Jamaica moves forward with digital services strategy – NationNews Barbados – nationnews.com
KINGSTON – The Jamaican government has said it is moving forward with plans to implement the five-year national global digital services strategy, aimed at increasing employment in the sector to 70,000 jobs by 2025.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told parliament the figure is up from 40,000 current jobs and the strategy aims to facilitate further expansion of the industry.
He said several government interventions used to support this sector were aimed at mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) industry.
These include the disbursement of 444 loans worth approximately J $ 4.5 billion (approximately US $ 30 million) to approximately 100 MSMEs through the National Import-Export Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank).
In addition, more than 60 EXIM customers have had the opportunity to save their businesses through loan restructuring and payment holidays to the tune of J $ 973 million (approximately US $ 6.5 million). , said the minister.
Bartlett said that as part of several initiatives to support the sector, the government has earmarked A $ 600 million (approximately US $ 4 million) to transfer to EXIM Bank to provide financing to productive MSMEs over the course of the fiscal year 2021-2022.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartlett said support has been provided to the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to enable adjustments to business models, including the institution of work arrangements home and social distancing and meeting protocols. .
“Despite early job losses, with the support provided, the sector rebounded with the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) facilitating the expansion of five companies with the potential to add 3,000 new BPO jobs to the sector,” a- he declared.
Bartlett said it was important to support investment in the sector, which plays a critical and strategic role in the country’s growth and development and has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.