Geneva, Switzerland, 20 February 2013. On February 11-12 2013, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) celebrated its XVIII World Investment Conference in Geneva, Switzerland with the hosting of the WAIPA World Investment Conference and Annual General Assembly. During the event, elections to the Steering Committee, the governing body for WAIPA, was also held. The post of Regional Director for Central America and the Caribbean on the WAIPA Steering Committee was secured by Jamaica’s national trade and investment promotion agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), with significant support from the Investment Promotion Agencies present.
JAMPRO’s President, Mrs. Sancia Bennett-Templer, presented the candidacy for the organization. JAMPRO currently serves as the 1st Vice President on the CAIPA Board of Directors. CAIPA provided strategic and logistical support to JAMPRO in its bid for the regional directorship, with support for campaigning during the event provided by CAIPA Directors from Grenada (GIDC), the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) and Saint Lucia (InvestStLucia). “This initiative was a regional collaborative effort and speaks to the successes we are able to achieve, if we work together”, notes CAIPA’s President, Mr. Ronald Theodore of the GIDC. “It is hoped that through this Regional Directorship post, we will be able to enhance the global image of the region and attract the much needed technical expertise to improve our capacity for attracting investment to the Caribbean”, he continued.
Support for CAIPA initiatives including its attendance at the WAIPA event was provided through its Secretariat, Caribbean Export Development Agency, with funding afforded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund, Regional Private Sector Development Programme.
Since its genesis in 2007, CAIPA has been actively working with its members to position the Caribbean as an ideal location for foreign direct investment, providing capacity building opportunities and tools for its members to enhance their overall promotional efforts
ICT among targeted growth sectors
Jamaica’s growing reputation as a top Caribbean destination for investment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and other key growth sectors is set to take centre stage on March 1-2, 2012, as the island lays out the red carpet for investors seeking opportunities in the region’s largest English-speaking economy.
The Jamaica Investment Forum 2012, which will be staged at the new Montego Bay Convention Centre, will focus on the business opportunities that exist in ICT, as well as other priority areas such as Tourism, Manufacturing and major privatization and development projects.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, will head a high profile slate of local and international speakers at the Forum, which is being organized by JAMPRO, the country’s investment promotion agency, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Compete Caribbean Programme. The opening of the event will feature presentations from Anthony Hylton, the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and a high-level representative from the IDB.
The sectoral session on ICT will focus on opportunities in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Export Services (ITES) and will feature a mix of information and testimonials from expert panellists and existing investors. Among the confirmed speakers for this session are Connie Harvey, EVP, COO, Commercial Solutions, ACS, A Xerox Company; Dr. Harsh Muthal, CEO Tholons Inc.; Ambassador Patrick Casserly, Special Envoy for ICT; and Helena Lawson Brooks, SVP- Specialty Operations, Convergys Corporation. Phillip Vandervoort, Head of Business and Marketing Operations, Microsoft, is scheduled to deliver a presentation during the investment climate plenary.
Participants will have the opportunity to see first-hand some of the select investment projects on specially arranged JAMPRO site visits and private meetings. Prime Minister Simpson Miller will also host a welcome reception at which participants will be able to meet members of the Jamaican Government and senior leaders in the private and public sectors. A special “Jamaica Night” reception will cap off a comprehensive social programme that will offer participants, diverse opportunities for leisure, tours and sightseeing.
Jamaica is home to four of the world’s top 10 outsourcing companies, and currently has over 11,000 full-time agents in the offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. With nearshore access to the United States, a neutral English accent, low attrition rates and high labour force availability among secondary and university graduates, Jamaica continues to offer a very strong value proposition for BPO investors.
Most recently, Jamaica landed a major investment from Convergys Corporation, one of the largest agent-assisted customer service companies in the world. The company is projected to employ nearly 1,000 persons when its first call centre slated for Montego Bay becomes fully staffed in 2012.
The Jamaica Investment Forum will provide potential investors with insightful information pertaining to the Government of Jamaica’s investment policies and incentive regimes; and networking opportunities among existing investors and leaders in the local business community. The Forum has received strong backing from the local business community. Among the many local sponsors are: FLOW/Columbus Communications, LIME, Digicel, Jamaica Public Service Company, and the Bank of Nova Scotia.