaicans and hard currency revenues.”

Widescale development to be executed to achieve targets

More than 50,000 persons work in the Outsourcing sector, employed to over 70 GSS companies, with a cumulative annual revenue of over US$900 Million dollars.

JAMPRO President Diane Edwards on Jamaica Investment Forrum
Diane Edwards – JAMPRO President (file photo)

Jamaica’s trade and investment promotions agency, JAMPRO, will serve as the secretariat with responsibility to execute the strategy. The agency’s President, Diane Edwards said, “JAMPRO will collaborate with industry stakeholders to implement numerous initiatives incorporated in the strategy. This is really a holistic approach, and will require the participation of several parties to achieve our goals for the sector.

To reposition Jamaica as a higher value destination, JAMPRO will work with the Global Services Association of Jamaica (GSAJ), the Jamaica Technology & Digital Alliance (JTDA), government ministries and other entities to increase awareness in overseas markets of the island’s service delivery capabilities.

JAMPRO will also continue to work with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and educational institutions. In addition to industry bodies to develop the necessary talent pool required for higher value services, digital services, and information technology careers.

Initiatives such as the Global Services Sector Project’s Skills Upgrade Strategy, and the Amber/HEART NSTA Coding Academy will help to upskill Jamaicans in areas such as Management and Leadership; IT infrastructure, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity; Communication; Digital Marketing; Software Development and Integration; Critical and Analytical Thinking; and Human Centered and Interaction Design.  This will contribute to growing employment within the industry.

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority and the ICT Authority will also be involved in initiatives ranging from easing market entry for service providers, to improving cost competitiveness and enhancing the quality of telecom service.

Other collaborations will prioritize increased involvement of domestic service providers in the export of services, and will connect domestic small and medium-sized enterprises with foreign service providers to take advantage of opportunities in the global value chain.

Strategy ensures expansion of GDS sector

Ms. Edwards said JAMPRO was confident that this new strategy would keep Jamaica on its path of rapid growth in the GDS sector, as it recommends the execution of measures that will protect the industry from vulnerabilities like natural and man-made challenges, and from stagnancy. The strategy will ensure that Jamaica is continuously meeting the current and future needs of the industry and its clients.

She said, “While we have seen significant growth in Outsourcing in Jamaica, it is important for us to continue advancing in our approach and activities to cement Jamaica’s role as a noted GDS destination for years to come. Through this proactive initiative, I believe Jamaica will continue to grow, and we will see a positive impact on our economy.”

 

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