Jamaica praised as ripe for investment that will foster economic diversification and create jobs
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — World-renowned financial institution the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is hailing Jamaica as an ideal country for the kind of foreign direct investment (FDI) that will support economic diversification and create jobs.
In particular, it noted the potential expansion of the services sector, which has experienced tremendous growth in Jamaica since tourism took a severe hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IDB, in a statement, said, “Jamaican authorities, private-sector leaders and experts said during the ‘Invest Jamaica 2022 Conference’ that the country is a desirable investment destination due to its geographic location, investor-friendly business environment and other competitive advantages.”
This high praise was followed by a focus on how Jamaica can leverage investor interest to bolster the local labour market.
In particular, the organization encouraged Jamaica’s efforts to digitalize its workforce even as its services sector continues adding a significant amount of jobs to the market.
Boosting employability and jobs
The services industry is quickly becoming the “top employment creator” in Jamaica.
According to Jamaica’s HEART/NSTA Trust, the sector is “boasting a 270 percent increase in the number of jobs created over a five-year period”.
It has already provided thousands of jobs to Jamaicans this year alone, with officials urging more people to pursue careers in the field.
The government has even launched a Global Services Sector (GSS) programme, which is designed to help the nation’s youth develop the necessary skills that will ensure their gainful employment.
Additionally, the IDB said it expects the industry to expand even further with its backing.
“With support from the IDB, Jamaica is expanding its Global Services Sector and encouraging investment in agribusiness, energy and global digital services — including film, animation and music — logistics and infrastructure, manufacturing, mining and tourism,” the IDB noted.
In fact, conversations at the investor forum centered on that very subject, with panel discussions on “opportunities in various industries, including global digital services, logistics, manufacturing and tourism”.
But Jamaica’s efforts to create jobs and boost employment should not end with the expansion of the services industry, the IDB urged.
“To gain access to new investment opportunities, the IDB recommends Jamaica take several steps,” it noted.
“These include boosting its labour force with multi-level skills and digital talent in high-value business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sectors, enhancing its work-from-home (WFH) technology infrastructure and accelerating public sector reform and modernization efforts to facilitate business and investment.”
Such efforts would align with Jamaica’s strategy to diversify into technology fields as it aims to become a global tech hub.